WEBINAR | 10.26.21
Seattle Cancer Care Allliance (SCCA)
This webinar features SCCA and Luum in a discussion around how SCCA made the switch from monthly to daily parking—a critical first step towards delivering flexible mobility benefits to their new hybrid workforce.
WEBINAR | 5.19.21
In this webinar, we take a lens to the 5 essential commute policies that every workplace needs to adopt to accommodate the future of work.
WEBINAR | 10.29.20
Get a first-hand look at the policies and platform that have shaped the Expedia Group commute program, making it one of the most forward-thinking, employee-empowering programs out there.
WEBINAR | 09.01.20
Whole Foods Market & Movability Austin
In this webinar, we join forces with Movability and Whole Foods Market to discuss returning to the workplace, commute trends in light of the pandemic. We explore why now is the time to update your policies and benefits towards greater flexibility and convenience for employees—to help build confidence in their commute as they get back into offices.
DIGITAL CONFERENCE | June 8, 2021
Featuring Google, Tesla, Whole Foods, Vanderbilt University, King County Metro Transit, and others! Get insights from the brightest minds in mobility and learn about the benefits that are changing the way we commute.
Marko: Great, Kelly. Thank you so much. And thank you for everyone who’s tuned in today. So, I’m super excited about this next panel. The topic for today’s panel is what can we learn from these essential workforce commute? So, as we know throughout the pandemic, our health and the economy is being maintained by the efforts of those jobs that are considered essential. Health care heroes, frontline workers, they’ve been in desperate demand and employers have been trying to do everything they can to provide safe and productive environments for them. And so over the last year and a half of the pandemic, there’ve been so many discussions on how do we return to work? What is going to be the appropriate policy? Well, I’m really pleased to introduce the panelists today because they have actually been doing that in real-time. They didn’t go away. They had to respond on their feet to constant changing scenarios of dynamics, abiding by CDC guidelines, dealing with city and state mandates around essential workers, seen cuts to public transportation.
And so the three panelists we have today have done that for a year and a half. And so for all of those attendees on the call today, I want you to get your questions ready. Because so many people are thinking about how do I get leadership on board? What is the appropriate mix of policies and programs that we can roll out as part of our return to work, return to the office? The panelists before you today have been through that, through trial and error through a lot of changes. And I’m really looking forward to hearing about the journey they’ve been on throughout this pandemic. And how some of those policies are going to stay post-pandemic, have maybe made a lasting imprint on their programs, and some of the ones that have also been temporary as well. So, without further ado, I want to introduce our panelists for today. We have Camila Terceros from Swedish, Melvin Justice from Tesla, and Tod Sturgeon from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I’ll give you all just a quick couple of minutes to introduce yourselves in terms of your role and your organization. Camila, do you want to first, followed by Melvin and Tod?
Camila: Yes, of course. Good morning, everybody. My name is Camila Terceros. I am the Manager for Parking and Commute Services for all Swedish Health Services.
Melvin: Cool. I guess it’s my time. I’m Melvin Justice with Tesla, and I’m Senior Transportation Project Manager. I cover everything; commuter benefits, parking, vanpool, carpool, you name it. I’m in it. So, that’s me.
Tod: Good morning. And I’m Tod Sturgeon with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We had just recently started our transportation program before COVID. And we went from people to just meet right as COVID peaked. So, I now take care of pretty much everything transportation related to the SCCA.
Marko: Great. Thank you all so much. To jump into our first question, Camila, I’m going to start with you. So, I’d love to hear a bit more about some of the policies and programs you implemented during the pandemic, what worked, what didn’t. You know, I think you had a really interesting approach in terms of effectively linking your policies to COVID waves and CDC recommendations. Do you want to take — [crosstalk]
Camila: Yeah. So, that’s totally correct. So, at Swedish what we decided to do was, listen to our own experts and make sure that we were making decisions based on how the COVID waves were going along with the CDC recommendations. We started seeing that buses were going to start to be limited. And so due to that limited option of transportation, we at Swedish decided to offer a temporary free parking benefit for those caregivers that were affected. So, for those caregivers that would have commuted via mass transit. At the same time, when King County Metro decided to stop collecting fares, we decided that the right thing to do for us was to stop any payroll collections for already subsidized ORCA pass that we provided for our caregivers. So, those were very interesting as we went — people were very confused as to like, is this going to stay forever? Because we don’t know, right? When COVID was happening, we didn’t know what the future was. But we were able to terminate this program on, I believe, was February of this year in transition again into what would be buses [02:10:00] and offering carpool and vanpool options.
Marko: And Camila, I guess as a follow-up question, how did that communication go with workers? I mean there’s a lot of change going on, it can sometimes feel like a bit of a yo-yo. And we know that when it comes to rolling up programs and getting that behavior change that communication is really key. How did you do that?
Camila: Right. At Swedish, we do have a great, great communication team that I’m so thankful for. We were able to get into some type of like war room situation and see how we are going to spread the word. And most of the times, the communications came either from our leaders from each campuses. I myself manage this for seven campuses in all the clinics around Western Washington. So, for me to get the message out, I had the help from our leaders, which is great. At the same time, there was some trial and error because there was a second wave that we thought it was — when was it — in October, we thought that we were going to be good by November. And we did cancel our free parking for two weeks. And then we realized that this is not the right time to try to go back to pushing people to the buses. So, we reinstate it. So, it took some trial and error. But I think that our caregivers understood where we were and how we were making the decisions. And at the end of day, all that we wanted to do was for them to not worry about the parking and how am I going to commute to work, so that they could focus on offer the best care available that they could.
Marko: And so it sounds like you pretty much February of this year, you kind of went back to the original program, correct?
Marko: Tod of SCCA, those are similar approach, but you actually, in August of 2020, you know, effectively made the decision to really implement daily parking. Do you talk us through what that process was like?
Tod: Yes. So, when COVID initially hit, we realized that we had to accommodate as many people as possible. We accommodated about 700 people that normally would have come via transit, put them in whatever parking spots we could get from our neighbors, from the city, everywhere. But our parking program is predominantly based upon leases. So, we couldn’t just get out of those leases. And we were continuing to pay for all of these parking stalls across the system, but we weren’t bringing in any of the revenue that we previously had been. So, by the time we got to summer, the recognition was made that we just couldn’t afford to do that anymore. And it was time to bring people back and say hey, it’s time to pay for parking again. All of the people that we had added on at that point, we said, hey you’ve been put into an extra spot, we can continue to accommodate you. But now it’s going to be time for you to kind of pick up your share of it. And most of them decided to do that.
A number of them opted to just try and find street parking of which hasn’t been too difficult in Seattle in most areas, because not a lot of other companies are downtown. So, some transitioned back to that and they parked a little further away and walked. But for the most part, employees were fairly understanding of what the organization was going through. We were spending a lot more money on their PPE, we were spending in a lot of other areas and it just wasn’t something we could continue to afford to do. So, we made that transition back. And we have remained there since then with paid parking.
Marko: Tod, tell me about the — you mentioned about 700 transit users. And so did you offer them spaces? And what’s, I guess, the thinking and the plan to maybe get them back onto transit, get them comfortable with transit? And the reason I asked that question is that one thing that maybe I don’t hear a lot about is how do we get people who are cycling, taking public transit to work, pre pandemic haven’t actually done behavior change in like the opposite direction of TDM, right? They’re now starting to drive. Maybe their work schedule is actually encouraging driving. You know, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think about that employee population. And if it’s [inaudible 02:14:28] insight that you have — [crosstalk]
Tod: Well, yeah, it’s — [crosstalk] It’s a great question. And it’s something that we’re struggling with right now and trying to come to terms with. We saw a reduction in our work accounts, approximately 35%. Prior to the pandemic, we had about a thousand people that had ORCA cards for transit. We’re down to about 650 right now. So, we’ve seen a significant shift to people driving. And as you said that it’s been a year and a half now, they’re ingrained in that method. They have rebuilt their habits. So, what we’re looking at at this point is actually moving to increase our costs for parking, and decrease our cost for the ORCA card. We currently charge a $15 fee, just meant to be a token amount to ensure that people actually want an ORCA card before we issue on out. So, we’re looking to reduce that, and at the same time, increase the monthly fee, and continuing to offer the daily parking so that folks have that flexible option, I think that’s been one of the biggest pieces for us is adding that daily option so that they don’t feel like they’re tied to transit. Prior to COVID, we only had monthly parking. So, you either drove or you took the bus. There was really no good option for you on a day where you needed to leave early or do something else. And now we have that option for people. So, we’re hoping that will help them get back into a better transit habit.
