Expedia Group

How a phased commute program led to longstanding behavior change

The Expedia Group story shows how flexibility and variety of commute options are key to achieving lasting commute program success.

The global pandemic has fundamentally changed employee commute
patterns and the ways in which organizations do work. Work from home
policies that sat undefined in the wings for decades have been forced
centerstage practically overnight. While this is a time of uncertainty for
organizations large and small, it is also an ideal time to plan for the future.

The policies discussed in this case study are widely applicable to organizations as they navigate returning to work and weigh the policy decisions that influence work culture, infrastructure challenges, and institutional goals like employee experience, equity, climate, and financial sustainability.


Project Partners


Setting the stage

Relocation is more than just a move.

In 2014 Expedia Group (EG) announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Bellevue, WA, to Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood in 2019. The relocation 10 miles west would be a considerable change for EG employees, a majority of whom had set their roots in and around Bellevue since EG arrived there in 1996. The Bellevue headquarters was located adjacent to a regional transit hub, major freeways, and a walkable downtown, allowing easy access for employees throughout the region. By comparison, the new Seattle campus is set on the shores of Elliott Bay, three miles northwest of major transit hubs in downtown Seattle.

The move to Seattle demanded a new focus on "the commute."


The commute program philosophy

A robust commute program is foundational to employee satisfaction and retention. Commuting can often be a contentious and emotional topic. Taking the time to engage in conversations about getting to work builds trusted relationships with employees during a time of significant organizational change. EG’s commute program was designed to:

  • Promote commute options that are flexible and encourage employees to travel based on their daily needs.

  • Use data to inform program design.

  • Prioritize cost effectiveness.

Commute program philosophy in action

It's all in the details.

Expedia Group’s Campus Commute program expands opportunities for employees to rethink how they travel to work. These programs were instrumental in achieving a flexible and effective commute program.

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26% of employees took transit to work in pre-COVID 2020, up from 22% in 2015 when Expedia began fully subsidizing transit passes.

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Park when you need to

The changes to the parking program laid the foundation for Expedia Group’s flexible commute program. 

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Take transit

Expedia Group has maintained a high transit mode share by removing barriers to transit access and expanding employee resources.

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Hop on a shuttle

The commuter shuttle program launched in 2019 when Expedia Group relocated to the Seattle campus. Shuttle routes are designed to serve employees who do not have good access to transit.

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Bike and walk

The Campus Commute team built a culture of bike commuting through events, on-site bike maintenance, and rewards.


Share a ride

Carpooling and vanpooling are attractive options for employees who want to save on parking costs and maintain the schedule flexibility that a car provides.


Get rewarded

A robust rewards program provides incentives for employees not to drive. A daily commute cash incentive paired with the daily parking rate helps monetize the daily decision to drive or not to drive. 

Tracking the Benefits

We're on the right track.

The commute program success was achieved thanks to leadership buy-in, long-term policy planning, strategically targeted communications, and a company-wide initiative to improve the employee commute experience. Tracking this approach over five years shows the benefits and value of a robust commute program.

“The Luum admin portal enables efficient record keeping of employee commute assets in a centralized location. Luum does the leg work of organizing transit passes, parking management, vanpool groups, and more, giving our team greater bandwidth to have meaningful interactions with individual employees.”

—Melanie Truhn, Expedia Group Commute Program Manager

Return on investment

Expedia Group’s Campus Commute program provides many benefits to the organization’s bottom line, employee experience, and the larger community. The return on investment for EG includes happier employees with increased productivity, lower turnover, better recruitment tools, and lower parking infrastructure costs.

Administrative efficiencies

Luum’s transit pass and parking management systems have transformed Expedia Group’s ability to monitor commute benefits. The integration of commute programs saves the Campus Commute team hours of administrative work that it would take to organize manually. The data output from Luum also provides critical information to inform program priorities and provide reports to EG leadership and employees. 


Employee experience

Since 2016, Campus Commute program satisfaction has increased among employees, translating to higher retention rates, increased productivity, and reduced stress levels. The depth of the Campus Commute team programming and engagement gives employees the ability to consult directly with experts, get fast and detailed information, and focus on their jobs rather than solving their commute challenges.

Fiscal stewardship

In 2015, EG subsidized employees’ driving trips. Over the years, the commute program budget has been redirected to invest in the programs that meet EG’s goals. EG saves big by investing in transit, shuttles, and other commute options. These investments are a savings to EG compared to the cost to build more parking. 

Looking Ahead

The transition to the new Expedia Group campus wrapped up in 2020, but the work continues for the Nelson\Nygaard team. When employees return to campus after a prolonged work-from-home period due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, an emphasis will be placed on reestablishing connections with employees and articulating the safest, most convenient commute options. Using Luum’s data-driven tools to understand how employees are reengaging with their commute enables effective outreach and decision-making by the Nelson\Nygaard team and EG leadership.

  • Understand employee sentiments – How have employees’ relationships with their commutes evolved, and what are their top considerations in thinking about a return to the office? Employee surveying and outreach will be used to learn how employees want to be supported. 

  • Coordinate internally – Collaborate across the Expedia Group organization to align commute strategy with teams that are orchestrating the company transition into life after COVID-19. 

  • Plan for the unknown – Develop scenarios to understand the implications of different on-site rates, mode splits, and subsequent program costs.

  • Embrace change – Use the opportunity of a clean slate to restructure commute program offerings to further support employee lifestyles and influence flexible commute habits.