Published September 17, 2013
Volume 21, Number 9

Simplified Sign-Up for Best Workplaces for Commuters Now Available

Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is an on-going campaign that emphasizes creative and sustainable commute alternatives to reduce air pollution, traffic congestion, and fuel usage. As an innovative membership program, it provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits.

Having identified the daily employee commute as “a primary cause of increased traffic congestion and air quality problems in many areas” across the country, BWC set its sights on a clear-cut target: shrinking the number of cars on freeways, arterials, and local roads during rush hours nationwide. It has assembled a comprehensive toolkit, ranging from promotion to technical assistance to training, to support employers in their commute-reduction initiatives.

“Best Workplaces for Commuters demonstrates that options to drive-alone commuting, such as transit, carpools, and teleworking, are economically beneficial, yielding value to workers, employers, and our environment,” notes the website of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida, which has been the home of the program since 2007. The organization not only provides national recognition for participating employers; it is also a source of assistance for implementing commuter benefits, forums for the exchange of ideas, and reports on emerging trends and opportunities.

The BWC program “builds on the efforts of many top employers to help get employees to work safely, on time, and free of commute-related stress,” Program Manager Julie Bond comments. 

Hacienda employers are automatically qualified to earn a place on the BWC list. As testimony to its conviction that transportation alternatives are essential to meeting the needs of today’s workforce, the park has been designated a “BEST SITE,” a new program category created for commercial and retail developers, shopping malls, business campuses, and other multi-employer developments.

To secure this designation, a site needs to provide a mix of amenities that support commuters’ ability to make smart travel choices, from shelters at bus stops to transit fairs to encouraging employers to allow telecommuting.

Hacienda has crafted one of the most comprehensive commute service programs available. The wide range of free and convenient offerings include access to local and inter-regional transit and shuttles, incentives for new riders trying commute alternatives, preferential parking for rideshare and rideshare assistance, car sharing with the new City CarShare program, an emergency ride home, a library of commuting resources, pedestrian and biking facilities, and centralized commute information services. These provisions enable Hacienda to meet all requirements of the Bay Area Best Workplaces for Commuters title, so park occupants are also eligible for the designation.

“Studies show employers that offer commuter benefits improve employee recruiting and retention, increase employee job satisfaction, and save money on parking and federal taxes,” Bond remarks. “The fact that Hacienda was selected as one of three demonstration sites by CityCarshare based on having 18 percent of employees who arrive daily via public transit, carpools, or vanpools shows that success creates even more opportunities.”

Companies that want to be listed in this year's Best Workplaces for Commuters Bay Area campaign under the Hacienda Best Sites designation must complete an application, which can be found at  www.hacienda.org/forms/forms_order_bwfc.html. To find out more about Hacienda’s award-winning transportation program, select any of the entries under Commute Assistance at www.hacienda.org/main/main_materials.html. For details about BWC, visit www.bestworkplaces.org.

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