Coast past the gas!
Coastal Commuters promotes carpooling, mass transit, bicycling and walking in the greater Savannah area. These modes are economical alternatives to driving alone. You can use the Coastal Commuters online ride-matching system to find one or more carpool, bicycling, or walking partners. Log your carpool, transit, bike, or walk trips in the Commute Calendar within the ride-matching system to see not only how much money you are saving, compared to driving alone, but also how much you have reduced your emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
When using the ridematching system, please be patient if you do not find a match for your trip at first. As more people enter their trip descriptions in the system, your chance of finding a match will increase, so help us spread the word about the ride-matching system accessible here!
Coastal Commuters aims to increase your employees’ commute options. Staff for the Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO) is administrating the program, and we hope you will help us spread the word about the ride-matching system. Employers may choose to be listed as a "network" in the ride-matching system, at no cost. Our Decision Guide explains the reasons for having your own network. We hope that you will consider providing other incentives to encourage carpooling, bus usage, bicycling, or walking as options for your employees’ commutes. This can benefit you in a number of ways:
- Reduces the need to expand parking facilities or helps you convert existing employee spaces to customer spaces.
- Increases your labor pool and reduces employee absenteeism. By assisting in carpool formation, Coastal Commuters makes it easier for those potential employees and current employees who don’t own cars to reach the job site reliably, especially when their work site or home is outside the transit district, or if their work hours are outside of transit service hours.
- Reduces employees’ financial stress. The alternative transportation options promoted by Coastal Commuters can help your employees spend less of their disposable income on the cost of getting to and from work.
- Can reduce your federal taxes. Coastal Commuters encourages employers to take advantage of the Commuter Choice federal tax benefit program. See participation methods below.
- Enhances your business’ or organization’s public image and helps attract the top performers to your workplace.
How employers can participate:
- Include information about Coastal Commuters, including the link to the ride-matching system, in employee newsletters and/or on employee intranet. MPO staff will provide the information.
- Designate some of the most convenient parking spaces to carpoolers, as a reward for them.
- Establish an employer network within the Coastal Commuters ride-matching system. It's free and allows you the option of tracking emissions savings, tracking reductions in employee parking demand, setting up commuter contests, coordinating event-related transportation, and managing an Emergency Ride Home program for your employees.
- Allow employees’ costs for transit pass purchases to be deducted from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis. This is an option in the federal Commuter Choice tax benefit program, and it not only reduces the taxable income for the employee but also reduces your payroll tax.
- Subsidize employees’ transit passes, either partially or entirely. The cost can be deducted from your taxes, if you participate in the federal Commuter Choice tax benefit program.
- As of January 1, 2009, employers can choose to give their bicycle commuters a transportation fringe benefit by providing a tax-deductible subsidy for bike-related expenses (up to $20 per month). The website of Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer, who sponsored the bill, explains the new legislation. Employers may choose to devise methods for vouchers.
- Provide bicycle racks, if you don’t already.
- Provide shower/changing areas for commuters who walk or bicycle
- Stagger work shifts so that all employees are not arriving and departing at the same time, or allow “flex time.”
Interested employers can contact Coastal Commuters at 912-651-1443 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.