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Private Companies Strive to Make Commuting Simpler for Workers

AUSTIN, TX – Traffic is something you can always count on. Like clockwork, every day the streets are packed with gridlock, congestion, and stop and go cars. This reality makes getting anywhere a frustrating slog.

Private companies realize this struggle. They know navigating crowded streets and highways can be stressful. As a result, they are now taking steps to provide commuting alternatives. This could ultimately benefit the average person too.

Central Texas Transportation Management Association, Movability, partners with employers across the region. They aid businesses in devising solutions like teleworking, flex hours, passes to services like Car2Go or B-Cycle and subsidized transit passes. They even help coordinate carpooling.

“More and more private employers are taking steps to provide their employees with commuter benefits, and for a variety of reasons,” Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel, executive director at Movability, offers. Furthermore, she states, “For many employers, the cost of parking is very high, and that’s an incentive to reduce the number of drive-alone cars coming into the office.”

Pfannensteil also notes that there’s a city-wide drive to get roughly 20 percent or more, or one in five commuters, to pivot their travel mode away from single person commute to alternative transportation methods. According to studies, traffic flows more efficiently in this model.

Companies Searching for Solutions

Movability works with many companies, almost 40 total. Tech company, Cirrus Logic, is among them. They moved to downtown in the late 1990s after leaving Silicon Valley. In 2012, the company researched transportation options for employees and settled on shuttle buses. Hence, they started their bus program later that year.

Shuttles are now available Monday through Friday. One bus travels from the north part of town. Another goes from the south. Finally, the third helps workers move around downtown. It also picks up employees who commute to the downtown MetroRail Station.

The services are now available to more than 800 employees. Bill Schnell, the company’s Public Relations Manager, said, “We found around 20 percent of our employees are getting to work on some form of alternative transportation.”

Cirrus Logic is 1 of 17 Austin businesses noted for its work in providing commuting alternatives for its employees. As a result, the company earned a spot on this year’s list for Best Workplaces for Commuters.

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