Marko: And then Melvin, jumping over to you, you’ve got a very different scenario here, in terms of parking, in terms of transit options, trying to move tens of thousands of employees from vast differences. I’d love to hear how it was that Tesla responded to the pandemic and what you saw in terms of changing behavior around Can you and of course, like some of the policies that you implemented?
Melvin: Yeah. Thanks, Marko. You know, March 2020, we had this toilet paper craze, right, everyone rushing in store getting toilet paper was both freaking out. And one thing to notice was with every business, how do we survive, right? Tesla’s business is finished goods, right? That’s our backbone. And how do we maintain that by keeping people safe and healthy? But then at the same time, how do we get them to work? Right? And how do we maintain those commuter benefits and all those good things that [inaudible 02:16:55] learn? So, what we did was we [inaudible 02:16:57] a fun approach, right, work with their prize and say, boy no one wants to hop on public transit. Right? That was a scare, right? That public transit [inaudible 02:17:07]. Right? So, you’re stuck with shuttle, vanpool, carpool, right? And then you’re saying with carpool, no one really want to do that, right, because of the proximity issue. Right? There’s no — very hard to social distance. And with that being the, really the height, the start — height of the pandemic, we’re left with a couple options, which is vanpool and shuttle, right?
So, shuttle, the people are still trying to figure it out. Let’s do social distancing. So, we decided to go with vanpool. And one of the things that we did was we said, how do we make vanpool work? Right? How can we make this possible? And one of the things we looked at, which is the backbone of vanpool, is the bandwidth, right? If you know who’s with you, right, and you guys can talk amongst each other, figure it out, right, you’re going to know if you’re healthy or not, you’re going to know if you’re not feeling well, all that stuff. So, the commuting really was the key, right? And it was a private commuting, right? If you only look at the same four or five people in that vehicle, right, and then now you have to look and understand well, how do we socially distance, right? So, [inaudible 02:18:07] came with a fantastic idea and said you know what? Let’s get one person for — let’s get big panel vans, right, put one person per row, we can social distance the van in a diagonal fashion, right? And that’s exactly what we did. Right? We split vans up, we split vans up, we ended up actually, ended up being a huge success.
We had stakeholders, right, from the EHS, Environment, Health and Safety, VPs, everyone, started doubling, tripling down. Right? So, we showed them the model, we took a chance, provided [inaudible 02:18:37] kit, right? You get all the wipes, the mask, the gloves, the disinfected [inaudible 02:18:45], right? Let’s double down here. Let’s go ahead and let’s roll this dice. And it ended up being our enrollment for vanpool went up like 2,000%, man. I mean [inaudible 02:18:56] like 30 vans. We’re almost over 350 vans now. So, I mean, this is — we took that model and ended up rolling out, the enterprise rolled it out. But the beautiful thing is we decided to innovate. We didn’t want to have people sitting around and we didn’t have any issues. Everything was great. We had no COVID scares, anything. It was actually perfect. And all we did was keep on cranking vans. And so we did that. Shuttle said you know what? Let’s go down that road with you. And so they did the same thing. Let’s social distances, put dividers in the rows, let’s have one person per row, let’s put digital temperature standards on the buses. Let’s get social distance markers. Let’s get PPE. Let’s provide — We did it all, right? And so here we are with the COVID guidelines from the US, which is the federal guidelines, the lowest percentage is going to be 50% or 25. So, we kept doing that, Marko. And the beautiful part about it is we didn’t stop hiring, right? We just kept on going as if the pandemic never happened. And we worked with those guidelines and we just kept rolling.
Our numbers for vanpool skyrocketed. Our bike numbers skyrocketed, right? We went from a [02:20:00] $5 a day model, a $15 day model right in the middle of pandemic. And we said, you know what, the biking craze is out of control. This is the wild times of biking. let’s double triple down. Did that and it just blow up [inaudible 02:20:15] it went phenomenal. We gained 300% month over month — bike. We’re still cranking out. So, the pandemic was actually a godsend in a way, meaning that it really helped us be able to identify reducing the [inaudible 02:20:32] side of the house, right, by then go to alternate transportation, but pushing towards the modes. The vanpool is probably the cheapest mode we have outside of transit. And then the shuttles was just like, hey, these are the areas where we can solve for hey, vanpool filled the gap for shuttle, right. But then also for those that were still scared to ride the shuttle, right, and that general pop, kind of feel, hey, go to vanpool, they’ll go in that kind of confined, private setting where you [inaudible 02:20:57] environment. So, it’s amazing. That’s what we did there.
Marko: Yeah. Just a really quick follow-up question to that, Melvin, and I think it’d be really helpful for attendees, as they think about their questions is, we heard Tod, and Camila really speaking about daily decision making and schedules and programs and the importance of that. Is it safe to assume that at Tesla when employees make a decision on shuttle, vanpool, bike, is it more a kind of single decision they make? Is more on a monthly basis when they shuttle, when they vanpool? Or do you still feel it has some daily decision-making kind of properties and elements?
Melvin: I think it’s a daily decision unless you’re cookie cutter, right? You know, and I think what happens, here’s a good example, Marko, you’re going to grandma’s house on Friday you may need to be a little more nimble than going with a — maybe a vanpool, maybe my vanpool leaves at five, and I gotta leave around six. Right? So, they’ll take that shuttle. Or I’m going to be staying over here for the week I’m going to bike over. So, I think what happens is the nimbleness between the three is more of a daily, I want to say a daily concept because everyone’s, especially during that time life was changed, right? Some people had to move out. Some people said I can’t afford here or the situation of life at that time was very much dire, right, for a lot of people, whether it be mentally behaviorally, right, I don’t know what’s going on, I’m nervous. Or heck, I need to survive, I need to make money for my family. There were these different things happening. So, I think that the situation individually at that time specifically changed rapidly, right?
So, we wanted to have a pivot and solve that we’d be able to say, hey, for the short distance, we got the biking, for some of that mid-range, you can go with shuttles, or potentially vanpool or mid to long, vanpool or shuttles, right, and keep our network open and solid to help employees really — And we listened, right? We didn’t just roll this out and say, hey, we’re just going to take a shot. No, we listened to employees. We found out what worked, we worked with stakeholders, we took the time, right, and really tried to find a V1 version of this, that we ended up just doubling down on it worked. So, took a lot of buy-in. We wanted to make sure that employees had a say and that they were enrolled, pre-wired to adopt something that they really want to have.
Marko: And look, it’s a really interesting thing you raise in terms of, you know, all three of you needed to be incredibly responsive to a changing, I think global environment, changing employee needs at a time when essential workers were scarce, effectively [inaudible 02:23:37] a lot of organizations where it is really difficult to find people. You know, Melvin I know from Tesla having to go out incredible distances to find employees. And so as you’re all in this process of quickly adapting, learning, rolling out these changes to your policies, what is it that each of you learned through this pandemic that you said, you know what, like this lesson, this policy is actually going to stick. And we’re going to hold on to it as part of our future commute programming. Camila, I’d love to start with you.
Camila: Yeah. So, what we quickly realized — what it was that our staff needed to be moved around from all of our locations. So, how do we do this safely? How do we get people on a one to 24-hour notice from one campus to another? So, we decided at Swedish to implement what we call an inner campus commute pass that we did with Lyft. So, this became a pass that any caregiver could work, could use while being at work to commute to and from any of our Swedish locations, including all the clinics that are scattered throughout the Western Washington. This is a benefit that has stuck with us. We are really pleased with how our partnership with Lyft is working. And it is something that the caregivers like because previously, we used to have shuttles. We don’t have the shuttles anymore. But the destinations of the shuttle were very limited. So, with Lyft, we’ve expanded how our caregivers can travel in between campuses.
Marko: And what about yourself, Tod?
Tod: Well, initially, as we were trying to put folks in places, we had spaces that we were leasing from our neighbors as backup spaces, but those were limited to people who were going to use them on a day-to-day basis. And what we ended up doing was working with the city to block off a hospital zone around the SCCA, and we used those for the people that were needing to come to campus less often. So, we had about 50 or 60 of those spaces, but we gave over 200 and something passes out to folks and say hey, try this first, park on the street, anywhere there’s one of these signs. If you don’t find a spot, let us know, we’ll get you in somewhere for the day. And then that eventually transitioned into our daily parking program. Because as we move through the pandemic, and even to today, while a lot of people are remote, they have needs to come to campus, they do have to be able to come sometimes. And it’s not always convenient for them to do transit or bike or walk or whatever. So, creating that option for them to just be able to come and park for one day and not be shoehorned into a monthly parking program or transit program or any other program has been key.
