Best Commuter Business
The Best Commuter Business (BCB) program is a leadership program for Pierce County employers who encourage their employees to use smart transportation options.
Smart transportation options include all non-drive alone trips, featuring:
- Riding a bike,
- Taking the bus, light rail, ferry (on bike/foot), or train,
- Riding in a vanpool/carpool, and
- Teleworking and working a compressed work week.
Every year, Pierce Trips will certify employers that offer outstanding commuter programs as a "Best Commuter Business."
This program is brought by Pierce Trips, a collaboration between Pierce Transit, Pierce County and the City of Tacoma. Pierce Trips focuses on promoting smart transportation option in the Pierce County region and represents the cities of DuPont, Fife, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup, Sumner, Tacoma, and University Place.
Best Commuter Business Introduction Kit:
Pierce Trips is launching this program in January 2019. From January 2019 through December 2019, Pierce Trips will gather information reported by Pierce County employers regarding their commute programs. The first round of Best Commuter Employers will be announced January 2020. The selected employers will be certified for the full year, January through December.
This certification program aims to (1) highlight leading businesses committed to sustainability, (2) promote the health of our communities, and (3) foster economic vitality.
FOR EMPLOYERS: Supporting employees to use different ways to get to work is a great way to attract and retain top talent, reduce employee parking demand and demonstrate environmental responsibility.
Strong commute programs are a benefit that businesses can use as a recruiting tool. Offering commute options often expands labor pools and reduces turnover as not everyone owns or relies on a car to commute.
A reduced demand for parking can lower your business’ costs for developing and maintaining parking or allow you to increase visitor parking.
Employers promoting commute options are praised for promoting equity, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supporting the local economy, and thinking of the employees.
Additionally, employers providing commute programs may be eligible for Business and Occupation tax breaks.
FOR EMPLOYEES: An employee’s commute can really affect the way they work.
Driving and limited parking at work can cause employees to arrive stressed, instead of ready for the day ahead. Taking transit, walking, biking, carpooling, or taking any other smart commute method, including teleworking, and compressed work weeks, can reduce stress from one’s commute. Employees taking smart commute options are more likely to be healthier (especially if they are walking and biking), arrive at work on time and be more productive. This results in happier employees who are more likely to enjoy their employment and brag to others about the wonderful place they work.
No, Pierce Trips wishes to partner with employers to help them be leaders in these efforts.
Toward the end of the year, Pierce Trips will evaluate and score each participating business based on three categories and recognize the top performing employers as the Best Commuter Businesses for the following year. Toward the end of the year, Pierce Trips will evaluate and score each employer based on three categories including Engagement, Performance and Programming and present a leadership certification to the top performing employers for the following year.
Please review the point distribution sheet below and compare the items listed against programs your employer offers.
The certification scoring process looks over actions taken, programs maintained, and performance from the last survey year. Here are a few things to consider for the upcoming year:
For management to consider:
• Offer incentives for not driving to work. Examples include:
- Preferred, free vanpool/carpool parking spots
- Discounted ORCA transit passes or subsidies
- Earned days off for staff who do not drive alone
- Secure, covered bicycle parking for staff
- On-site bicycle tune-up station
- Pay-per-use parking rates, instead of a flat monthly rate
• Offer teleworking, compressed work week schedules, flex schedules
• Fleet vehicles or bicycles for off-site meetings or errands
• Recognize top smart commuters
For Employee Transportation Coordinators (ETCs) to consider:
• Feel comfortable utilizing the Pierce Trips website and calendar to find resources and run reports with ease
• Encourage staff to form carpools and vanpools by running zip code reports and reaching out to individuals
• Host Pierce Trips and/or inter-office campaigns to encourage smart modes of transportation
• Invite Pierce Trips to your Benefits Fair/Transportation Fair/staff meetings
• Promote existing benefits and facilities
• Provide employee recognition
• Maintain the Commuter Information Center and post fresh marketing materials
• Attend a network, or training session related to commute trip reduction
• Distribute and collect baseline/measurement Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Program Employee Questionnaires (surveys) to achieve at least a 70% response rate
• Submit Quarterly Accomplishment and Annual Reports by the due date
If you would like assistance achieving a certification level, get in touch with Pierce Trips to brainstorm, create an action plan, or get trained!
First round of certified businesses will be announced January of 2020. There are three levels of certifications, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
• Employers certified as a "Best Commuter Business" will hold the title, and bragging rights, for the year they are announced.
• Certified employers will receive marketing materials to promote their BCB certification virtually (website text, banners, social media posts, etc.) and in-person (award, window decal, etc.)
• Certified employers should promote their certification to retain and recruit talent.
• Certified employers will be advertised in The News Tribune, on PierceTrips.com, Facebook and Twitter.
• Gold Certified businesses will receive recognition on the side of Pierce Transit busses.