In the Luumlight

Back to the Workplace Recommendations from the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT)

Dialogue focused on a Return to the Workplace is gaining momentum. With this conversation picking up steam there have been many questions as to the best path forward for employers. And, more importantly, their employees who will be re-engaging with the kind of commutes that require more than a laptop. Going back into offices, even if just a few days per week, will look different for everyone. There in no one size fits all solution. No panacea or perfect commute option. 

At Luum, we are fortunate to partner with some of the best minds—and most ardent advocates— in the mobility sector, through ACT, the Association for Commuter Transportation. Just last week, ACT released a comprehensive back to the workplace manual (featured in the Politico Transportation Newsletter) in support of employers and commuters, everywhere.

The report underscores the fact that employers will need to be more flexible than ever when it comes to offering commuter support to their employees. Maintaining open lines of communication will be critical to managing commuter needs and mitigating their anxieties for the foreseeable future. Updating policies to include offerings like daily parking with reservations will have a two-pronged effect as it allows for better parking supply management alongside that added peace of mind for employees. Incentivizing forms of sustainable transportation will also go a long way in safeguarding commuter health, while assuring our city streets don’t give way to gridlock, thereby, adding undue pressure on commuter well-being. 

Another vital piece of this back to the workplace puzzle will be ensuring commuter equity for all employees. With lower density ridership measures in place (as well as other safety precautions that lengthen commute times) and varying levels of public transportation services being offered throughout the country, employers must stay well-informed and attuned to the shifting patterns of service and rider requirements. In short, employers need to be agile in responding to commuter needs. Your regional context (i.e. infrastructure, current Covid guidelines, density, etc.) will need to be taken into account each and every day. 

Per recently updated CDC recommendations, employers should offer “incentives to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving or riding by car either alone or with household members)”. Further, those employees who are non-essential, and utilize public transportation, “should be allowed to shift hours in order to commute during less busy times.”

There are undoubtedly a number of concerns and challenges that will present themselves as we begin this transition of commuting back into offices across the country. We will have the added pressure of balancing employee health and safety with infrastructure and mobility deficiencies, as we navigate our way to each best possible scenario given city mandates, employee needs, and a host of other obstacles. What many of us hope for is that we can continue to quell vehicle congestion, maintain some semblance of this newfound environmentalism and move forward confidently in the direction of better, more healthy commutes for everyone. 

Within the ACT report—Supporting Commuters Returning to Worksites During Covid-19—you can find “recommended practices for managing different commute modes while continuing to support the health and safety of commuters during the coronavirus pandemic.” We encourage you to download and read this informative piece of back to the workplace commuter guidance for employers from ACT. 

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