Marko: And Tod, without putting you too much on the spot, is it maybe safe to say that given how the return to work is more hybrid approach and your parking policies around daily, is that naturally making you really think about your — I guess, your real estate goals in terms of parking and leasing parking overtime because how you use that asset is fundamentally changing?
Tod: Yeah, it really has. We’ve now started the process of reducing some of our more extended parking leases that we had further out and that were more expensive to save money and trying to squeeze as many people into the daily spots as possible and continue to use some of the excess that we leased closer. Our real concern, and I’m sure a lot of other groups will have this and we’re still struggling, is what does that return to work going to look like? And how are we going to balance that out? I can do a lot with 50 to 75 spaces for daily parking, if folks are coming in one day a week, and it’s balanced across. But if there’s a decision I know, I heard one of the other panelists earlier talking about well, everyone has to be there on a Monday or everyone has to be on Friday, well, that’s going to cause a huge strain on that parking. So, what we’re trying to get groups to do is to be more spread out in their days, and not be set upon a certain couple days a week that everyone is coming to campus.
Marko: Got it. And then Melvin, from your standpoint, it kind of sounds like you just need people there all the time. And so when you think about some of the investments you’ve made in terms, your vanpool policy, is that really seen as a long-term plan to just reduce that demand for parking? Or do you see, you know, still parking demand continuing to increase regardless of those efforts at times?
Melvin: Yeah, it’s a good question. I think there’s two things happening. Number one, we were at capacity parking lots even without people coming to work. So, imagine that we’re going to have people [inaudible 02:28:50] office here next week, right? A lot of us here. How does that work? So, the good thing is is that with the vanpool, shuttles, right, these biking, these alternative modes, right, which are awesome. The one thing we’re able to do is continue to push, right? And so we’ve done parking placards, right, in one of our locations, where if you don’t have a placard, right, you can’t park at that site, it’s kind of like being at an arena where you have four seats, club seats, and nosebleeds, right? If you’re not someone that fits one of the three areas, right, if you’re not one of the first two, you’re in the back. And so in order for people to come to one of our sites, you’d have to have — be in a vanpool or [inaudible 02:29:26], right? So, it makes people say, all right, I can get valet parking or — parking if I’m in a vanpool. I can just walk right in, right? And so that’s a big deal. Parking is a huge, huge deal at Tesla. It’s probably the biggest of all.
And with that being said, the alternative side of the house is the way to go. I mean, with Bart in different, I would say mass transit modes that people are still hesitant on, they’re trying to find that equilibrium. You know, driving, the gas is expensive, right? You look out there it’s four something per gallon. Right? Or the EV side of the house we’re looking at, you know, doing EV [02:30:00] carpool, like having some cool EV carpooling initiatives that we’re pushing out, right? So, we’re looking at this and saying, hey, we know that more people [inaudible 02:30:07] people were driving in, right, people are looking to find a way back, but it’s going to be a trial getting on the site. So, let’s go ahead and get you locked in already, pre-wire you to some of these modes that we know had worked, and they’re working now, and that will continue to work. And we’ll continue to invest as Tesla, in those alternative transportation modes as our ethos, right, since we’re a sustainability company. So, it really fits well with our mission going that route and continue to push forward, especially as those really, current employees or basically new employees, right? It’s like you’re having a brand new employee come back to the site. It’s been a while for some folks. So, really gets them enrolled and I would say download pretty quick, as they look to make that move back on-site as we look to emphasize that alternative mindset.
Marko: And it’s actually a really good segue to the next question. So, yes, you have a lot of essential workers on-site, on-campus right now. But you know, there’s still a bunch more who have been remote, and who are going to start coming back in different ways in different capacities. You know, Tod, starting with you love to hear about what do you foresee some of the challenges are when you really start to bring everyone back?
Tod: Well, yeah, the big challenge is going to be how many of those folks are going to come back? And how often will they be coming to campus? You know, if we flipped a switch today, and everybody started coming back for campus, I’d have cars still sitting on the freeway or on the Mercer ramps, trying to get in because we still have parking right now close to the number we had pre-COVID. But that doesn’t include probably half of them that aren’t coming to campus. So, I probably still have at least 300 or so people who aren’t coming to campus, but had parking. And many of them will likely expect to return to parking. So, we’re working with Fred Hutch very closely, as they’re still furloughed until September. And we’re trying to come up with a way to balance that so that we can continue to share these places.
They’re not — because they haven’t really had anybody coming to campus, they’re not really in a place yet, where they’re ready to start a daily parking program, but they know they’re going to need one. And so we’re trying to give them the assistance that we can in that area and hope that we can balance our two parking plans out so that we’re flexing into each other’s spaces as needed. Whereas previously, we were very much segregated in this lot, so many of these places are SCCA spaces. And so many of these spaces are Fred Hutch spaces. And if Fred Hutch folks weren’t coming in, there was empty spaces and vice versa. So, you know, there’s going to have to be a lot of cooperation between the organizations, because we did borrow about 300 of their stalls from them, their permanent monthly stalls to make these accommodations for our staff that can no longer rely on transit to get to work.
Marko: And I really love that, Tod, because it takes one thinking out of what is our organization going to do with the spaces available to us? And how do we look at the challenges that are being faced by our peers and our neighbors and actually tackle this together? You know, I think part of that really ties in well to some of the work, Camila, you’re doing around transit and this connection between yourself as an employer and public agency in transit. Do you want to speak a bit more about what you’re doing with King County Metro?
Camila: So, we have partnered very closely with King County Metro, we make sure that we are listening to them, and we are also telling them what are our needs? Where do we see our caregivers coming from? And two, they’re able to show us reports of where people are commuting to and from. So, we have one partner with King County Metro, which we meet every month and we discuss about future changes that could or could not affect our area. So, that’s what our partnership with them.
Marko: And then tell me from a communication standpoint, tell me what else are you doing, for those that are coming back? Because I know that’s a big — [crosstalk].
Camila: Well, what happened at Swedish is that we realized that we can do telehealth pretty well. And that we also can go into a hybrid mode for caregivers that are non-clinical. So, for those caregivers that are non-clinical, we are funding all the safety measures so that they can come back to the hospital in certain times when they have to be on campus. But at the same time, this is like a new culture for us because you would think that health care workers, they need to be there to actually provide health care. But that’s not always the case as we can do this telehealth thing. But I think that having, like I said before, our communications team and preparing all these communications for them, letting them know what is available, letting them know what routes are close to their zip codes, letting them know how many vanpools we have around them, how many carpools we have around them. We have subsidized carpools, we have free parking for carpools and vanpools.
So, we are able to show them beforehand, when you’re coming, this is the place where you go to get all your information about transportation. Another thing, we have to make sure that we are good partners to our other facilities where we’re leasing parking stalls from, because the majority of the parking stalls at Swedish are owned by Swedish. So, we kind of like can figure out what to do on our own and making sure that we have enough spaces for patients and enough spaces for caregivers. But there are those locations where talking about challenges, it’s like we have to find a model for flexible parking that works for them and it works for us. We have to make sure that we are trying to save as much money as possible from our caregivers, but at the same time being good partners for those who have hosted us for so many years. It’s a challenge. But I’m pretty sure that it’s a work in progress.
Marko: And what feedback, if any, are you seeing at the moment? Like, I know you’ve done a lot of policy changes, like what is the workforce telling you?
Camila: Feedback-wise, it’s just like, because things are changing constantly with health care, and with COVID. We have to make sure that our messages are concise, and that they’re scheduled in a way that they don’t get lost among all the other changes that are happening at the hospital with the visitor policies, with surgeries that are changing, with teams that are coming back. So, we have to make sure that our communication is clear and targeted. That’s one of the biggest feedbacks from caregivers. And, of course, they all want to park at some point because they’re now in that mentality that I have a spot and I want to go. And it’s like we have to show them that we, Swedish, we have to make our part on making sure that we’re being green. We want to make sure that we are being green. And by green, I mean being [inaudible 02:37:45]
Marko: And Tod, you know, coming from a health care provider as well, what is the feedback you’re hearing from the workforce in terms of the policies you’ve implemented? And how’s that involved in some of your policy planning as well?
