Published May 20, 2014
Volume 22, Number 5

Workshop: Commuter Benefits Aid Companies

 Tri-Valley Spare the Air Resource Team
By Zoe Francis


Happy commuters make happy employees, which can help boost the bottom line of any company.

The free How Commuter Benefits Benefit Your Company workshop on Thursday, June 5 in Dublin will give businesses a multitude of ideas for employee commute options. The workshop is hosted by the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa Spare the Air Resource Teams.

“Whether your company has 50 employees or 5,000 employees, we’ll have something that you can use,” Stephanie Anderson, resource team facilitator, said. “Everything we’re doing is going to focus on the benefit to the organization.”

“What we mean commuter benefits is anything that encourages an alternative to driving alone to work, such as carpooling, vanpooling, taking public transit and biking,” she noted.

The half-day workshop will start with “an overview of transportation projects that are in the works to ease traffic congestion, particularly extending carpool lanes,” Anderson said. “Those who are carpooling, vanpooling or taking transit, they’ll see the greatest benefits from these transit projects.”

The workshop will feature breakout sessions, including one with a Genentech representative who will discuss how vanpooling benefits that company.

“In the case of Genentech, it reduces the demand for parking,” Anderson said.

In addition to the Genentech success story, “we have three guests who have very different programs they’ve implemented at their company that are very low cost,” she said. “We’ve found some really unique programs that we know other businesses will enjoy hearing about.”

Businesses that attend will also have the chance to share their commuter success stories.

“We all know that traffic congestion in the Tri-Valley is an issue,” Anderson said. “Projections are that it’s just going to increase, making it more and more difficult and stressful for people to get to work.”

“You want to make it easier for good employees to get to work,” she added. “Providing these commuter benefits also helps with employee recruiting and retention.”

Businesses will learn how employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for transit and vanpooling, a boon for both the employee and the business.

The workshop is open to anyone in Alameda or Contra Costa counties. Any staff member who oversees commuter benefits, such as transit passes, would be ideal to attend the workshop.

“If they are starting from scratch and do not have any kind of program in place, the best person is usually going to be a (human resources) manager, office manager or facilities manager,” Anderson said.

Participants are encouraged to use alternate transportation, such as carpooling or BART, to get to the workshop. Adding to the fun is a selfiecontest with the chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, plus iTunes and Clipper cards.

“This is going to be fun and interactive,” Anderson said. “We have some cool things we’re doing.”

The workshop will be held June 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Dublin’s city council chambers, 100 Civic Plaza. Attendance is free, but registration is required by May 29. Visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/CommuteJune5 for more information and to register online.


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