Keeping their workers from streaming into their job sites steaming from a long, frustrating commute is what many government agencies and Triangle employers are happily accomplishing with assistance from GoTriangle’s transportation demand management tools.
Through its Share the Ride NC program, GoTriangle helps employers develop smart-commute plans that allow workers to telework or carpool, vanpool, use public transit, bike or walk to work so they can reduce their reliance on single-occupancy vehicles. That helps workers save money and reduces negative environmental effects as well.
To augment the program, GoTriangle created GoPerks three years ago. Workers who use smart commuting options can log their trips through the Share the Ride NC website at STRNC.org and become eligible for prize drawings that include gift cards to many Triangle businesses and restaurants.
Participating in Share the Ride NC are more than 40 Triangle employers, including the U.S. EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which offer employees $255 a month toward vanpooling or transit fare; GlaxoSmithKline, which offers $30 a month toward bus fare; and American Tobacco Campus, which offers employees a GoPass that allows them to travel free on GoTriangle, GoRaleigh, GoDurham and GoCary buses.
Bob Barker, leading supplier of materials to detention facilities in the United States, promotes carpooling and offers its 165 employees in Fuquay-Varina teleworking options. It’s a strategy to attract and keep the best workers, and it fits nicely with the Christian-based company’s mission to take care of God’s world, says Nancy Johns, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Bob Barker.
“I think flexibility is especially important and valuable to millennials as they make up more and more of the workforce,” Johns says. “I would encourage other companies to consider programs like this. People are just as productive teleworking as they are in the office, if not more so. People really value being able to do it, and they work diligently to show they are being responsible with this opportunity.”
To help companies that want to learn more about smart-commuting options and to thank GoPerks sponsors and participating employers, GoTriangle is hosting an educational session and reception at 3:30 p.m. on April 27 at the Frontier in Research Triangle Park.
Johns of Bob Barker will offer a short presentation about the company’s teleworking experiences, and Jerry Williams, environmental sustainability program manager at SAS, will talk about the Cary software company’s extensive efforts to offer its employees smart-commuting options even though public transit is difficult because of the company’s physical layout.
“Our internal employee environmental site features an Eco-Commuter Program section with information about GoTriangle and GoPerks sites, the employee carpool tool – which is heavily used by employees – and vanpools,” Williams says. “Employees also have flexible work schedules, which helps minimize congestion from employees all showing up and leaving work at the same time.”
SAS also actively supports plug-in electric vehicles by providing 48 charging stations and offers incentives for employees who carpool or who drive fuel-efficient vehicles.
“Many RTP-based employers have abundant, convenient, free parking, all of the reasons that encourage you to drive,” says Shelly Parker, manager of sustainable transportation at GoTriangle. “That’s true for most of the employers in the region. Unless you are in the heart of downtown Durham or downtown Raleigh or a university, that description fits everyone. It’s not like New York City or DC where just the cost of parking is encouraging workers to try something new.”
In addition, representatives of Duke University will explain how the Durham school incorporates Share the Ride NC and GoPerks information in orientation packages for all of its new employees.
In fiscal year 2016, GoTriangle’s transportation demand management programs led to 4.6 million vehicle trips avoided, 2.6 million gallons of gas saved, 61 million commuting miles reduced and almost 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide release avoided.