Can employers play a role in the commuting habits of their employees?
Yes. There are many transportation programs that employers can offer or promote to staff. There is no one-size-fits-all program. Companies should consider the options that best suit their employees' needs based on location, shift schedule, and the availability of modes (transit, rideshare, cycling, and more).
What advantages does a company have for offering transportation programs?
Offering a transportation program is an inexpensive investment that pays with numerous benefits.
Minimize payroll taxes - Employers who offer commuter benefits will save money on payroll taxes
Reflects company and employee values - Companies with sustainability in their business plans can empower employees to reduce emissions in their daily lives
Improves employee productivity - Employees who choose alternate forms of transportation to driving alone often arrive at work with less stress and ready to tackle the day
Reduce parking needs - Decreasing the number of employees who drive alone to work will alleviate the demand for expanding parking
Reduces health care claims - Employees who engage in active forms of transportation may improve health outcomes and thus decrease health insurance claims
Attract and retain employees - Build a reputation as a worker- and environmentally- friendly company. Transportation programs reduce the costs involved to get to and from work.
Does an employer have to implement all the options to have an employer-based commuter program?
Employers should implement the options that best suit their organization. Additionally, this website provides suggestions on building a commuter program. Different ideas will appeal to different employees taking into consideration their employees, work shifts, and access to computers.
What commuting options should an employer consider offering?
- Online carpool and bike buddy matching with Wisconsin RIDESHARE - The software provides commuters with potential matches with immediate contact using email. Bike buddies can be matched together by varying experience to offer mentoring or companionship.
- All that's needed to try it for yourself is entering your commute information. If interested, you can register and reach out to matches now.
- Registration and Welcome pages can be personalized with a company logo and business information.
- Emergency rides - Commuters say their number one deterrent to other modes of transportation is needing immediate transportation. Reinforce your commitment to a commuter program by assuring your employees that in an emergency, or unplanned event, that they will get the ride they need. RIDESHARE staff is available to help you develop a program that is swift and fair.
- Promote bicycle or pedestrian commuting, by providing bicycle parking, with racks or, better yet, lockers, and showers for active commuters
- Transit options - Many local transit companies offer discounted rates to regular riders. Some provide employer participation programs that are tax deductible as an employee benefit business expense.
- Pre-tax incentives - Federal tax provisions allow employers to contribute toward the commuting and parking costs of their employees.
- Flexible work options - Options like telecommuting and adjustable work hours/days. Employees save on fuel costs by teleworking. Adjustable work times offer employees non-congested commuting times contributing to cleaner air. Employers save on parking infrastructure and maintenance.
- Parking cash-out - This benefit pays employees to NOT park in the company lot. This saves parking facility spaces and maintenance.
How does the Wisconsin Department of Transportation support employers with transportation programs?
The Wisconsin RIDESHARE Coordinator is available to employers across Wisconsin to answer questions, suggest resources, and make connections with potential partners in your area.
Contact Wisconsin RIDESHARE.
RIDESHARE is a free service provided by the State of Wisconsin to connect commuters with a carpool or Bike Buddy. For employers who wish to make carpool or Bike Buddy matches a key component of their transportation program, ask about a customized RIDESHARE website for your business. Customization options include a unique URL that displays your company logo and messaging.
For employers who promote the use of the Wisconsin RIDESHARE program, the RIDESHARE Coordinator can provide a report of the accumulated environmental savings that employees have generated by using alternative commuting modes.
Employers who enroll in the Emergency Ride Reimbursement Program (ERRP) are eligible for partial reimbursement of the cost of a ride for employees in an emergency. See the
Employer Toolkit for more information about ERRP.
Can I try out the program myself to see how it works?
Yes, visit www.RIDESHAREetc.org and search your commute and others to see what matches exist for your area. If interested you can register yourself and reach out to matches or reach out to us at
RIDESHARE@dot.wi.gov to take the next steps of getting an employer specific RIDESHARE page, free of charge.