Top 20 Best Workplaces for CommutersSM
from the FORTUNE 500 Companies
Every Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) employee and contractor in Austin is
eligible for commuter benefits. AMD fully subsidizes the cost of vanpools,
which are administered by Capital Metro; provides preferred parking spots;
and issues bus passes to all employees who use mass transit. Every employee
who does not drive to work alone (i.e., commutes by carpool, vanpool,
bus, etc.) is eligible for monthly prizes, such as gift cards to local
businesses. Carpool drivers also earn points toward gas cards.
Applied Materials is the global leader in nanomanufacturing technology
solutions for the electronics industry with a broad portfolio of innovative
equipment, service and software products. The company has worksites that
qualify for the Best Workplaces for Commuters designation in Santa Clara
and Sunnyvale, California. These sites provide employees with transit
subsidies, ridematching services, and showers and lockers for employees
who bike to work.
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Cisco Systems offers an array of commuter services to its employees,
including an intra-site shuttle and shuttles between campus and
transit stations, transit passes and subsidies, guaranteed ride home,
bike lockers and showers in every building, and promote commuting
options through its internal Web site and other organizational tools.
Cisco also participates in the IRS TEA-21 pre-tax payroll program
allowing employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for public transit. In
addition, Cisco recently announced their commitment to reducing carbon
emissions by 10 percent this year by reducing air travel. To reach this
goal, Cisco made a $20 million investment in the "Carbon to
Collaboration" initiative which will reduce the company's dependency
carbon-emission-producing travel by virtualizing people-to-people
interactions through collaboration technologies such as unified
communications. Cisco has also made a $15 million investment in the
"Connected Urban Development to Reduce Carbon Emissions" initiative,
where Cisco will, in partnership with several leading cities including
Amsterdam, Seoul and San Francisco, create urban communications
infrastructure that increases the efficiency of traffic flow, thus
enhancing how people experience life in and around cities. Cisco
believes that it is necessary to improve the flow of people and traffic
within cities to reduce carbon emissions from cars, trains, buses and
other forms of transportation. The company offers the majority of its
employees broadband Internet access at home, allowing workers to avoid
commutes during peak hours and to add flexibility to the traditional
work schedule. In addition, Cisco offers on-site amenities such as
cafes, ATMs, company stores, and fitness and child care centers to help
reduce the amount of travel required and lend convenience for
At El Paso Corporation’s Houston headquarters, nearly half of its
2,000 plus employees carpool, ride the bus, or vanpool to work. El Paso
has similar, company-supported commuter assistance programs in its other
major locations, including Colorado Springs and Birmingham.
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EMC, one of the largest employers in Massachusetts, operates and maintains
a shuttle system which provides approximately 2,000 rides a day to employees
traveling among EMC facilities in Massachusetts. EMC also uses these shuttles
to provide rides for its Guaranteed Ride Home Program. EMC also uses electric
cars in its carpool program and is actively pursuing adding more alternative
fuel vehicles (CNG, hybrid) to its shuttle fleet. EMC is also working
with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to improve public
transportation in non-urban areas.
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Google operates an extensive shuttle system throughout the San Francisco
Bay Area to help employees who do not live near transit avoid driving
to work. The shuttle system is free to all employees and runs along five
different routes. The shuttle buses are equipped with bike racks, allowing
employees who bike to complete their commutes to work via the shuttle.
All shuttles are also set up with wireless internet access, so employees
can work or use the internet while commuting. Google employees are also
permitted to take their dogs to work, and all dogs are welcome on the
IBM's corporate culture strongly supports telework. More than 32,000 IBM
employees participate in the company's work-from-home "e-commute"
program. Numerous locations also implement commuter assistance programs
that provide employees with guidance on using alternative modes of transportation
and Emergency Ride Home programs. Many locations also provide access to
onsite amenities such as cafeterias and credit unions.
With a universal vanpool and transit subsidy program ($30 per month) and
Emergency Ride Home services, Intel is a leader in commute-related benefits.
Intel's intranet contains a section for commuters, which is intended to
entertain as well as inform. Intel continues to weave flexibility into
its corporate culture. Last year, 40 percent of its employees teleworked,
while other staffers took advantage of flextime, compressed workweeks,
part-time hours, and job-shares. All major work sites offer employees
a number of great onsite amenities, such as fitness centers, locker rooms,
basketball and volleyball courts, dry cleaning, sundries, photo development,
and food court style cafes with menus that change daily.
Microsoft offers a comprehensive and extensive commute program, which
includes providing a FlexPass to all fulltime Microsoft employees in the
Seattle area free of charge. The pass is good for all rides on King County
Metro and Sound Transit services to Microsoft. Microsoft also provides
a $65 vanpool subsidy.
Through its "Traveling Responsibly? Accept the Challenge (TRAC)"
program, Nike organizes monthly drawings, offers annual transit passes
for $15, and is testing a Flexcar program for TRAC participants. Nike
provides all-day shuttle service between the nearest lightrail station,
its main campus, and several leased buildings, making lightrail a viable
option for employees. An on-call shuttle provides service for leased buildings
outside the regular shuttle route. Nike informs employees about commuter
benefits via a full-time employee transportation coordinator and a comprehensive
transportation Web site on its intranet.
