According to census data, an overwhelming majority of Americans (76.3 percent) still drive to work alone. That means there’s nearly 115 million vehicles on the road. Only 9 percent of workers carpool and when they do, it is usually just with one other person. Just 5 percent use public transportation, while an even smaller number walk or bike (just 3.3 percent).
Reducing the number of cars on the road benefits everyone. With fewer cars, community members enjoy less traffic and cleaner air. Commuters benefit, too. Those who walk or bike have better health, and healthier workers are more productive. And there are monetary benefits, including reduced costs for parking and gasoline. Help your community prosper by encouraging alternative modes of transportation. As a bonus, we include branded promotional gift ideas to support your efforts.
Alternative modes of transportation
- Public transportation: Encourage workers to opt for the bus, train or subway where available. Using public transportation means they don’t have to look for onsite parking or pay for gas. It also allows them to work while traveling. Make it easy for employees to access information by providing handouts or signs with bus or rail numbers, routes, hours of operation, costs and a way to get in touch with customer service. Promote the benefits of public transit both internally and to other local employers. To really encourage them, offer an incentive. For instance, anyone who buys a transit pass gets a branded promotional gift that is ideal for commuters, like a tech accessory case or set of ear buds.
- Active transportation: Walking or biking to work is efficient—there’s no time wasted sitting in traffic. Commuters also get in a workout while traveling to work. Walking and biking provide cardiovascular activity that can aid in weight loss and muscle development as well as lowering blood pressure, stress, and the risk of heart attack and Type II Diabetes. And it helps their wallets. It costs nothing to walk. If bike sharing is available in your community, the fee is sometimes less than other forms of public transportation. Promote walking and biking by holding a fitness challenge where staff is encouraged to walk or bike to work daily. For those who live too far away, modify the challenge by encouraging walking or biking during the lunch hour or while running errands. Enter all who complete the challenge into a drawing for a laptop backpack or activity tracker. To promote walking and biking in the community, work with your local chamber of commerce to help spread the word. Imprint your message on a bike reflector or sport bottle that can be handed out to those new to the community.
- Sharing transportation: Carpooling, ride sharing with apps like Lyft® or Uber, ® and park-and-ride programs are efficient alternative modes of transportation. In fact, one study says that ride share apps alone can reduce the number of vehicles on the road three-fold without impacting travel time. Promote ride sharing and carpooling in your agency as well as throughout the community. Internally, take a poll to find out what employees would like to carpool. Those who are interested can be connected with others on their route. Encourage everyone to give it a try by raffling off a useful tech giveaway for participation. A logo’d power bank makes a great choice. If you have a local park-and-ride, get the word out by including information in your next public mailing or email blast.
Alternative modes of transportation are good for everyone in the community—including businesses. Promote these alternative ways to get around, and don’t forget to provide some branded promotional gifts to those who give it a try.