Tod: Well, the feedback on some of the additional options like daily has been very, very positive. And I’ve actually found that a lot of staff are using that very flexibly. Our daily rate is currently $14 a day, which is a significant rate, but was in line with what the city was charging for street parking pre-COVID. They’re charging less now. So, what folks have started doing is using that as their parking of last resort. Because with Luum, they can sign up for it, they can be prepared to use it, but they don’t have to, there’s no charge if they don’t. So, what they’ll do is they’ll come in, they’ll look around on the street for a few minutes, if they find a street spot, and they’ll, you know, pay the two or $3 that they pay for that. If they don’t find anything, then they come into the garage. So, it really has kind of helped us keep the number of people coming into that garage fairly low. I’ve got hundreds of people signed up for the daily parking, but I’ve only got about 40 or 50 of them that are using it on any given day. So, granting them that kind of flexibility to kind of create their own path is very useful. Because if you give them steps and your parking becomes the most expensive part of that step, then that becomes their last resort as opposed to giving them a cheap parking option that they’re going to jump on first.
Marko: Got it. I got a couple more questions for Tod and Camila that are parking-related, then Melvin, I’m going to the jump to you with a couple of questions we’ve got from the audience. So, Tod and Camila, so much talk in our space in TDM around going from monthly to daily. You’ve been going through this process through a global pandemic. For all the attendees on the call, what are your recommendations? What are your words of wisdom in terms of getting that policy decision going from monthly to daily supported [02:40:00] with the appropriate stakeholders in your organizations? ‘Cause I think a lot of people are looking for that, a lot of people want to go from monthly to daily. And having, you know, two great examples here on the call is an opportunity that I’d hate to miss out on during this panel discussion. [crosstalk]
Camila: Go ahead, Tod.
Tod: It’s tough to say that. I mean, we didn’t run into any resistance whatsoever. I mean, and it was kind of one of those no-brainer things. A lot of our leadership were the folks in that group who were able to drop their monthly parking and switch to daily because they weren’t coming to campus that much. You know, it was our core staff of nurses and janitors, and those staff members that were coming to campus every day that were remaining with their regular parking option. So, when we said, hey, we want to take this big chunk of spaces and turn them over to daily, they saw it as a huge win right off the bat. So, I have to say we didn’t really have to fight that battle at all.
Marko: [inaudible 02:41:00] Camila, what was your experience?
Camila: So, for us, we already have been offering daily flexible parking since 2016, at Cherry Hill and 2017 at First Hill and Ballard, which is where we have another location. So, people really knew that if they’re not coming to work, they’re not paying for the parking. So, they were not on this like monthly set up deduction, which that culture, that mindset was already there. Now, for the other locations, we told them like if you know that you’re not going to come, and we help them make the map of like, this is how much you pay for monthly. And if you are only coming once or twice a week, you’re actually paying this much for daily parking. So, instead of you going and parking at that location, come park at your own Swedish location and take a short walk because all of our locations are close enough that you can walk to them. And of course, if it’s raining, if it’s other things, we do have tunnels and people can use those. So, we try to like help them understand how their deductions are working. Because what happens is like they only see their paycheck, right? And then it says parking deduction and a set amount.
And most people don’t — they just glance over that. So, we’re like, hey, this is where you need to pay attention to. And this is where you could be saving money that you could be putting into something else. So, one thing is just to educate people on how parking is being paid, because a lot of people don’t pay too much attention to that. And then the second piece, it’s like, I realized that it is my job to be an advocate for my caregivers within my organization and outside of my organization. So, I would go and have virtual meetings with different departments. And my first question was like, how can I help you? How can I make parking the last thing you’re thinking about so that you can come and talk to that patient that needs you? So, once I gather all of those, I would get like bullet points ideas, and go to my leaders and be like, I need to get this, this, and this result. And it have solutions A to Z, and please pick one. Like, always come to your leaders with options, multiple options, I would say.
Marko: That’s really good. Thanks for that. So, we’ve got just over 10 minutes left. We’ve got a bunch of questions streaming in. So, for the attendees, feel free to keep adding questions. If we can’t get to them. We’ll make sure that answered in the background or post-call. Melvin, I’m going to start with you. I see you’ve already tagged one of the questions to answer live. This is a question from Erin regarding to [inaudible 02:43:39] hierarchical access to parking stalls. You want to pick that question up?
Melvin: Yeah, I think that’s the one. Yep. That’s the one from Erin, right?
Melvin: Gotcha. So, really, it’s interesting, because I guess somewhat maybe early in this keynote talked about corporate ethos and equity, right, [inaudible 02:44:02]. I would say when it comes to your parking, no matter if it’s paid for or not. It’s all about equity. Right? What about me, right? Why am I not able to park as close to or not have the same caveats. And I think what we looked at at Tesla was really the main, the main driver we talked about earlier was the finished goods business, right? Who’s touching the car, right? Who’s touching these products? And the people touching the products are the key drivers, right? They’re the most prioritized, right? It’s not the executives. It’s the people that are touching the cars, right? So, we look at our production workers, we say, hey, listen, you guys are touching the cars, whoever’s touching them, you get the best parking, right? We need you there because revenue is based on — if you’re late, right, we lose money, right? I mean, every product has to be on time. And if someone’s late, someone’s not there, and if parking is the driver for that, we see that go right into our business forecast, right, right into our analysis. And so when we look and say, hey, fair enough, who’s supporting those people, right? Who are those managers, right? And the folks that are around them to support them for that — for them to be there. That’s the next tier.
And then those that are outside of that — those that are not part of those two elemental factions that are going to be very vital to the success of Tesla from that lens is on the isn’t that kind of nosebleed tier, including myself, right? So, I think the way we messaged it, and how we came to that, people understood it very clearly. And I think parking’s so critical to our bottom line is. So, when you look at it from that perspective, and when people especially internally, they go, you know, what that makes sense. And I think that’s what we’re realizing and reaching to your audience and understanding that. But it’s gone pretty seamless. You would think, hey, 13, 14,000 people, how could you get it over? Right? And it’s actually been easy, because again, most [inaudible 02:45:52] are not there, it’s mostly production. And now we’re bringing people back, this then gives those folks, hey, if you want to be on the outside looking in, come join the alternative. So, just to circle back, it was the ethos of the VPs all the way down to the frontline guy that was aligned here, understanding as a company, what were the core responsibilities and the core factions needed to park in order to make that bottom line work and have it relative to our success.
Marko: Yeah. And I really liked that, Melvin. I think it’s such a great — In a way, to summarize that, it’s to say, hey, like, if you need to get that component on the car, and all these people are responsible waiting for you at that point in time, you need to be able to park, you need to be able to get access. If you are going to be late to a corporate meeting by five minutes because you couldn’t find a park, not as big a deal based on being on the front line putting the vehicles together. Another question for you, Melvin, also from Erin, but a different Erin, I might add, how did you facilitate vanpool formation? And what kinds of subsidies do you offer? Do you have a minimum ridership requirement for each van?
Melvin: Yes. So, I think first one there is how do you get the formations? How are you able to get people to get together? And so there’s a couple different avenues to think vanpool [inaudible 02:47:15] on this call, right? And it really, it comes down to a couple things, how you advertise, right? And I think it’s important, you know, I’ve gone — the factory being as big as in Fremont, a lot of our locations. It’s how do you message, right? How are you able to [inaudible 02:47:31] even the message? What does your audience care about? In this case, they cared about parking. So, we said, All right, what can we do so subsidizing will fall a little bit in this answer. But we assess it. We’ll subsidize the whole vanpool program, right? We cover everything; gas tolls, maintenance, we cover it all. You don’t have to pay a dime. And really, the whole goal of that is saying we care about it so much, we will over invest in vanpool. And then what we said is, hey, in order for you guys, [inaudible 02:48:00] our employees to get together, right? This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to go ahead, make it free. All you got to do is find a couple people that you work with or live with, that work in the same place, that live around the same area. And what we did was most of the folks that are on site, especially production, even our admin, most these guys are already talking, right? They’re already around each other. And so it’s how you get to them. And what we did was we did the three different taglines that made sense to them. Number one, valet parking, or premium parking for those places that didn’t have it. Number two, no cost. Number three, free vehicle. I’m going to give you a way to get to work, you don’t have to pay for it, and you’ll get guaranteed parking wherever you want. And those are the keys that allow people to say that’s what I want. And that’s how our programs just blew up. When it came to — I think the other portion of the question was, I think I understand the minimum ridership requirements. So, I think during COVID, right, I think a lot of the local subsidies, local meeting around California and some of the other avenues, they said, hey, you know what, let’s drop it down a little bit, let’s go with four. And so we dropped it down to four people; driver plus three riders in order to get people in there. And also for the social distancing, right, in order to maintain that, in those bigger vans, that’s what we were able to get away with, right? And as you get back into pre-COVID measures here, where five and six is kind of the norm. We’re going to be up ticking there. We’re actually moving and advertising that now as we get into that next season, right? So, our requirements, minimum about four, we aim for five to six for this next upcoming — in a couple months, we’ll be going that route, but it was four for quite some time, which made it easy to do social distancing and actually a safer way to travel. I think that pretty much covers it.
