There are more and more incentives to support employers who want to promote the use of public transportation. But cars are ubiquitous and still the preferred mode of transport for commuting and business trips. This is largely due to ingrained habits, such as offering employees low-cost or free parking, or reimbursing mileage. In some cities and regions, these habits have been influenced by the lack of infrastructure needed to make the dream of sustainable mobility a reality.
Here are the benefits of sustainable transportation for your business and ways to promote it—often more accessible than you might think.
what Employers can do
- Promote the use of public transportation, as discount fares and refunds are available for employers and employees:
- Tax credit
- Some transit authorities offer discounts on annual passes and for employers who pay for part of their employees' annual passes (up to 10%). For a limited time, public transportation users in Montreal and surrounding areas have access to an additional discount (30% on annual passes).
- Sign up for corporate car sharing with, say, Communauto (Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Quebec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke), bike sharing with BIXI (Montreal only) or a taxi service with a company like Téo electric taxis in Montreal.
- Set up a bike-sharing program for employees and provide amenities like bike racks and showers.
- Check the websites of Via Rail and intercity bus companies for the latest promotions. These modes of transport are worth promoting, as riders save time by working on the way.
- Implement a carpooling program for commuting and business trips.
- Promote teleconferencing, teleworking and more flexible work schedules that fit with public transportation schedules.
Multiple benefits for employers
- Financial – According to the AMT, a parking space is an $8,000 investment for a business. And that’s not counting maintenance, guarding, etc. Lateness due to traffic congestion costs businesses and organizations a lot—$3 billion a year for Greater Montreal, according to the Ministère des Transports du Québec.
- Employee productivity – Employees who use active or public transportation generally arrive at work more alert, ready and focused than those who drive. Source: http://www.mobi-o.ca/services/defis/
- Pull factor for workers/employee retention – These incentives are considered a social benefit and give the workplace a positive, eco-friendly image.
A collective movement
Get together with colleagues to identify your needs and discuss them with your employer. There are organizations that can help businesses by suggesting appropriate sustainable transportation solutions, such as Centres de gestion des déplacements [commuter management centres] in major urban areas in Quebec.
Useful resources to help you take a step towards sustainable mobility
- STM OPUS & Cie program
- AMT OPUS+ enterprise program
- Tax credit on public transit fares Employee
- Communauto corporate subscription
- Association des Centres de gestion des déplacements du Québec [Quebec association of commuter management centres]
Read about the experiences of businesses that have done it (in French).