Published March 19, 1997
Volume 5, Number 3

City of Pleasanton to Unveil Revised Transportation Program

The City of Pleasanton has enacted a new ordinance seeking voluntary participation of area businesses in a trip reduction program as part of its new Transportation System Management (TSM) plan. 

Such plans were required by law until a recent bill, SB 437, outlawed mandatory employer trip reduction programs. However, the success of Pleasanton's programs has both the City and many businesses enthusiastic about their continuation. 

Successful Past
Diana Bonano, the City's TSM coordinator, is optimistic that the voluntary program will work. 

"We've had a wonderfully successful transportation management for almost 13 years now," she says. "We've always stressed the positiveswe are pro economic developmentand we always helped our employers in their efforts to stay within the regulations when they existed."

Rather than take a punitive approach towards enforcing the requirements, the City chose to take a pro-active stance, helping to inform businesses about mandated guidelines and serving as a clearinghouse for information from many sources on commute alternatives. It is in this spirit of cooperation for mutual benefit that the City has offered the voluntary TSM plan. 

"We feel that employers understand that less congestion on the roadways and better air quality have a huge effect on the business they do," explains Bonano. "Uncrowded roads contribute to the attraction and retention of employees and customers, and are important for businesses which depend on freeway transport of goods." 

Incentives for Employees
Another reason for employers to participate in the TSM program is so that they can provide commute oriented incentives to employees. 

"Large employers look at the programs that we offer as potential incentives that they could pass along to their employees, such as on-site transportation workshops where we come out to inform employees about their commute options," says Bonano. 

One program the City advocates is Commuter Check, where employees can receive tax-free reimbursement of up to $60 per month for their alternative commute, be it a carpool, vanpool, or public transit. An added bonus is that the company itself receives tax benefits for offering the program to employees. 

A Guaranteed Ride Home
A new feature to the voluntary TSM program promises to give commute alternative participants in enrolled companies a Guaranteed Ride Home should an emergency arise that would otherwise leave them stranded. 

"If you have an emergency at home or with your immediate family, we'll get you home," says Bonano. "It eases people's minds about participating in a carpool or vanpool."

The City will also be offering new employees a one-month transit pass for them to try the transit service of their choice so they get a first hand experience with an alternative commute. 

"Our goal is to educate people," Bonano says.

Company Enrollment Info
Companies which wish to participate in the TSM program are invited to contact Bonano at (510) 484-8289. The City is planning a kickoff breakfast with Mayor Ben Tarver on June 5 at the Pleasanton Hilton.


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