What comes to mind when you think of commuting? For most, it conjures images of time spent sitting behind the wheel, often alone, slogging through slow-moving traffic. Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is seeking to change that. The national program’s strategy is to bolster change from the top down, by recognizing employers that support and inspire their employees to use transportation alternatives, including walking and bicycling. The 2019 list of qualifying participants is the largest ever, and several of those employers are right here in Tampa Bay.
To qualify as a BWC, organizations must demonstrate they offer progressive programs that promote other transportation options, besides driving alone, for their employees. In addition to supporting those who walk and bicycle to work, transit, carpool, and workplace shuttles are also common features of a robust transportation benefits package. It’s not an easy bar to achieve, yet 2019 marks a record-breaking high with more than 300 businesses being designated as “Best Workplaces,” many of them located in the Tampa Bay region and all around Florida. In return, the BWC program offers guidance and resources to qualifying employers, including education, toolkits, tracking systems, and more, so that those employers have the best chance of successfully shifting the travel modes their employees are using. BWC also promotes the designated companies nationally, giving future applicants an additional benchmark to look for when considering a prospective employer.
“Being designated as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters is more than just a title; it means an employer is standing behind its commitment to provide employees with access to progressive commuter programs, like discounted transit passes, bicycle-friendly amenities, and rideshare solutions,” said Julie Bond, Program Manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters. “Making such a commitment has its perks. Besides being a leader in the nation’s evolving transportation landscape, these employers are better able to recruit and retain talent, save on overhead costs, and be more environmentally sustainable.”
Tampa Bay is host to a number of BWC awardees, including:
National headliners you may recognize: Whole Foods Market, Ernst & Young, LLP, Logistics Management Institute (LMI), Lyft, Mayo Clinic, Merck & Company, Inc., NCR Corporation, Netflix, Oracle USA, The Bicycle Chain, Tyson Foods, and YouTube, along with universities such as Yale University, Duke University and Ringling College of Art and Design. BWC is considered the national authority for recognizing and assisting workplaces that provide exceptional employee commuter benefits. The BWC program is managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida with support from the Florida Department of Transportation.