Being green isn't just about eating your vegetables anymore. Many companies are working to reduce their carbon footprints while simultaneously improving their employees' lifestyles. One way that these points are being tackled is through commuter benefits.What are commuter benefits? Employers can choose to provide tax-free benefits that gives them money back for using public transit for work. This is done by having money taken from your paycheck that would be put towards your transportation to and from work. It's actually a win-win for both employee and employer. The employee saves more money on their daily commute (worth hundreds of dollars over a year) and pay fewer taxes. The employer saves money on payroll taxes and increases employee retention.
Seattle Children's Hospital gathered data to create a comprehensive transportation plan. They plan to reduce the number of employees driving alone to work to 30% by 2028, which will help eliminate road congestion, carbon pollution, and the need for employee parking spaces. In addition to crazy-good commuter benefits, the hospital also actively pays their employees to not commute alone.
Amazon offers many forms of commuter benefits: Metro Transit buses, streetcars, ridehailing services like Uber, scooters, e-scooters, and Amazon Ride — to name a few. The company is dedicated to keeping its main campus settled right in the heart of Seattle, which CEO Jeff Bezos sees as a perk for his employees.
Many companies understand that not all employees will have the same commute and flexibility when it comes to being within walking distance to work. That's why LinkedIn offers a shuttle for its employees, helping to reduce single-occupancy drivers, traffic conditions, and carbon emissions.
As companies large and small start to follow the trend of setting up camp in major downtown areas, offering amazing public transit benefits is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity. I mean, they're called smart cities for a reason, right?