Guaranteed Ride Home. The Metropolitan Council provides a free program offering up to $100 per year for emergency rides home for individuals who are biking, walking, sharing a ride, or using transit the majority of the time to get to work. Make employees and tenants aware of this program and make it easy for them to register. Learn more.
Car sharing. Car sharing makes cars available for errands when someone uses biking, walking, carpooling or transit as their primary way of getting around and doesn’t have a car available to them. Individuals and organizations can sign up for memberships and pay only for the time and mileage they use the car. Learn more.
Offer a parking cash-out program. Offer cash incentive for employees and tenants who opt out of a parking program. In most cases, a cash incentive is provided in lieu of parking subsidies and can be applied to transit or biking costs. Some employers and building managers offer actual cash incentives for the employee or tenant to do with what they please.
Offer telework. Develop a policy for employees to work from home. Not only is this a very effective parking management tool, as employees do not need to drive to work at all on telework days, but employees report greater job satisfaction and productivity and telework programs are seen as a low- to no-cost benefit for employees. Learn more about teleworking.
Take advantage of tax breaks. The federal government allows for transit passes and parking to be purchased using pre-tax dollars for employees up to $130 per month. This is not only saving costs for employees, about 30 percent on the cost of transit passes or a parking contract, but also for the employer, who pays less in payroll taxes. There is also a program available for pre-tax dollars to be spent on bicycle commuting expenses.
The state of Minnesota also offers additional tax credits to employers who subsidize the cost of transit passes, up to 30 percent of the subsidy. Learn more.
Take advantage of grant funding opportunities. Currently, there are two different matching grant programs in the city of St. Paul to assist with installation of bike parking. The city of St. Paul offers matching funds for bicycle parking installed in the public right of way, and St. Paul Smart Trips offers funding for bicycle parking and amenities installed outside of the public right of way, such as parking ramps or indoor storage rooms. Both organizations work with Dero Bike Racks, a local bicycle parking manufacturer. Learn more.
Participate in regional events. The Twin Cities region offers several events to promote transportation options in the area. Most offer incentives for individuals and organizations to participate in trying an alternative to driving alone. Some of these events include:
- Switch my Trip (fall)
- Rideshare Month (October)
- Bike Week (early May)
- Commuter Choice Awards (November)
Host commuter fairs, presentations, or workshops. Provide employees and tenants with the information needed to use transit, bike, walk, or share a ride by hosting a commuter fair. These informational fairs can include several organizations who promote transportation options, such as HOURCAR, St. Paul Smart Trips, Metro Transit, bike shops, Central Corridor, and others. For specific topics, such as bicycle commuting or how to use the bus, schedule a presentation or a hands-on workshop for employees and tenants to participate in learning about these modes of transportation first hand.
Manage parking effectively. Parking can be at a premium in many areas of the city and employers must ensure that their employees can get to work. Treating all modes of transportation equally is one way to effectively manage parking. If you provide a parking subsidy, offer the same or better subsidy for transit or vanpooling, provide preferred parking spaces for those who carpool, or offer the option for employees who opt out of parking to take their subsidy in monthly, tax-free payments.