Having a number of alternatives when it comes to your commute is a modern-day luxury, and it is one that Hacienda businesses and residents know well. Thanks to the park's transportation programs, everyone who lives or works in Hacienda is entitled to a free Wheels bus pass, free tickets for first-time riders from a number of regional transit agencies, and more. It is not just the people in the park who can gain from these benefits - businesses can, too.
By virtue of being a park tenant, every enterprise in Hacienda can receive national recognition for being designated as one of the country's "Best Workplaces for Commuters" by filling out a form at www.bestworkplaces.org and paying a discounted membership fee of just $115, half the usual price. In addition to receiving acclaim, participating businesses receive a variety of benefits as well.
This easy access to commute-friendly fame is not something that is accessible to most organizations. Thanks to its conviction that transportation alternatives are essential to meeting the needs of today's workforce and its extensive commuter benefit programs, Hacienda is recognized as a "Best Site" by Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC), 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 an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits. To secure this designation, a site needs to provide a mix of amenities that support commuters' ability to make smart travel choices, from free bus passes 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 park's 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.
Signing up is easy. Hacienda businesses can go to bestworkplaces.org and select "BWC Employer Online Application" from the drop-down menu under "Join." Fill out the form - you can list Hacienda programs like free bus passes where applicable - and a certificate touting your business as a "Best Workplaces for Commuters" will be on its way in no time.
A certificate to hang on the wall is a nice benefit but earning status as a Best Workplace means much more. "Studies show employers that offer commuter benefits improve employee recruiting and retention, increase employee job satisfaction, and save money on parking and federal taxes," says BWC program manager Julie Bond.
"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.
To find out more about Hacienda's award-winning transportation program, access www.hacienda.org and, under "Amenities" in the main menu, go to "Employees/Residents" and "Commute Solutions" under the drop-down menus. For details about BWC, visit www.bestworkplaces.org .
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