Marko: Good. Great answer. Thanks, Melvin. So, broadening our thinking and the discussion a little further with a next question from Perry, for the hybrid workplace, has anyone evaluated the operational [02:50:00] cost savings potential if days in the office are coordinated by building, by floor, by workgroup? It’s an open question to all panelists.
Tod: We have some folks looking at that right now. Unfortunately for us, we just finalized two building leases at the very end of 2019 that we’re now sitting on. So, we’re definitely not adding anything else at this point. And we’re looking to see what we can do moving forward, how we can go into hotel desking, and all of these other things. Because there is significant savings by not having people’s rears in seats every day. And we have obviously now proven that there is a large number of jobs that can be done remotely, even for a health care facility. You know, we have people in accounting and purchasing and all those types of areas that their workflow has not stopped at all, it has not been impacted by this. And do we really need to devote entire floors of buildings to those staff when we can bring them in only occasionally and have them work from home the rest of the time?
Marko: Camilla, has that been the same in your experience?
Camila: Yeah. So, for us, we have a whole group that I’m a part of, which is the Swedish Real Estate Team. And with the information with parking, that we’re able to provide a long with schedules that they are able to see they are doing all the studies. And we have actually, we started shuffling teams from buildings to another building, just to ensure that we are occupying our space to the best of the capacity that we can. But it takes a lot, it feels like a puzzle, right? It’s a moving puzzle because departments have different requirements especially within health care. But for those non-clinical ones, those are the easier ones to manage. And we are implementing, and we started doing this in our own suite of the Swedish real estate team that we have some people that are permanent desk, and we’re creating hotel spaces for those that only need to come in once a week basis. And these hotel spaces are equipped with docking stations, multiple screens, where people can come and we have all of the stuff there so that people can have their areas and it is working for us. We’re trying it on ourselves first before we try it on everybody else. Right? And then I think this is going to be scaled to the rest of the organization, hopefully.
Marko: Melvin, anything to add? Or should we jump to the next question?
Melvin: Yeah, we can go to the next one. I’ll just say this real quickly, though, at the end of the day, Tesla did kind of a hotel desk deal already where like, essentially, before you get on-site, you’re already hotel desking. So, and I think there is — I think what Camila talked about is important, right? Because there’s like engineers. There’s people that you just can’t move [inaudible 02:53:01] there’s things that are just you can’t move it, right? They need some specific peripherals that are specialized. But for the most part, it’s hotel desk city, because everyone’s got to [inaudible 02:53:15] janitorial does a great job of getting that done. So, maintaining that clean environment with — actually, we don’t have people automatically come to site, right? So, we see the production really well as far as admin working home doing a fantastic job. Based on some of those guys coming back on, some of them don’t have to. And so we hotel desk it, people love it, and they’re happy.
Marko: So, with a couple of minutes to stay, I want to actually pick one of the lightning round questions for the three of you. And the reason I’m picking this question is because I know firsthand how much the three of you and your organizations have been waiting through such a dynamic environment, especially over the last number of years. Like the policy changes, the program changes, it’s been an absolute roller coaster. And the three we’ve all done incredibly well in your organizations. That said, on the other side of the pandemic, the dust is yet to settle in terms of what like the post-pandemic commute looks like. And so given everything and have experienced and seen, just a quick answer from each of our panelists today is if you have a magic wand, what is your one wish for the future of commuting as it relates to your organization?
Camila: Should I go first?
Camila: Okay. So, if I had a magic wand, my one wish would be that we are some way, somehow carless.
Marko: Love it. Tod?
Tod: You know, my biggest complaint is always the difficulty of getting people from the east to the west and back from the west to the east in Seattle on transit. With our hourglass-shaped city, a lot of our commuters have to go from a northern home down into downtown, transfer a bus, and then go back up to get to our location. And that turns a lot of people off of transit. I can get here — it’s 25 miles from my house, I can get there in about an hour. But a person that is only five miles away can take 45 to 50 minutes because of that.
Marko: Got it. And Melvin, to round us out?
Melvin: I think just SOV, man, let that thing just dissipate. If we got rid of the SOV I think that would be the godsend for everyone. We’ll go Europe on you. And that’s [inaudible 02:55:51].
Marko: Love it. Hey, thank you all so much. Always a pleasure working with you. Thank you for being such a frontline TDM professionals in our space. Kelly, I’m going to hand it back to you.
Kelly: So, now, I’m continuing here and I will move over to our first panel, which is on leveraging data for your return to office planning. And I will hand it off to my colleague, Pragathi, who will introduce her panelists and the panel topic as today’s moderator.
Pragathi: Hi, everyone. So excited to be the first panelist of the day. Sorry, first panel session of the day. My name is Pragathi Balasubramanian. I’m a Product Manager here at Luum. So, I’d like to briefly kind of introduce what the purpose of this panel is. And that is when we picture a workplace of the future, we’re likely thinking of one with greater flexibility, where an employee can work in the office some days and from home on other days. Many employers and agencies today are planning their return to office and they’re considering strategies like this for this hybrid work model. But where do you start? To answer this, we have to begin with data. In this panel, we’ll be exploring methods of data collection and analysis. And we’ll be asking experts about how they leverage data to improve their employee commutes, and how to modify policies so that when employees do return to offices, they continue to have the flexibility of this hybrid work model.
So, today, we are fortunate to have Aneka Patel from Whole Foods Market, Erin Hafkenschiel from Vanderbilt University, and Lisa Enns from Enns Analytics here with us today. Thank you all for making it. We appreciate your insights. So, I’d like to kick us off with a brief round of introductions. Erin, Lisa, Aneka, if you could take a few minutes to tell us about yourself, your role, and your organization and where you’re based.
Aneka: Hi, I’m Aneka Patel. Can you guys hear me? Yes. Okay, perfect. I am based in Austin, Texas at the Whole Foods Market global headquarters, where we have roughly 2,000 team members [inaudible 00:48:01] team members here in Austin. I joined the company in late 2019 to build and manage the TDM program for the Global Campus as it has been growing [inaudible 00:48:16].
Erin: Hi, everyone. I’m Erin Hafkenschiel. I’m Executive Director of Mobility and Transportation at Vanderbilt University. We are located in Nashville, Tennessee, which is a rapidly growing region of just under 2 million. The Vanderbilt campus itself is about 330 acres, and we’re just about two to three miles south of downtown. But we like to think of ourselves as sort of our own little mini-downtown because we’re one of the largest private employers in Tennessee. Prior to COVID, Vanderbilt had about 12,000 daily commuters and 6,000 undergraduates on-campus that live on campus. And we’re also co-located with our Medical Center, which combined, again, pre-COVID, we had about 55,000 daily trips, compared to downtown Nashville, which is about 75,000. So, very much a mini-downtown. And we’re very jealous of Aneka and Austin and their recent transit referendum because our referendum did not go so well in 2018. And then we’ve been faced with three years of budget cuts to our transit system due to a city budget crisis, and then COVID. So, Nashville is still very car-centric, and our transit system is not great. We have one of the lowest per capita sort of spending on transit in the country. But fortunately, we live in a relatively walkable neighborhood and a lot of our community lives relatively close to campus. So, that’s just a little context of the mobility environment that we’re operating in.
Lisa: [00:50:00] Hi, I’m Lisa Enns. I founded Enns Analytics a year ago in the middle of the pandemic. I’m a Data Analyst. And talking to all of you guys, I realized that there’s a lot of data out there and a lot of new data sources that can be used to influence our TDM programs. So, I started my own firm to start helping other programs deal with their data. And previously, I was at Seattle Children’s for several years, unfortunately, did not overlap with Paulo. So, that’s my background. Oh, and I’m based in Seattle, but I work nationwide.
Pragathi: Thank you for the round of introductions. It was super interesting to hear about your challenges, Erin. And kind of segues really nicely into our next question, which is this question is directed at you, Aneka and Erin both. I’d like to know a bit more about your policies and programs and kind of how these unique challenges you face at your organization and your locations kind of interface with that.
