A company can serve its employees’ travel needs and, at the same time, manage the growing demand for parking at a specific worksite by operating its own employer shuttle.
The basic types of employer shuttles are:
- Connector Shuttles. These shuttles may travel between the worksite and transit stops, park and rides and residential areas. While some run all day, many operate only during peak commuting hours.
- Circulator Shuttles. These shuttles travel within employment or residential areas, or between worksites and shopping/dining locations. They usually make short trips and have regular schedules, though some may operate on an “on demand” basis.
Employers initiate and sponsor these shuttles. They may buy or lease vehicles, hire drivers and operate the service. Most companies prefer the convenience of contracting with a public or private transit operator for a monthly or annual fee.
What benefits can an employer shuttle offer?
An employer shuttle can offer employees several benefits: options to travel to areas beyond walking distance, transportation for those without cars and easier workplace access where parking is limited. These shuttes often improve an employer's access to new employees and help retain existing workers by making their commutes more convenient.
Where can they be used successfully?
The most successful shuttles provide relief in areas where parking is limited or expensive or where public transit stops are unavailable or beyond walking distance. They also can be used in places that can support frequent service and short, direct routes — such as large office parks.
How can employers plan for a shuttle service?
With the assistance of the local Transportation Management Association (TMA), the employer can start by:
- Conducting surveys or informal discussions to determine employees’ travel needs, patterns and preferences
- Examining different options for routes, frequency, vehicles and fares
- Estimating the cost of ridership and service
- Resolving other issues, such as liability and regulations
- Purchasing vehicles and hiring drivers, or contracting with a transit service
- Marketing the service to employees