Do you have a Smart Commute – some perk or incentive that makes your commute a bit easier to handle? Maybe you telework one day a week, or get preferential parking because you are part of a vanpool.

There are many strategies to easing a bad commute, and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is focused on helping residents in the Prince William County area to put them to use!

In addition to its OmniRide and OmniLink bus services, PRTC offers Omni SmartCommute, a free service that helps employers in the Prince William County area to create, implement, and expand incentives that ideally will persuade employees to choose alternatives to driving alone. The end result: fewer vehicles on the road, more predictable commutes, reduced stress, and workers who save time and money!

Omni SmartCommute is fully funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and is available to help employers with:

Employee Commute Surveys – Omni SmartCommute can provide research that holds key insights into staff and their commuting behavior. The data can be used to determine employee interest in commuter benefit programs as well as which types of benefits and programs might be most beneficial to a company and its employees. Surveys can be conducted on paper or online in both English and Spanish.

Telework Programs – Creating a telework program allows staff to avoid the hassles of a daily commute. Telework programs are often highly valued by employees and numerous studies have shown that employees who participate in a telework program are more productive.

Emergency Preparedness – A snowstorm or natural disaster doesn’t mean that your business needs to shut down. Be prepared for an emergency, and develop a business continuity plan to keep your business open by helping employees with their commutes during a crisis. An established Telework Program is a key component to emergency preparedness.

Transit Subsidies – Employees who take public transportation or ride in vanpools are eligible to set aside up to $255 of their salary each month for their commuting costs. Employers can also provide up to $255 per month directly to employees as a tax free benefit. The SmartBenefits program administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (Metro) helps employers manage their employees’ transit benefits for free!

Carpool/Vanpool Formation – Let Omni SmartCommute help find colleagues interested in starting a carpool or vanpool. Omni SmartCommute can also tap into the ridesharing programs run by OmniMatch, Commuter Connections, and others to find commuters with similar origin and destination points looking to share rides to work.

Biking/Walking to Work – Become a bike-friendly workplace by providing staff with places to lock up their bikes and change for work. Biking is an affordable and a healthy way to get to work. Omni SmartCommute has tips and ideas for how to make businesses bike-friendly.

Alternative Work Schedules – Whether it’s allowing employees to work more hours over fewer days or letting them choose what time they arrive and depart each day, Alternative Work Schedules are a great way to improve a commute. Alternative Work Schedules keep people off the roads during rush hour and can help them achieve a better work/life balance.

Parking Management – Overflowing parking lots are easily controlled when staff uses transit, carpools, or works from home. Omni SmartCommute can help develop strategies for maximizing parking at your workplace by offering employee incentives to not drive alone.

By implementing some of these alternatives, employers can simultaneously improve the commuting experience for workers, attract and retain talented staff, and help to reduce congestion on area roadways. It’s a win-win all around!

PRTC is happy to talk with you or your employer anytime! Visit PRTCtransit.org, email us at info@omnismartcommute.org, or call (703) 580-6130.