Ridesharing for Enterprises
Shifting commuter behavior toward happier employees and less traffic.
Beyond inefficiency and negative environmental impacts, there are several other significant problems that arise when commuters overuse single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) as their primary mode of commuting. Businesses with a lot of SOV commuters tend to struggle with overcrowded parking lots and high demand for additional parking. This drives up costs, forcing businesses to pay more to lease or build new parking facilities while shouldering inflated maintenance and repair bills. Ridesharing programs for enterprises can be a key part of a strategy to manage parking demand.
SOV commuting is also a disconnected and alienating way to get to work. Many people have anecdotes about how they didn’t even realize that longtime coworkers were also their neighbors because both parties were so locked into their solo driving habits. Research has linked SOV commuting with higher levels of stress, lower levels of professional and overall life satisfaction, and decreased workplace productivity.
Ridesharing offers enterprises dynamic solutions to these issues, all while fostering a more collegial and cooperative work environment.
Ridesharing solves enterprise problems caused by SOV commuting
Here’s a look at how ridesharing helps enterprises address these concerns, beginning with overcrowded parking lots and increased parking demand:
- Ridesharing programs reduce the number of vehicles competing for limited parking space.
- In addition to helping relieve local traffic congestion, fewer vehicles means less wear and tear on parking facilities, which can in turn reduce maintenance and repair costs.
- Parking facilities can be strategically organized to draw more attention to rideshare programs, thus increasing participation rates and amplifying these benefits.
Ridesharing can also support increased employee job satisfaction and overall wellness:
- Team members form social and professional connections they might not otherwise have made by sharing rides to work with fellow employees.
- The communal nature of ridesharing reduces feelings of alienation and disconnectedness.
- Ridesharing reduces the stress associated with commuting, giving passengers more time to read, relax, catch up on messages, or chat.
- Studies have linked lower levels of commute-related stress with higher productivity.
Carpools deliver all these benefits while helping fight congestion on local roads and highways. They are also a favored strategy for reducing the corporate greenhouse gas emissions and pollution associated with SOV commuting while preserving all the advantages of traveling in private vehicles.
How ridesharing programs work for enterprises
At the most basic level, ridesharing programs for enterprises work by matching commuters with similar work schedules who live in the same area, allowing them to communicate with each other and arrange carpooling schedules. In most cases, participants will take turns driving so that one person doesn’t have to shoulder a disproportionate amount of fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses.
Ridematching software offers the easiest and most efficient way for commuters interested in carpooling to connect with one another. Such software tools can generate matches automatically based on data regarding commuter location, and dates and times of travel. Participants can then contact each other, either through the management platform or independently, to work out schedules and the sharing of driving duties.
Ridematching software offers the easiest way for commuters to connect
Increasing carpool participation rates is one of the most common challenges businesses face. Creating and launching a program is a solid, positive step, but it won’t have much effect unless people know about it and are excited about taking part. Awareness and engagement are two key ways businesses can get more people on board and reduce the number of solo commutes.
These strategies and insights can help your promotional campaigns generate far-reaching, positive responses and high levels of awareness:
- Commuter surveys. An essential first step, commuter surveys help you glean meaningful insights into commuter behaviors and craft targeted, high-impact messages.
- Target-specific promotional campaigns. Email is a great tool for promoting your program, but in a large company, generalized blanket messaging can easily get lost. Instead, target commuters who are the most likely to use rideshare programs. Focus on those who already drive to work, but have expressed an interest in giving ridesharing a try. Again, commuter surveys are your best friend when it comes to generating these insights.
- Appoint a rideshare representative. Employees are also more likely to overlook messages and promotional campaigns if the messages are coming from someone they don’t know or have little daily contact with. Instead, try getting each department or team to appoint a rideshare representative or “super commuter” to serve as the go-to person for questions or support. This makes the entire campaign seem more immediate and personal, which is particularly important for larger businesses.
Many commuters are firmly entrenched in their current transportation behaviors, and long-standing habits are notoriously difficult to change. A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to addressing these obstacles. Here, your goal is to build engagement programs that encourage a greater number of people to try carpooling as an alternative to solo driving. Chances are good that a significant percentage of those who give carpooling a serious try will stick with it long-term, incorporating it in their commuting routines more often.
