In the Luumlight

Bay Area Commutes are Projected to Be the Worst in the Country When we Return to the Office

Once shelter in place laws are lifted and we begin returning to the office, more commuters will opt for their personal car to maintain social distancing. A recent study by Vanderbilt University (who offers their own commute program called MoveVU) found that the increase in single-occupancy commuters could make the Bay Area morning commute 42 minutes longer. If just one in four transit riders now opt for their car, morning commutes would increase by 10 minutes. If three out of four transit riders opt for their cars, then that number jumps to 42 minutes. Read the full article in SFGATE.

So what can we do?

It’s no secret that this is going to be a horrible experience for commuters. Now more than ever, employers are adapting their commute programs to add flexible policies so employees can access desired commute options while still practicing social distancing. There is no single commute option that will work for everyone. Post shutdown, employers will need a robust suite of commute options to manage their parking demand and improve their employee experience, while also doing their part to reduce regional congestion in the Bay. Some examples of those policies are:

  • Daily parking charges (rather than monthly permits)
  • Daily parking reservations to manage a limited parking supply
  • Closed-circuit carpooling with contact tracing
  • Shuttle reservations tools that account for social distancing
  • Telework policies that allow employees to continue working from home some days per week
  • Subsidies for employees who want to rent or purchase bikes for commuting, including free tune ups, bike lockers, and showers

Interested in learning more from peer employers as we prepare for employees’ return to the office? Sign up to join our commute cohort below.