Going “green” is not just good for the environment– it’s also great for business. Now more than ever, consumers and employees seek out environmentally friendly companies and products. What’s more, businesses are figuring out that going green produces substantial cost savings on day-to-day operations.

One practical way businesses can go green is to urge employees to utilize company offered or sponsored transportation and shared rides to obtain to and from work. Such works not only aid the environment, but also strengthen company recruitment and retention.

A 2011 survey facilitated by Brighter Planet found that 40 percent of responding companies support energy-efficient commuting options.2 In a 2008 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, the promotion of group transportation, walking, and biking to work was seen by employees and human resource professionals, respectively, as the 6th and 7th most important “green practice” an employer could implement.3 The survey’s findings also signified that environmental sustainability initiatives promoted a strong public image for the company and improved the likelihood that employees will remain at the company.

Green Strategies in Action

Apple Inc. has supported commuter solution for more than 10 years. In 2007, the company implemented a shuttle service for its employees to transport workers between strategic points in the Bay Area and the Cupertino, CA campus. The shuttle service includes 12 stops in the city of San Francisco and 14 additional stops at points around the Bay Area including: Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Oakland, Pleasanton, Fremont and Gilroy. Each of the buses provides a limited number of power connectors and wireless internet connectivity.

Google offers about 170 bus runs daily across the San Francisco Bay Area, to and from its Mountain View and San Bruno California campuses. The company ferries over 1,500 employees to and from Google daily– nearly one-fourth of its local personnel– aboard 50 shuttle buses outfitted with leather seats and wireless Internet access. Bicycles are enabled on exterior racks, or in the baggage bins of the larger buses. There are also dedicated shuttles for those who like to bring their dog to work. Riders can sign up to receive alerts on their computers and cell phones when buses run late. The shuttles run on biodiesel and are free. Most shuttles can carry up to 37 passengers each with others carrying up to 52 passengers, running trips every day to some 45 pickup and drop-off locations in more than a dozen cities, crisscrossing six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and logging some 4,800 miles a day.

The system’s roads cover in excess of 230 miles of freeways. Morning service starts on some routes as early as 5:05 a.m. The last pickup is at 10:40 a.m. Evening service runs from 3:40 p.m. to 10:05 p.m. During peak times, pickups can be as constant as every 5 minutes. A team of transportation specialists at company headquarters monitors regional traffic patterns, maps out the residences of new hires and plots new routes to maintain ever-surging demand. Google also offers a parking subsidy for employees who choose to drive and park onsite.

Microsoft has provided employee transportation benefits for over 10 years.

Microsoft implemented the Connector program in September 2007. Currently, 48 Connector buses provide transportation to and from work for over 3,000 riders each day. The coaches are equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets and have become very popular among the employee base. Much so, that the program has grown in size numerous times and routes are often completely booked.

What Your Company Can Do Here are some practices your company can require to recommend green transportation: – Calculate the environmental benefits (e.g., gas savings, reduced emissions) gained when employees commute using alternatives to single occupancy vehicles and disseminate those figures within and outside the company – Adopt environmental sustainability mission statements and “group transportation first” incentive programs – Promote making use of transportation solutions through employee communication channels – Talk with a transportation company and discuss the cost of building a company owned transportation solution like a public transportation feeder or campus shuttle.
– Recommend other shared rides like carpools and vanpools, and motorcoach solutions.
– Join a Guaranteed Ride Home program for public transit users – Assist bike riders and walkers – Have company leadership use (and publicize their use) of shared ride options By supporting and promoting employee utilization of group transportation and other ridesharing alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles, your company can position itself at the forefront of national efforts to support environmental sustainability, reduce dependence on foreign oil, reduce traffic jam, and improve the country’s carbon blueprint.

For support in planing a group transportation solution get in touch with us today and let our team help you establish a self-sufficient solution for your company.