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What are Your Commute Benefits?


Vanpool Pic RESIZED

This month we’re focusing on commute options for getting to and from work. Earlier in the month we talked about how Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction law was yielding great results, with Seattleites taking transit in record numbers. This week we thought we’d tell you a little more about the types of benefits employers offer to help make your commute easier and cheaper. With so many different ways to get to work, there are a lot of options. So, what are some of the things that employers are doing? Read on.

ORCA Cards
Many employers pay part or the full cost of an ORCA card, making it more convenient to take transit. A monthly pass has a value of over $1000 a year, a pretty big benefit for you.

Bike Rooms
Employers are building or retrofitting existing space to store bikes, fix a flat, and change for work. Many bike rooms come equipped with tools and repair stands to make your commute as easy as possible.

Bike Fleets
Did you know your company may have its own bike fleet.  Employers are investing in bikes and helmets for off-site meetings or quick trips across town.

Carsharing  Memberships                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your company may pay for your membership to Zipcar or car2go. Check and see if they have a promotional code, sign up, and try out the cars for the day or for a quick trip across town.

Cheap Parking. But only if you carpool or vanpool!
Many garages offer great parking discounts to employees who car or vanpool together. Sharing your trip can save you more than 50% on gas and parking costs. Check out to see if there’s someone near you looking for a commute partner.

Commute Counselling!
Employers are bringing in experts from places like Commute Seattle to help you find the quickest route to work, learn to commute by bike, or try out any of the great new apps to make your commute easier – OneBusAway, CycleTacks, Ridescout, TaxiMagic, etc. Contact Mark Melnyk at SDOT’s Commute Options program if you’d like more information on these types of services.

Ask your employer what commute benefits they offer – things may have changed since you first started.  And the next time you’re thinking about a new job, consider how commute benefits can add up. Seattle Magazine’s February 2014 article on the fastest growing employers  in the region also offers a good summary of which companies offer commute benefits.