Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) is pleased to announce Microgrid Energy and Washington University as the winners of the 2014 Best Workplaces for Commuters competition. These employers were recognized for their outstanding commuter benefits at CMT’s 30th Annual Meeting, held last week at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis, and will receive a one-year membership in the National Best Workplaces for Commuters Program.
The Best Workplaces for Commuters program is a national program sponsored by the National Center for Transit Research, the Center for Urban Transportation Research and the University of South Florida.The innovative membership program provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits, such as free or low cost bus passes and vanpool fares and strong telework programs. Thanks to the receipt of a grant from the American Public Transit Association (APTA), Citizens for Modern Transit was able to roll out a local version of the Best Workplaces for Commuters program earlier this year.
Microgrid Solar was the local employer with the highest percentage of employee participation in commuter choice options among companies and organizations in the under 100 employees category. The Midwest’s leading solar installer beat competitors in the small business category by a landslide with 100 percent employee participation in CMT’s Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides those who take transit, walk or bike to work with immediate access to either a cab ride or rental car in the case of an emergency, sickness or unscheduled overtime. Microgrid also has a significant number of employees who take advantage of its commuter choice options, which include subsidized transit passes, flextime hours, telecommute hours, and bike parking.
In the employer category with 101 employees, Washington University led the way. This prestigious academic institution offers faculty and staff fully subsidized transit passes and access to 20 CarShare vehicles, as well as the ability for walking and biking commuters to utilize onsite employee shower facilities. Washington University provides the largest subsidy program in the region and has an employee dedicated to helping faculty and staff use alternative commuter choices rather than driving. Currently, 80 percent of their workforce utilizes their transit subsidy program, making it a clear leader in the Best Workplaces for Commuters program.
Runners up in the 2014 Best Workplaces for Commuters competition included Christner, Sigma-Aldrich, and Gateway Greening.
Any local company interested in enrolling in the next Best Workplaces for Commuters competition can visit Citizens for Modern Transit’s website at www.cmt-stl.org to register and/or access the Commuter Choice Toolkit. In order to qualify, companies are required to offer at least one of the following benefits:
- At least $30 per month towards a transit pass or vanpool pass (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30) to each employee who commutes using transit or a vanpool
- At least 30 percent of employees participating in a pre-tax purchase of a monthly transit pass or vanpool pass of at least $30 per month (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30)
- A significant telework program that reduces the number of commuting trips employees make by at least 6 percent
- A significant compressed work week program that reduces the number of commuting trips employees make by at least 6 percent
- At least $30 per month (in lieu of providing a parking spot) to each employee who leaves their car at home and commutes another way.
- An equivalent benefit that provides similar value to employees, reduces traffic and air pollution, and is agreed to by Best Workplaces for Commuters
- Three supporting benefits, such as carpool matching, shuttles and onsite amenities (e.g., cafeteria, dry cleaners). Companies with less than 20 employees only have to provide one supporting benefit.
Businesses and organizations must also work towards a goal of having 14 percent or more employees NOT driving to work alone. Upon registering for CMT’s Best Workplaces for Commuters program, businesses and organizations are automatically enrolled CMT’s Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
For more information about Citizens for Modern Transit or the Best Workplaces for Commuters, visit www.cmt-stl.org or call (314) 231-7272. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @cmt_stl.