Promoting carpooling options for employees and providing incentives for those who carpool can save employers money and also help with recruitment and retention by providing a deeper and more inclusive benefits package. Carpoolers not only reduce congestion on the roads, but free up parking spaces in parking lots and garages. If you own or lease parking facilities for employees, this could save your company an average of $150 per space per month, and you could potentially save over $1,800 a year per space reduced.
Carpooling is an arrangement by a group of commuters to drive together in the same car to their place (or places) of business. Carpools usually consist of individuals who live near each other and are employees of the same company (or are employees of different companies located only a short distance apart) and have the same work hours.
Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road and in your company parking lot, and allows your employees to use the faster and less congested HOV lanes on I-66, I-95, and I-395 in Virginia, I-270 in Maryland, and the new Express Lanes on I-495.
What are the benefits of a carpool program?
Sharing the ride can save your employees money by lowering their gasoline bills, insurance costs, and parking expenses. Carpoolers can take advantage of special High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to reach their destinations faster, and they can choose to read, sleep, or chat when they're not behind the wheel.
According to a 2012 report from the American Automotive Association (AAA), to own and operate a mid-sized car averaging 15,000 miles a year costs $8,946. Sharing the cost with two other people by carpooling could save the owner up to $450 a month.
Advantages of carpooling:
- Facilitates use of HOV lanes for faster travel
- Employees have less stress traveling to work
- Financial savings for employees sharing commuting costs
- Reduces need for parking and therefore can reduce parking costs
- Employees who carpool show improved productivity, less tardiness, and lower absenteeism
How Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) can help:
ATP will provide ongoing assistance as you setup your carpool program through the following services:
- Recommend ridesharing programs and incentives
- Provide information on park-and-ride locations where employees can meet their carpool
- Plan and execute carpooling events at your location
How can I encourage participation?
There are numerous ways to get the word out and encourage participation in a carpooling program, including the following actions:
- Offer free or reduced-fee parking for carpools and vanpools (for employers who currently have fee-based employee parking).
- Charge a parking fee to discourage single-occupant vehicles (for employers who previously offered free parking).
- Provide preferential parking (closer to the building) for carpoolers
- Host a lunch time carpool formation party to let employees form or join carpools
- Provide information to employees on the Commuter Connections' Ridematching service and Guaranteed Ride Home program. Arlington Transportation Partners has brochures and posters available.
- Provide a commuting incentive program for those who carpool to work
Carpooling can also be encouraged through computerized matching of riders with the same needs, and through company involvement in ridesharing programs.
Commuter Connections has been helping commuters find carpools for over 20 years, making this one of the easier programs for your company to offer. The Commuter Assistance Program (CAP), through the Commuter Connections Ridematching Service, can match individual employees interested in carpooling at no cost, or help set up a ridematch program at your place of business.