Just like commuters, employers have options. This webpage provides you with information and resources to help you tailor your program to meet your employees’ needs. SDOT and Commute Seattle staff is also on hand to provide further information:
Getting to Work by Transit
Bus, train and car/vanpool are the most popular alternatives to driving alone to work. Helping employees access ORCA, and encouraging transit use through promotions and incentives will reduce employee drive alone rates.
ORCA is the Puget Sound area's transit pass. It's good for all regional and local buses, Sounder Trains, Link Light Rail, foot ferries and vanpools. Seattle employers have several ORCA-based options to help make it easier for their employees to use transit to get to work.
ORCA Passport is a comprehensive, annual transportation program that is only available as an employer provided benefit, and can be purchased by employers at several subsidy levels with additional custom add-ons also available. ORCA Business Choice let's employers help employees pay for and sign up or renew ORCA cards. Employers can also arrange employee pre-tax deductions for ORCA.
- How to promote your employee's use of transit: sharing information about transit-based seasonal promotions, and trip logging
- Transit resources, such as bus schedules and route maps
- New Seattle transit improvements
- Employee tax benefits for transportation
Carpool & Vanpool Resources:
Getting to Work by Bike or on Foot
Commuting on foot or by bike is on the increase in much of Seattle. Fueled both by public investments in infrastructure –such as dedicated bike lanes- and increasing interest in an active commute, employers can support their employees' desires to combine their daily commute with getting a daily dose of exercise in a number of ways.
Education and encouragement programs give employees the tools they need to commute on foot or by bike over the long-term. The possibilities extend as far as your imagination will carry them!
Tips for a success:
- Hold bike and pedestrian safety demonstrations
- Distribute free walking maps
- Host lunch and learns about how to build a routine around being a bike or walk commuter
- Hold regular no- or low-cost bicycle tune ups
- Subsidize Pronto membership
- Give away free lights to place on your work bag, bike or person so that you're visible at night.
Showers & Lockers and Bike Racks are end-of –trip facilities that help make walking and cycling to work more comfortable and convenient: having a safe place to store a bike and a place to change clothes and shower once at the office can support employees in their active commute.
There are several seasonal campaigns that encourage bicycling and walking to work. Participating in trip-logging is another way to support your active commuting employees. See the seasonal campaigns and encouragement section, below, for
- Employers in owner-occupied building can provide these facilities can be easy and low cost.
- Employers in non-owner occupied buildings can collaborate with your building manager to ensure there's adequate bike parking. Look for opportunities to create shower and locker access – either partnering with a neighboring building or collaborating to provide low cost locker/locker only use at nearby or in-building gym.
Provide Telework & Flexwork to Your Employees
Working from home some of the time, or working on a flexible schedule are both strategies that eliminate commute trips or move them to off-peak periods. The result is reduced congestion, employee time and money savings, and a demonstrated increase in employee productivity and work satisfaction.
Implementing an employee telework and/or flexwork policy is a beneficial business strategy as it enables business continuity during weather incidents, or other times when employee travel is difficult or should be avoided – and supports employee work/life balance and health and wellness programs.
King County’s Worksmart program offers free support services to Seattle employers to assist in developing a telework and/or flexwork policy that meets their business needs.
Promote Commute Options with Seasonal Campaigns & Encouragement
Throughout the year, Seattle organizations host many monthly campaigns and promotions with incentives for using transportation alternatives, including competitive prizes, rewards, and team-based motivation. Timed to maximize participation, and reinforce commute habits,employers can promote these events among employees to encourage the use of commute alternatives!
Provide Telework & Flexwork to Your Employees
- Ride Transit Month is a celebration of transit riders, who take the bus, train, light rail,ferry, water taxi, or van pool! Participants log commute, recreation and all other trips to be eligible for prizes – Click here for more information.
- National Bike Month offers employers exciting events and promotions to help themimplement a successful May Bike Month and increase bicycle commuting at their work place.Click here for more information.
- Wheel Options Promotion is held every October, Wheel Options offerscommutersusingany travel option other thandriving alone opportunities to win great prizes for logging trips. Click here for more information.
- Ride in the Rain Challenge –This campaign runs every November –the perfect month toencourage summer cyclists to keep up their commute habit into the winter months- by forming teams, logging trips, and competing for prizes by biking to school or work during(potentially) rainy November.
Year round trip logging, either through seasonal campaigns or consistently, is away for employees to connect the dots between daily commuting decisions, and feel good about longer-term achievements in choosing a travel option other than driving alone to work. RideshareOnline.com has a trip logging feature that individuals and employees at a given firm can sign up for. Third party, customizable software is also available, and a great way to support and reward employee non-drive alone commuting by giving regular prizes and recognition.
Look for other events throughout the year on our events calendar.
Getting Around While You're At Work
There are lots of ways to get around at your work site without a personal vehicle.
If transit isn't your best option, try a shared mobility option like Bikeshare,
Car Share, Taxi, or a transportation network company.