Aneka: I can give a super quick introduction. I’ll just preface that by just describing a little bit more about our campus. So, we have about nine buildings in the Austin area again, that’s primarily managing our global team members here. We do have regional corporate — other offices around the country. And we’re primarily focusing on building our commuter program here in Austin before we roll it out to the rest of the region. But I’ve certainly been helping them in the last year since coming on with the company. Of course, just like every other company, we’ve been working from home, and we are planning a return to office. So, again, to preface this conversation, we are here at Whole Foods for everyone. Of course, our grocery stores are essential services and have been open this whole time. And we have a shared fate mentality, which is one of our core values. And so we technically never close our offices. But of course, the majority of our team members that work in our corporate offices have been working from home. We are excited to welcome our team members back to work starting in July. The first week of July, we’ve asked everyone to come back about two days a week. And then at the beginning of September, we’ve asked them to come back three days a week, and that will be the schedule for the rest of the year.
So, I started in this role about four months before COVID hit so we had a good amount of data. The team that hired me had worked with a consultant to do some research, and get a good understanding of the status quo of our commuter program and our benefits and what employees want. And some of the opportunities and challenges that we were facing. One of the recommendations from the consultant was to hire a full-time TDM Program Manager, which is when I came on. So, I started, kind of jumped in and conversations with Luum had already started, and I’m excited to say that this year was pretty productive. We have contracted with Luum. We’ve taken this year to use the opportunity to build a program, to build our commuting hub, to get Luum up and running to decide and you know, thoughtfully and strategically think about how we want to use it. And so we’re really hoping to launch Luum when people come back to work and use this as an opportunity to kick-off and kind of treat everybody as a new employee, and take the opportunity to reintroduce all the great commute options that we have and the policies that we have, which include a hundred percent subsidized transit passes, a guaranteed ride home program, and first our last program with Lyft. We’re planning to subsidize B cycle — our B cycle, bike share program here in Austin, which was recently taken over by Capital Metro. And yeah, and start pushing carpooling and all the other great options that we have right now before Project Connect kicks off.
Erin: So, our strategic plan for mobility and transportation we call MoveVU. And our goal is to reduce our drive alone rate from 76 and a half percent to 55% by 2025. And that sort of came out a number of sort of master planning projects. So, I definitely think that sort of data and analysis was at the base of what we’re trying to do. I heard one of the questions to Paulo was sort of why do people start these projects. And Vanderbilt’s story is relatively unique. We, during our master planning — our campus-wide master plan process, we did sort of analysis of how much parking we had and what our occupancy rate was. And across our 330 acres, 82 of our acres are being used for parking. We have over 22,000 parking spaces, and our occupancy rate is around 65%. So, we have too much parking, which is an unusual problem to have. But because the Nashville region is growing so rapidly, we’ve gone from sort of a very suburban campus, to a very urban campus in about a 10 year period of time.
And as a result of that, the value of land around us and on our campus has really skyrocketed. And so as we want to try and build new residential colleges and new academic buildings, we want to be able to reclaim some of that land that we’re currently using for parking, and use it for other academic and mission-related purposes. So, that’s really been the driving force behind our program. And MoveVU is helping us sort of reduce that demand. The core of our program is transitioning from annual parking passes to daily parking charges. Our MoveVU commute hub, which is powered by Luum, and then this September, we’re super excited about launching our sustainable commute incentives. So, those are sort of the core of our programs. Similar to Aneka, we’ve been in sort of a hybrid model over the last year, but all of our classes are going to be back on campus starting in the fall. And a number of our staff departments are going to be doing sort of a hybrid work model. So, that’s sort of the return to work future that we’re looking at.
Pragathi: Gotcha. Yeah, it sounds like there’s a lot of specificity for the programs in terms of where you’re based, but also different challenges depending on the return to work circumstance you have there. So, my next question is for Lisa. Lisa, you help TDM teams like Aneka and Erin make sense of their data. What are the common questions you’re hearing with return to office on the horizon?
Lisa: There’s a lot of questions. There’s just a lot of uncertainty right now, and I think maybe a little bit less uncertainty than previously, as we’re all sort of like starting up again. I would say in Seattle, one of the main things is the trade-off between transit and parking. So, Seattle has a pretty good or historically has had a pretty good mode split all over the city. We have pretty good transit service, people ride the bus, it’s very common. So, figuring out how that balance will tip as we go forward. Because right now, a lot more people are driving because they’re not comfortable in transit and there’s no traffic. Well, not no traffic, but there’s minimal traffic right now. So, people are finding it much easier just to drive to work. Some employers are offering free parking during this time if they have essential workers to be able to get them to work. So, figuring out when that pendulum is just going to slip back towards transit, you know, when people are going to be more comfortable, when transit service is going to resume in fall. And then you know, how to balance bringing back parking rates, versus bringing back maybe your transit connection shuttles. So, that’s the big one that I think people in Seattle at least are looking at right now.
Pragathi: Gotcha. Yeah, there’s so much about commuter habits that are just changing with different reopening schedules.
Lisa: Yeah. And I think it’s important to look at what other employers in your area are doing, like, look at when the colleges are coming back, look at if you’ve got an Amazon or Microsoft, whatever, Boeing in your area, sort of try to figure out what they’re doing, because then you can sort of match what you’re doing along with them. Because for us, when Amazon decides to come back, I mean, that’s major, that’s a huge thing. It’s traffic, it’s more people on buses. So, you can kind of balance your own program along with those.
Pragathi: That makes sense, looking to kind of the large pockets of employees in your area and kind of seeing what their employers are doing also goes a long way. And this kind of goes towards my next question, which is knowing that these habits are changing so fast, how do you even start with a plan? How do you design policies knowing that this data is going to change on a regular basis? Yeah, let’s start with Erin this time.
Erin: Well, I was going to add on to Lisa’s comment. Unless one of those major employers is going to offer free parking then [01:00:00] it’s okay to buck against the trend. We’ve been hearing rumors about some of our newer major employers that are trying to offer free parking as a way to incentivize people to come back to the office. But we’re holding firm and not offering free parking. So, I think we’ve learned a lot from Lisa and a lot of the programs that are doing this work across the country. And as I said at the beginning, our program was intended to be very data-driven. It started with this big analysis of our land use, and we’ve started to put up new sensors, and we’re using the Luum commute app, and so really, really trying to be very data-driven. But there are so many more unknowns and uncertainties as we come back. September 1st is when all of our new parking permit starts. So, that’s sort of what we think of as the start of our year. And we’ve had all this data in the past. We actually did a really big parking operation study in November of 2019, to help us inform the launch of our new daily parking program, and what the demand for that program was going to be.
And of course, in — and we knew how long, which parking lots people like to park in, what our occupancy rate was, by parking lot. We knew, on average, how long people stayed when they parked in a certain parking lot. And then, of course, as of March 2020, all of that data became really irrelevant, really obsolete, and not super useful. So, we did go ahead and launch our daily parking program in September of last year. And we’re able to collect some data for that. And so we’re doing that again this September, while also expanding it to an additional garage and adding in the commute incentives. But we don’t entirely know what the demand is going to be. So, we’re going to have to have a month period where we’re really flexible, and we’re making adjustments based on that demand. But I think as Lisa said, we have the tools in place to be collecting that data in real-time so that we can, hopefully, make changes as quickly as possible.
Lisa: Yeah. I would say don’t be afraid to make decisions based on a week or two worth of data, because that’s all we have right now. And you know, really get on board with your leadership and what they’re planning on doing. Like Erin said, she knows that the students are planning on being back, but the staff is maybe doing a hybrid model. So, before, you could maybe sort of say, well, this is what everyone’s done in the past, it’s sort of like the same trend going forward. And you can’t really do that anymore because leadership is making these changes about who’s going to be in the office. Are you going 40% in the office, 60% in the office? And this is a time when you really need to like be in sync with everybody at the top and figuring out what’s going on with your organization.
Aneka: You know, I think that in terms of kind of being flexible and asking our team members, our employees to be flexible. My team certainly had to be flexible too. This year, we started this — I started in this role, knowing that we would build a TDM strategy and build a commuter program for our Global Campus here. And we certainly knew that we had a challenge in having a lack of data. And luckily, the leadership that hired me put me into place and allowed me to determine the best way to really understand how to make the commute better, and what to offer and how to provide flexibility, and where to use the funds in our budget to make these commute investments for the greatest ROI. So, when COVID hit, I’m glad that that momentum didn’t stop, that we continued down the path to move forward with Luum to understand if it could and how it could benefit us. And, you know, was basically flying blind before without having any data to inform our strategy. And like I said, we used this last year to build that business case and to really mold Luum and create a commute hub.
