Smart Growth in Action: Employee Incentives for Alternative Transportation
Businesses throughout the state are establishing employee incentive programs to promote clever methods of transportation for getting to work. National Life Group, CATMA, Merchants Bank, and CCTA are just a handful of businesses that have seen an increase in employee awareness about the benefits of alternative transportation and an interest in alleviating their environmental impact.
One of the two largest companies in Montpelier, National Life Group, has been a visionary model for promoting employee incentives for using alternative methods of transportation. Created in 2007, the program requires employees to fill out a scorecard tracking the number of times each month they walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation. If employees meet the program’s goals, they are eligible for bike-tune ups, gas cards, and gift certificates specific to the method they choose. Since its inception, the program has reduced over 90,000 average miles driven per month and has over 120 active participants in the smart commuting program.
In efforts to internally promote thoughtful environmental choices, Merchants Bank created a “Green Team.” One of the long-term project goals established by this committee was to develop a commuter incentive program. The result is the Smart Commute Program which uses an employee benefits scorecard, much like the National Life Group model. The program was launched Monday, May 4th, and the company is looking forward to its success.
The Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) has created the Smart Business program, which allows employers to offer multifaceted commuting benefits to employees by fully or partially purchasing monthly bus vouchers. Local businesses that are already using the program include Healthy Living in South Burlington and Vermont Housing Finance Agency.
The Campus Area Transportation Management Association (CATMA) is a non-profit organization that primarily serves the American Red Cross, Champlain College, Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont. CATMA provides many alternative commuter programs to its member
institutions including a Bike-Walk Reward program, Unlimited Access (faculty, staff and students ride CCTA systemwide for free), transit/
bus discounts/subsidies, Confidential Carpool Matching Service,
Emergency Ride Home, monthly drawings to local restaurants, and partnership with Car Share Vermont. These programs have proven success in reducing single occupant vehicles coming into Burlington.
Many other businesses and organizations throughout the state have implemented similar programs to encourage using alternative modes of transportation. If you know of one, take time to thank them for their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.