The younger workforce is moving to cities, and they want access to reliable transit options. The older generations are coming from the suburbs, and they don’t want to be stressed out on a daily basis sitting behind the wheel. The desire to avoid driving alone to work is shared by commuters of all ages, but sometimes it’s not as simple as just taking the train. In many places, it’s just not feasible to live within walking distance of public transportation. Vanpooling can be a great way to get your employees to change their commuting habits in the absence of access to transit, but it might not be a big enough solution depending on the size of your company — and of the problem.
Providing a shuttle service for your employees affords countless benefits, but knowing when it’s the right time to get started can be a challenge. As your company grows, the demand for accessible transit options is only going to increase. While providing a vanpool service is a good step, a shuttle provides the next level of accessibility and convenience for your employees.
The perfect way to begin the process of providing a company shuttle is to conduct an employee survey. A survey will give insight into how your employees are currently commuting, how many shuttles may be needed, which days and times would be best to operate a shuttle, and if a shuttle service is the best solution for your company. For example, if a good number of employees would consider taking mass transit if there were a shuttle from the train station to your office, then that would be a great reason to move forward.
Once a decision has been made, the next step is figuring out the logistics and operations of the shuttle. If the shuttle isn’t going to run every day, establishing a consistent schedule will make it as accessible as possible. The next course of action is setting a centralized pickup and dropoff location so employees know when and where to be in order to ride.
Once everything’s worked out and the shuttle is up and running, the last step is to make employees aware of the new service. Going through the effort and providing this benefit will all be for nothing if it’s not being taken advantage of!
Reviewing the options
In an ideal world, you’d have the budget to provide an employee shuttle all day, every day. For most companies though, that’s just not financially possible. What is possible is providing a shuttle as often as you can, even if it’s only in the mornings and evenings, or on certain days of the week – both of which are viable compromises. Shuttling employees to and from the nearest metro or subway station makes public transit options more accessible as well.
There are also services where employers can open corporate accounts for their employees and provide on-demand shuttle services. Companies like Pablito and Shotl operate to ease some of the financial burden for employers while also assisting with the logistical requirements of running a shuttle system.
What are the benefits?
Give back time and money. Not only do shuttles get more employees out from behind the wheel, they also have access to HOV lanes, so it speeds up the trip. Commuters lose an average of 19 days commuting alone per year. That’s not even counting the amount of time it can take to find a reasonable parking spot!
Not only can employees save more than two weeks a year on time spent commuting, they can put more money back in their pockets. Owning a car in the city can set you back more than $8000 per year. Providing a fully or partially subsidized shuttle service can decrease or even eliminate these costs.
Get more productivity. Not only will everyone be happier once they get to work, they could actually have the opportunity to get work done during their commute. Providing WiFi on shuttles allows your employees the ability to get a jumpstart on their day.
People will also have the opportunity to socialize with their coworkers on the way to and from work. Studies have shown healthy workplace relationships reduce stress while increasing productivity. Rather than sitting in a car alone looking at a sea of red tail lights, employees with be able to hang out and collaborate before starting the day in the office.
Reduce your environmental impact. Providing a shuttle service is almost a no brainer, within reason. Taking several cars off the road and combining them into just one shuttle reduces emissions greatly. For an individual person, changing a workplace commute is the single biggest change they can make!
Eliminating one SOV commute from San Francisco to Mountain View, CA, can reduce up to 40 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) per year. Now imagine how much CO2 could be eliminated if half your employees ditched driving to work alone on a daily basis.
As your company changes, your services should follow. Providing a shuttle service is all about what your company is able to do within reason. One, two, or three days a week is a great start to being able to provide one five days a week – the most important action is taking the first step!
Psst! You can also learn more about how you can provide top notch transit services to your employees with our Ultimate Guide to Commuter Benefits Ebook here!