And we also, as part of our real estate portfolio on our campus, there are some buildings that we own, there are some that we lease and manage. We have a variety of parking garages, most of them without the infrastructure to really collect data. And so again, we use this year to install RFID readers, use our parking permit program, which it’s been pretty parking focus. We do offer, it pains me to say with my TDM hat on, that we do offer free parking to our team members here. But I understand the culture. It’s a legacy amenity that Whole Foods has and many [inaudible 01:04:59] in Austin do provide free parking. Right now it seems like it’s necessary to be competitive in this market, especially against a lot of the other tech companies that we have. And of course, we’re a growing market. But I’m excited to launch Luum and start gathering the data, right? So, I’m not flying blind, so we can understand if what we’ve invested in is working and where we continue to make those investments and really be flexible and mold our programs as people start to return to work.
We opened a new office, we built out a new office during COVID, and opened it to the team just yesterday. And I was there most of the day and excited to see there was a handful of people and a handful of bikes. So, I’m hoping that the trend kind of stays along those lines. And I didn’t really get a chance to kick off a lot of our other programs like carpooling and vanpool. But excited to do that and just kind of gauge the interest and you know, where we can make those investments moving forward and use that data to be strategic.
Pragathi: Thank you. Yeah, there seems to be a lot of opportunity right now to kind of do smaller pilots and use kind of smaller windows of data to really cue us in on what the changes are. So, as we start taking these steps, as Aneka’s team starts collecting the data here. Lisa, I am curious, like, what are your suggested methods of data collection during this time? Do you have some tips, in addition to what we’re doing today?
Lisa: Yeah. Right now, one of the best things that you can do if you can, is to send a survey. Like we said, we’re all kind of flying blind with our normal sources of data. But you know, sending surveys and asking people how long — how much they’re going to be in the office and what their plan commute is could be really beneficial. The other thing that I might suggest is maybe looking at some traditionally non-transportation forms of data. So, if you have badge swipes, maybe you can get those from security, like how many unique employees are badging into your location per day, and then how many people are parking. And then you can sort of figure mode split from that, and maybe start moving forward in that direction. Oh, and if you’re — there are other sources of surveys, too. So, if your local transit agency has sent out a survey, King County did a survey — our transit agency, and they found that pre-COVID, 79% of people that they surveyed road transit four days a week, and post-COVID 55% of people are planning on riding transit, four-plus days a week, and they have a bunch of other metrics. So, transit agencies, if your regional MPO has done any surveys, you know, look around for anything you can find.
Pragathi: Gotcha. And, Erin, I believe, y’all ran a commuter survey as well, sometime in September 2020. How did that go?
Erin: Yeah. So, we were — we actually did our first commute survey in March of 2019. And we’re intending to sort of do it every year, do it again every year in March. We actually were a week away from releasing the March 2021, when we all went to remote work. And, of course, at the time, now looking back, we should have just sent it out because people could have thought about last week and filled it out. But you know, we just didn’t know how long we were all going to be working from home. So, we were like, okay, let’s hold it, and then when we’re back in a couple of weeks, we’ll all send it out. So, we did end up sending out a survey in the fall of 2020. And it was relatively helpful, but it pretty much just sort of showed us that everyone was pretty much working from home and really only coming to campus a couple days a week. So, it didn’t give us a whole lot more insights different from what we were seeing with our parking permit data, essentially. We do plan to do another one this fall once all of our classes are back on campus and our new daily parking and our hourly pay parking program are up and running. And that will likely become sort of our new annual survey. So, we’re excited to get that out.
Pragathi: Gotcha. So, my next question that I have, and we talked about the unique opportunities that we have here with data collection. What are you seeing kind of as the trends in commute data collection [01:10:00] and return to office program design? I know Aneka, in your case, you’re thinking of doing a sort of fair to kind of raise awareness of commute options. I’m curious to hear about that.
Aneka: Yeah. So, I’m on the global workplace experience team. We also rebranded our team from global facilities this last year. I also created a brand for our commute program, which is now called Full Commute. And so we did a lot in this last year that our team is really proud of, and we’re using this return to work, you know, my team’s been here almost every day for the past few months, and certainly, this past year, meeting the operations team. So, the bulk of our communications, I think, to our team members via our normal communications channel have certainly been right regarding their return to office, they’re planning to return to office in July, making sure that people are — they didn’t have one habit for the last 18 months and now they’re — people have a lot of questions and concerns and just a variety of interesting questions that we’re getting. So, I’ve been a little bit limited in communicating specifically about Luum and our new commute hub, and our policies and amenities that we’re providing.
So, we’re going a little old school and planning a return to office fair with snacks because snacks make everything better, and food and dessert and DJ. And like I said, we have nine buildings here in Austin and we just opened another one. So, we’re really conscientious about going to where our team members are to making sure that we are planning engagement activities and opportunities for people to engage with us one-on-one, or in a group setting and allow them to ask questions that they may not want to present in a discussion board or to their leadership. But really to allow us to have face time with them and use word of mouth to not only talk about programs like Full Commute, but also to just really put them at ease about being back on campus and welcome them back because we’re excited to rebuild our community.
Pragathi: I like that. It’s a community-based approach to kind of building that confidence again, about commuting to work because it’s scary. It’s a time of change once again, and it’s scary to think about after being at home for so long they’ll have to get in a vehicle and go to work like we used to. That’s different. Yeah. So, related to this, Erin, I know you’ve been working on something called Future of Work, you’ve mentioned MoveVU. I’m kind of curious about the Future of Work pilot and how that came to be and what your takeaways were from that.
Erin: Yeah. So, I think that Vanderbilt is going to be — it’s going to be really interesting to see sort of how our sort of return to work, return to school, return to campus looks in the fall because there is going to be sort of this bifurcation between our academic side of the house and our staff and administrative side of the house. Like I said, at the beginning, all of our classes are going to be back on campus. And historically, all of our undergraduates actually live on campus. Because of social distancing requirements, we could only have one student to each room. So, we allowed a lot of our undergraduates to live off-campus. We had about 2,500, who were living off-campus. And so when those folks return to campus, then all of our dining halls, all of our facilities staff, all of our house cleaning staff, all of them will come back to campus. So, the Future of Work pilot really encompasses about five of our staff departments; the division of administration, which I’m part of, our IT department, our finance department, and our communications department. And we will do a sort of six-month pilot, and a little bit different from Whole Foods, where I think that that group of folks is really being encouraged to sort of try out different hybrid models.
And it’s a lot about sort of your relationship with your manager and figuring out how many days a week you’ll want to come in. I’m someone who can’t wait to return to my office, so I will be back in my office as many days of the week as I can be. I have got two young kids at home so I’m really looking forward to a really quiet workspace. But I know a lot of my peers on the staff side will really be taking advantage of that. So, one of the things I think what Aneka said is what will the impact on our commuting be? And that’s what I’m super interested to see. Once we have all of our academic side of the house back on campus, you know, really will be a return to that sort of vibrant academic campus. We all know and love makes Vanderbilt what it is. And I think staff — my hope is that staff will want to be a part of that just as much as the academic side of the house. So, it’s a little bit of a wait-and-see on the staff side, but we at least know that a big part of our operations will be back on campus supporting the academic activities.
Pragathi: Gotcha. Thank you, Erin. Lisa, from your perspective, are you seeing a lot of opportunities for data collection that folks are considering?
Lisa: Yeah. I mean, it’s basically the same options that we’ve always had with — Moving back to a hybrid model, if your employer is doing hoteling, or some health care or college facilities might have an app check-in for health. So, you might have to check-in and say, I haven’t had a fever, I’m healthy, and then show that check-in to be able to get into your work building. There is an opportunity to sort of merge those — merge all of your sort of app-based systems with transportation. So, you need to reserve your desk for your hoteling space, you need to check in with your health, you need to reserve your parking space or pay for parking. And you could add on to that what mode of transportation did you take today. If people already have to look at their phones for something, there is an opportunity for tech-forward employer to sort of like slip that question in there, and then have a lot more accurate data. So, yeah, that’s one thing that I’m seeing that could be a little bit different than before.
Pragathi: Gotcha. So, what I’m hearing from all of you is kind of the unique opportunities we’re seeing in this space right now with return to work is kind of community-based, empathy-based in terms of working with folks to understand what their needs are, and kind of negotiating their own kind of work from home schedules, during the times of change. And also, if there are any known kind of data collection methods that are there in your organization today, kind of leveraging that as a way to collect data on commute, as well as whatever else it’s collecting.
Lisa: Yeah. And there’s definitely an opportunity if people are only working at the office two days a week to really push transit and say, well, you’re only working two days a week. Why not try to transit or try biking? And there’s benefits, maybe you could even go down to a one car household because you’re only going in a couple days a week. So, I think that is really a major opportunity, like, and you guys saying that sort of bringing people back to work and engaging them and their transit options.
