Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Program
- What is Best Workplaces for Commuters?
- How does an organization benefit from participating?
- Why is NCTR promoting commuter benefits?
- Is Best Workplaces for Commuters a voluntary program?
- How does an employer qualify for Best Workplaces for Commuters?
- How does an employer apply?
- Who’s participating?
Q: What is Best Workplaces for Commuters?
A: Best Workplaces for Commuters is a public-private partnership that is dramatically changing the way Americans get to and from work. By qualifying, employers can improve their bottom line while bettering the quality of life for commuters and the communities in which they live.
Q: How does an organization benefit from participating?
A: Studies show employers that offer commuter benefits improve employee recruiting and retention, increase employee job satisfaction, and save money on parking and federal taxes. A participating employer also earns the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” designation – a mark of excellence for commuter and environmental friendliness. Through the Best Workplaces for Commuters list, the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) provides national recognition for participating employers. In addition, NCTR provides these employers with technical assistance on implementing commuter benefits, forums for exchanging ideas, and access to information about emerging trends and opportunities in commuter benefits.
Q: Why is NCTR promoting commuter benefits?
A: Commuting to and from work is a primary cause of increased traffic congestion and air quality problems in many areas across the United States. Reducing the number of cars commuting during rush hour can reduce traffic and improve air quality. In fact, if half of all employees worked for Best Workplaces for Commuters, 15 million cars would be removed from the road daily.
Q: Is Best Workplaces for Commuters a voluntary program?
A: Yes. Employers elect to participate and can leave the program at any time.
Q: How does an employer qualify for Best Workplaces for Commuters?
A: Because the commuting experience varies geographically, the program offers a wide array of options to meet the particular commuting needs of individual employers. To qualify, an employer must offer one primary benefit, such as employer-paid tax-free transit or vanpool passes, teleworking, or parking cash-out (enabling workers to trade free parking for its cash equivalent). Most employers must also offer three secondary benefits, choosing from options such as shuttles to and from transit stations (provided directly by the employer or contracted through a service), ridesharing or carpool matching, preferred or reduced-cost parking for carpools and vanpools, and compressed work schedules. Finally, Best Workplaces for Commuters offer access to an Emergency Ride Home, which provides participants with a ride at little or no cost if they need emergency transport home due to special circumstances.
Q: How does an employer apply?
A: It’s simple to sign up—you can complete the application and send it to us. We have developed several options for membership including a professional development package.