CEO-led bike rides at lunch, “walker” benefits, Capital Bikeshare Memberships, $125 to use each month on commuting by transit…these may sound like programs a large corporation or a business with plenty of resources might provide, however, these employee transportation initiatives are all offered by nonprofit organizations located here in Arlington!
ATP works with a variety of employers in the county that range in size and industry, from large government contractors to small, independent daycare facilities, and we understand that it can take time and money to implement and manage a commuter benefits program for employees. However, we’ve found that many of the nonprofits in Arlington have gone above and beyond to make commuting easier for employees while encouraging a healthy and socially engaged culture throughout the organization.
ATP has worked with over 80 nonprofit employers in Arlington County, assisting them in setting up transit benefits, bike and walk programs, as well as providing ideas for health initiatives and wellness campaigns. Organizations like PBS, The Nature Conservancy, International Relief and Development, Rare, and Conservation International are continually looking at new ways to encourage healthy lifestyles through sustainable transportation programs, which can have an impact on their bottom line as well as the organization’s culture and image.
Many of these organizations have found that employees are happier and more productive when offering these types of programs, and are also aware of the larger impact they have in reducing congestion and vehicle emissions in the region. In addition, when budgets are tight, it may be difficult for non-profits to offer raises to employees, so they instead look at offering low-cost fringe benefits such as Capital Bikeshare memberships or an increase in their transit benefit amount. As stated by the PBS’s Benefits Manager, “PBS' offices are located in an area with very busy roads, so we don’t want to add to the congestion…ATP regularly participates in health events, providing our employees with safety information, maps and other information about biking in Arlington…I can't thank ATP enough for helping PBS staff get to work without getting into their cars.”
Nonprofits are obviously not the only ones doing great things for their employees – many for-profit businesses in Arlington (some with limited resources as well!) understand the positive impact a commuter benefits program can have on their bottom line, while also improving recruiting, retention, and employee satisfaction. Many of the tools and strategies that ATP can assist with are easy to implement and have little or no cost. Consider your company’s current benefits and wellness program – is there something more that you can offer to employees?
PBS Office Photo Source: Flickr