4 Ways You Can Make Commuter Benefits Easier to Use

September 29, 2020

Commuter benefits are increasingly becoming a required addition to employee benefits. And the benefits for your business are wide-ranging, including boosting retention/recruitment efforts by offering a comprehensive benefits package and demonstrating that your company is environmentally conscious, which is important to the modern consumer

Just like with any other benefit you offer employees, simplifying their use is key. Employees will be more likely to participate in commuter benefits if they clearly understand how they save money, how to tap into their funds, and how to use commuter-eligible transit and parking options. We’ve outlined four ways you can help make commuter benefits easier for your employees to use. 

Communicate commuter options

Commuter benefits let participants set aside dollars before they’re taxed to pay for their expenses related to commuting to and from work. These expenses can include mass transit, vanpooling and parking. 

Mass transit, which includes subways, buses, and light rail, remains a bedrock transportation mode. In 2019, Americans took nearly 10 billion trips on public transportation. For employees who are new to mass transit, juggling schedules and maps might be overwhelming at first. Consider publishing a transit schedule and maps in common areas so employees can easily see what options are available. If you’re in a major city, you could even provide common options from certain regions of the city that are built around the most common time employees arrive or depart work. 

Simplify savings with debit card

We live in a single-swipe society! Three-quarters of all purchases made in the United States are by credit card and debit card. That’s how today’s consumers make payments, so it’s critical to provide them with a benefits experience that aligns with their habits. A benefits debit card can do just that, allowing them to use their commuter benefits to add funds to their commuter cards or purchase passes with one swipe. 

Our benefits debit card puts all of their employee benefits with us on one single card, so they can use it for their health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) needs. Our card can also be used as a form of payment for eligible uberPOOL and Lyft Shared expenses, as well as for reserving eligible parking expenses through the SpotHero app (in select cities). 

Encourage schedule flexibility

Flexible work arrangements are already growing in popularity as a way for employers to support employees who are juggling family responsibilities along with their jobs. The traditional 9-to-5 schedule can also be a challenge when juggling mass transit schedules. For example, if a bus shows up at a bus stop every 25 minutes, your employee may be left choosing between arriving to work 20 minutes early or five minutes late every day. Building in schedule flexibility when possible will make mass transit options more appealing. 

Create drop-off locations

If you’ve attended a sporting event or concert in recent years, you may have noticed specific spots right by the stadium or arena for Uber and Lyft drivers to drop off passengers. If your workplace is in a traffic-congested area, consider creating locations near your employee entrance for employees who use commuter benefits on uberPOOL and Lyft Shared expenses to be dropped off. This will encourage participation and also reduce the need for your employees to cross busy streets during rush hour. 

Would you like to learn more about the value of offering commuter benefits? Complete the form below to get your free white paper. 

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