Common examples of such programs include:
- Incentive programs
- Challenge programs
- Parking cash-out programs
Each of these approaches has its own unique set of benefits, so let’s break them down one by one:
Incentive programs reward commuters who reach specific ridesharing targets or log a certain number of carpool trips. They can be configured just about any way you want: offer prizes or cash bonuses to those who make carpooling a regular part of their commuting routine, or offer preferred parking spots to vehicles used in carpooling programs. The preferred parking strategy helps raise awareness for the initiative, as people will take notice when your company designates prime parking spots for rideshare vehicles. Also, chances are you’ll find that the savings you’ll generate through reduced parking demand will be more than enough to finance prize or cash bonus programs.
Challenge programs tap into people’s love for good-natured, friendly competition. Individuals, teams, or various company departments can all compete to see who can log the most rideshare commutes, or your business can challenge rivals or competitors to raise the stakes. As with incentive programs, prizes can be offered to those who lead the standings at the end of the challenge. You can get people to stick with ridesharing even after the challenge program ends by using commuter challenges as a lead-in to an ongoing incentive program, which can kick in when the challenge is over.
Parking cash-out programs appeal to a different but more immediate and universal tendency. Few things get people as interested in trying alternative modes of commuting as immediate financial rewards for doing so, and that’s exactly what parking cash-out programs offer.
Here’s how parking cash-out programs work:
Employees are offered the choice to keep their current parking privileges, or accept monthly or quarterly cash pay-outs in exchange for partially or fully rescinding their parking spots. It’s cost-neutral for businesses, as the payment amounts can be configured to equal the amount of money it costs to provide one employee with monthly parking. The company will save that money, since the employee will no longer be using their parking spot. More often than not, employees will look at how the monthly or quarterly boost benefits their bottom line, and will happily give up their parking spots and adopt alternatives. It’s a classic win-win situation.
Ridesharing for Enterprises: common organization and management problems
While they are exciting and rewarding, ridesharing programs can be a bit challenging to create, organize, and manage. Some of the most commonly encountered difficulties include:
- Keeping track of who lives where
- Keeping track of who is available to drive and on which days
- Balancing the varying work schedules of all the prospective participants
- Tracking progress toward incentives
- Managing carpool commuting logs and standings during challenge programs
It’s a great idea to build flexible programs that support the occasional use of carpooling as an alternative to solo driving, or partial rather than complete participation in things like parking cash-out programs. This approach tends to increase participation rates, since people are often reluctant to make a total commitment to ridesharing, especially if they have limited experience with it.
While flexibility and partial participation are great for commuters, this can create further hassles for program administrators:
- Who has elected to keep their full parking privileges?
- Who chose partial parking privileges?
- Who gave up their parking privileges altogether?
- For those with partial parking privileges: how many days per month are they permitted to park? How can this be tracked?
Fortunately, RideAmigos has developed an all-in-one solution that offers comprehensive support for ridesharing programs for enterprises and employers.
RideAmigos is an all-in-one ridesharing hub for enterprises
RideAmigos has built one of the world’s most advanced and most complete transportation demand management software platforms. It delivers a long list of practical tools and powerful features that make it easy to shift commuter behavior, generate insights through in-depth reporting, and create robust, dynamic ridesharing communities that are a breeze for commuters to use and a great ally to program administrators.
Here’s just a taste of what the RideAmigos software platform can help you do:
- Connect carpoolers based on their work schedules, where they live, and a wide range of other criteria
- Create and distribute commuter surveys
- Generate data-driven insights based on survey responses
- Manage incentive programs and challenge programs
- Track participant progress toward incentives and rewards
- Log commutes made with alternative modes of transportation to keep tabs on who’s done what, and when
- Track challenge program standings, both in terms of the number of commutes logged and the number of miles traveled
- Support efficient communication between users
- …and much, much more!
We’d love to show you the way to a popular, successful rideshare program for your enterprise that generates high participation rates and makes a meaningful difference in your company and in your community. Contact us to get started today!
RideAmigos is a leading innovator in enterprise, university, and public sector transportation demand management. We provide organizations with cutting-edge tools to help people make smarter transportation choices and skip the solo drive. Contact us today, and join the movement to transform transportation through technology.