Oracle's Bay Area campuses operate shuttle systems that run between transit
stations and the campuses during peak commuting hours. These worksites
also sell discounted transit passes at campus facilities. Additionally,
Oracle provides extensive onsite amenities such as cafes, pick-up and
delivery dry cleaning service, a fitness center, bike lockers, and postal
services. All qualifying Oracle sites also have active telework programs
and an extensive intranet site with links to all of Oracle commuter programs,
regional traffic reports, Emergency Ride Home information, and alternative
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QUALCOMM offers its employees a variety of commuter benefit options including
transit subsidies, a shuttle service to the local transit station that
allows employees to complete their non-SOV commute, numerous bicycle racks,
shower facilities, and nearly 200 bike lockers. In addition, QUALCOMM
was the first company outside of downtown San Diego to implement the Flexcar
car-sharing service and also operates a hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle
charging station onsite. To reduce mid-day trips that would normally require
a car, QUALCOMM’s campuses offer many onsite amenities such as a
medical clinic, mobile dental service, dry cleaning, 10 fitness centers,
four cafeterias, and outdoor recreation areas including a pool and tennis,
volleyball, and basketball courts.
Based in Houston, where the cost of a parking spot is approximately three
times that of a bus pass, Reliant saves money by providing employees with
commuting benefits. Reliant also maintains an intranet site that explains
employee commuter benefits, which are discussed during orientation.
Safeco has been committed to reducing drive alone commuting for over 30
years and has implemented subsidy programs and incentives to achieve desired
results. Safeco employees currently participate in more than 80 active
vanpools in locations across the country. The company also has high participation
rates in transit usage. Safeco hosts its own annual transportation promotional
events and participates in regional rideshare campaigns. Ride-matching
services and information about commuting programs are made available to
employees via an intranet site, and programs are reinforced through targeted
email broadcasts and postings.
Schering-Plough is a global science-based health care company with leading
prescription, consumer and animal health products. New to the list this
year, the company provides its employees throughout New Jersey with generous
transit subsidies that exceed the EPA’s National Standard of Excellence.
In addition, Schering-Plough provides carpoolers and vanpoolers with preferred
parking spots and offers a shuttle service to get employees from the train
station to their offices.
A large percentage of Sun Microsystems employees—nearly 15,000—participate
in Sun's iWork program, which enables employees to work from home, from
drop-in centers, or at different campuses throughout the country. Employees
at Sun's major campuses around the country also receive transit subsidies
and/or prepaid transit passes to encourage and facilitate the use of public
transit. In addition, Sun operates one of the largest employer operated
transit shuttle programs in the entire Bay Area, with six vehicles operating
seven different shuttle routes each workday. Sun also distributes information
about commuter benefits and other regional commute programs via email
and their SMART (Sun Microsystems Alternative Resources for Transportation)
internal commute program Web site. Sun's comprehensive Commute Benefit
program results in reduced commute trips being made by Sun employees,
less air pollution, and less commute stress and cost for Sun employees.
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Texas Instruments (TI) provides more than 10,000 employees in North Texas
with DART annual Gold Passes, enabling employees to ride DART Light Rail,
buses, and the Fort Worth TRE rail for free, anytime. TI also provides
subsidies to employees that vanpool, offers special parking for carpools,
and offers flexible telework opportunities. TI also provides a rideshare-matching
program that allows employees to identify co-workers that live in the
same vicinity that may be interested in carpooling or vanpooling. The
company also provides an on call special shuttle system available at TI
headquarters, free of charge, for employee transit between buildings during
the workday. This initiative eliminates driving expenses, maximizes productivity,
and reduces auto pollution by using a mass transit approach.
Wyeth encourages its employees to commute by vanpool and carpool by subsidizing
the cost of vanpools and by providing preferred parking spots to those
sharing the ride to work. Wyeth also provides bikers with showers and
bike lockers and helps match employees interested in starting new carpools.
The company continues to expand its commuter benefit program and now offers
vanpool subsidies to more than 4,000 employees at the company’s
Pearl River, New York worksite in addition to worksites in Collegeville
and Great Valley, Pennsylvania; Madison, New Jersey; Sanford, North Carolina;
and Andover and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Yahoo! has offered its employees commuter benefits since 2000, but in
mid-2005 the company expanded its commuter services dramatically. The
company added long distance, WiFi-ready commuter shuttles to transport
employees between offices in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara.
These coach vehicles are provided free of charge to employees. This new
shuttle system helped increase ridership by 165 percent in just 10 months.
In addition, Yahoo! enrolled in Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s
Eco Pass Program, offering all employees free rides on the transit system’s
bus and light rail lines. Yahoo! also added bicycle lockers to its Sunnyvale
site, increasing capacity by nearly 14 percent.
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