Reliable transportation is at the top of the list for many businesses when you ask what challenges they and their employees face on a daily basis. To provide employers options, the Thurston County Chamber and Intercity Transit’s Commuter Services Program have partnered to make it easier for Chamber members to access vanpools for their employees.
“Transportation is a huge issue for some businesses and their ability to retain employees,“ says Chamber President and CEO, David Schaffert. “It affects workers’ ability to get to work on time and to keep their commute costs down. Our collaboration with Intercity Transit will raise awareness of the many benefits of vanpooling with our members. ”
The partnership began when Intercity Transit received an innovators grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). “We’ve mostly been telling larger employers who fall under commute trip reduction laws about vanpooling, “says Intercity Transit Vanpool Manager, Carolyn Newsome. “This grant allows us to reach out to smaller employers who may not know what the benefits of vanpooling are to them and their employees.”
“Traffic congestion on I-5 is an employment barrier and has the potential of making our community an island,” says Schaffert. “We want to help our members overcome transportation barriers. Working with Intercity Transit’s vanpool program is a great option for many and we hope businesses will look into the benefits of vanpooling.”
The benefits of vanpooling to businesses and their employees are many.
Employees save money on gas and reduce wear-and-tear on their personal vehicles. In fact, the average vanpool rider saves around $5,000 a year. Vanpooling also reduces stress by allowing riders to read, listen to music, chat or sleep. Vanpooling also aids in helping get workers to work on time, a benefit to all. Employers report that offering vanpooling as an option to their workers helps with recruitment, retention and parking issues.
The Chamber will work with Intercity Transit through June 2019 under the WSDOT grant. Businesses interested in meeting with an Intercity Transit Vanpool Coordinator to see how easy it is to get vanpools started at your workplace should call 360-786-8800 or 1-866-330-7033.