If the high cost of driving to work has you beaten down, consider what these seven companies are doing to make life more commuter-friendly:
1) Principal Financial
The Des Moines, Iowa-based financial services firm underwrites a deal with the local public transit authority that allows its 8,000 employees to ride local buses for free, simply by flashing their company ID's.
2) F5 Networks
Two years ago, 80% of the Seattle-based business software providers 600 employees drove to work. Then the company began offering $300 a month to anyone who would take public transportation or bike to work. Today, more than half of the workforce has taken advantage of the offer.
3) Pitney Bowes
A company shuttle runs every 15 minutes during the morning and evening between the Stamford railroad station and the company's two locations in the city, and the company has a special page on its intranet where employees can view and print train and bus schedules. They also allow employees to work compressed workweeks and to flex their schedules to avoid rush hour.
Microsoft offers its own private bus system to pick up workers in the Puget Sound area. This eliminates 800 vehicle trips and 32,200 miles of employee travel each day.
Safeco subsidizes the use of Zipcar, a Boston-based rental company that enables users to reserve vehicles by the hour or the day online and pick them up at various locations around Seattle.
6) STS Telecom
STS reimburses employees for a portion of their daily commute - about $2 for each gallon of gas they use. In addition, they offer $250 toward the lease or purchase of a gas-electric hybrid car.
7) Bank of America
BOA offers a $3,000 stipend to employees who parchase gas-electric hybrid vehicles. They've shelled out $6 million to help their workers cut their gasoline expenses thus far.
source: Workforce Management Magazine, cover story, August 11,2008
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