There are a couple of problems that sometimes plague employees preventing them from getting to work. For some, it is a lack of personal transportation. For others, it is a matter of overcrowded parking spaces. More employers today are seeing the impact that this has on their productivity levels as well as on the environment itself and are doing something to help out by offering transportation reimbursement programs.
While employer-sponsored transportation programs have been gaining ground in recent years, they have actually been around for quite a while with the first program appearing in 1920s in Manhattan, N.Y. It wasn’t until the 1970s that there was a boom in the incentive program, brought about by the energy crisis that was taking place at that time. The supply of oil dropped significantly, and, as a result, gas prices shot up along with other energy constraints throughout most of that period.
Although we no longer have a current energy crisis, there are other concerns that factor into play today, primarily environmental concerns. Cities are becoming more congested as our country’s population continues to grow and various forms of pollution are becoming more prevalent, but that is not all. A growing population dependent on private transportation means fewer parking spaces are available. Another thing to consider is the ever fluctuating economy and the need to maintain a budget.
With all of these concerns, it’s little wonder that employer-based transportation programs continue to grow. One of the benefits is reimbursement for public transit or carpooling expenses for employees taking part in the program. For the employer, this equals to a higher productivity level, fewer sick days are taken due to transportation reasons and more parking spaces are opened for patients and customers.
As for the employees, these transportation reimbursement programs mean the ability to save more of their hard-earned money, which ultimately improves on anyone’s budget. These savings can be passed down in a couple of different ways, such as transit pass subsidies, vanpool provisions, commute alternative subsidies and transportation allowances. All of these depend on how each employer’s program is designed.
Some of these incentives double as a disincentive as well. The transportation allowances are a great example of that. Typically, these work by the employer charging a fee for parking spaces and then providing an ‘allowance’ to the employees who can then either use the allowance to purchase the parking space, or elect to use the lower-cost of carpooling or public transit, in which case the allowance then become more like a raise.
Above Dental understands the concerns that overcrowding poses to the environment. We also understand concerns that group transportation may additionally pose to the individual employee. Children have to be picked up from daycare, emergencies can happen, and sometimes overtime hours are needed. While all of these things happen, carpooling and public transit can still be a very beneficial alternative to private transportation. However, many cities offer guaranteed ride homes if workers participate in these programs. That’s why Above Dental is happy to answer any questions that you may have about your transportation concerns.