Pragathi: Yeah, that actually leads nicely into out last panel question we have here today before we turn it over to Q&A. One of the things that we really care a lot about as transportation teams and TDM folks is guiding employees, or folks who commute for work towards more sustainable commute options. And now with return to office, there’s a little bit of uncertainty in like how we do that. So, I’m curious, and based on the locations you’re all in, what are the considerations you have when it comes to all right, these are the sustainable commute options we should recommend? And yeah, let’s start with Aneka this time in Austin.
Aneka: Well, it’s certainly a challenge here. I moved to Austin and started working in TDM, after 12 years in Denver, where I managed TDM programs in downtown where I was used to a 60% plus transit mode split. So, the culture and the mode split here is certainly different. And it was a challenge already pre-COVID, right, to A, compete with free parking for our team members on campus. And then also not having a super transit-rich environment and building these programs in the community that was still building its infrastructure and policies. Again, in Austin in November, we did pass a significant transit initiative called Project Connect, including and [inaudible 01:19:38] which is 116 million dollar goal bond for bike and [inaudible 01:19:43] infrastructure. So, that is exciting knowing that there’s a commitment and an investment but I think right now I’m still fighting against the original stigma against transit. And now in a post-COVID — still COVID environment pushing people to try these other [01:20:00] sustainable commutes.
I think we’ve all talked significantly in the last year about the significant increase in bicycle purchases and people biking for health and wellness and fun. And I’m hoping that that translates into the office commute as well. So, we’re planning on supporting that, building a lot of programs in the fall surrounding when it’s, hopefully, a little bit cooler in Texas, building these bike programs, and really supporting bike clinics for different populations on our campus. E-bikes, of course, are really great for us and for the heat and the hills. And I would love to build some initiatives around that and have already planned to do that. So, again, our pillars are really focused on wellness, productivity, and culture, and I continue to vocalize and preach that that is — the transportation and the door to desk, that’s a really key part of building the culture and wellness and productivity. But of course, there are other — we’re, again, making sure that people feel welcome and confident about being back at work in general. And then I can really push the commute narrative once they’re back and working on campus and comfortable.
Pragathi: Absolutely. Yeah, I know, Erin, based on where you are in Nashville, I know, waiting for bike share, to return to something you’re excited about.
Erin: Yeah, and I think that — and Lisa may have touched on this too, but within TDM and within transportation planning, we often are talking about these sort of major life events as opportunities to sort of change how you commute. And so obviously, this return to campus, this return to work is a major life event. And we’re trying to do the best we can to take advantage of that. We really hope that our bike share is back online by September 1st, and it’s looking like it will be. But there’s sort of two other things that we’re focusing on. One of them is when we did sort of our big analysis as part of our strategic plan, one of the things that we did was we mapped all of our faculty, staff, and graduate students, all of our commuters to figure out where they lived in the greater Nashville region. Because we were hearing a lot of feedback from folks that as home prices were going up, people were being pushed further outside of the county and further outside of Davidson County. And we were really surprised that over 40% of our commuters live within three miles of campus, and actually, almost 35% live within a mile. So, very accessible to walking and biking commutes.
The problem is, is that we don’t have great bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Nashville is actually in the middle of what we would call a pedestrian fatality crisis. I know a lot of southern cities are in this scenario as well. But we’ve seen our pedestrian fatalities double in the last five years. We’ve gone from around 15 a year to over 30 a year. So, for Vanderbilt, where we’re talking a lot about bike and pedestrian commutes. But we’re also starting to play a much bigger role in advocating for safer streets throughout Nashville, but definitely around our campus. One of our graduate students was actually hit and killed on West End, which is the State Route that runs just adjacent to campus last summer. So, that was a big wake-up call for all of us that we’ve been putting a lot of energy and effort into the streets internal to campus, but we have to pay just as much attention to the streets around us. And of course, people aren’t going to choose walking and biking commutes if they don’t feel safe. So, that’s going to be a big focus of ours in the future.
And of course, data plays a huge role in this because historically, we’ve been sort of limited to the data, the vehicle counts that [inaudible 01:23:56] our State Department of Transportation have and there’s now newer sources of data for us to use to sort of see where our pedestrian and bike activity is, and where there’s opportunities to improve infrastructure on those streets, where there’s maybe not as much vehicle traffic. And then the second one super quickly is just thinking a little bit more intentionally about relocations. We were doing focus groups with a whole bunch of different parts of our community prior to COVID. And one of the ones that really stuck out to me is that our graduate students, when they’re thinking of relocating to Nashville, across our schools, the amount of support they get in sort of figuring out where they want to live in the Nashville region is very, very different. And some get a lot of help and some get literally no help. And we’ve heard from graduate students that they end up taking over a lease of a former graduate student in Mount Juliet, which is like 45 minutes away, and then they feel totally disconnected from campus. So, I think that’s a really big opportunity for us to play a role, and helping people make that decision that you may be choosing something because it’s easy or because it’s a low housing cost. But if your transportation costs are going to be super expensive and going to lead to a really long commute, then it’s maybe not worth that savings.
Lisa: Yeah, those are really awesome points, Erin. I would say putting together any kind of infographic with a little map about transportation costs, and like, how cool the area is, what are you looking for? Are you looking for nightlife? Are you looking for whatever, that can be a huge help to students, and employers, and staff that want to work there. And for other large organizations, adding onto what Erin was saying about bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in their area, don’t underestimate your power as a college, as a large employer in the city. The city council and people that make those decisions, they will listen to you. So, if you can get your leadership on board and back it up with good data, there are some really good opportunities to get some infrastructure improvements around your office or your campus.
And then also, as Aneka was saying, I think e-bikes are going to be really huge. So, if you can get some sort of commute incentive going for that. And if your employer or company offers some assistant commute planning, so people email you and say, “How do I get to work?” You can offer e-bike directions. Because right now, I haven’t found a good place that has e-bike directions. You can look on Google, and yeah, those are good directions. But then somebody says, “Oh, it’s going to take me an hour to get to work.” Because they’re regular bike directions. With an e-bike, it’s really, you can take different routes, it will only take you 40 minutes, especially in Seattle with our hills. And you know, one of our major bridges is actually like, complete right now. You can bike in that area, but you can’t drive. It’s awful. So, e-bikes definitely are going to be big, I think.
Pragathi: Yeah. I am taking a look at some of our Q&A questions that have come up. One of the questions that came up was about how do we provide incentives for sustainable commute modes? And it sounds like Erin and Lisa, what you’re pointing out is like, hey, let’s try to make them easier and more accessible to use. Let’s try to meet our commuters where they are in terms of what their needs are. Are there any other incentives that are coming to mind for you both, and even Aneka in the Austin region?
Lisa: Yeah, I mean, the goal is money. Just offering $1 or two for commuting is — that’s if you have it, that’s definitely a big incentive.
Aneka: Yeah, I think we definitely — now that they shifted, they re-evaluated our benefits, our commute benefits this last year as we built out Luum and kind of fine-tuned what we wanted to offer. We thought well, should we have a buy-in for employees that want to use transit? And we kind of threw that out the window. And I just said, you know, I just want to give everybody a free pass, right, just put it in people’s hands, whether it’s a day pass, a week pass, a month pass, make it as easy as possible. I’m also coming off of, right, having some of our — the ways in which people received benefits was a little cumbersome. And so again, heavily relying on Luum and rolling that out, just to make the experience of not only understanding and knowing what our sustainable commuting options are, and receiving the benefits. But then also just kind of putting them into people’s hands and making it easy for them to try something different or to choose these modes, whether it’s one or two days a week. Or even frankly, just still at home and within their personal life and then [inaudible 01:28:53] to commuting to the office.
And Erin talked about mapping, like I said, our leadership team had hired Manuel is here on this call, a walker, to do kind of an in-depth study prior to my coming on board. But again, we’re kind of starting from scratch, and this is a great opportunity. We’re treating everybody as a first-time employee to Whole Foods here in Austin. So, these are kind of things that we have to start over, right? Redo employee mapping, we certainly had a freeze on hiring in those last year, but we had a lot of people join the company, leave the company. And so of course, we’re seeing a lot of new faces are on campus. So, kind of start that mapping is really and we’ll certainly do that in the fall once we’ve got people back.
Pragathi: Gotcha. Yeah. A question that we had from your audience with regards to having folks back, one of the questions from Manuel says will you distribute the days team members are working in the [01:30:00] office so that not everyone shows up on the same days? Is that a goal or is there a policy around that to reduce parking demand on days like that?
Erin: We aren’t taking that approach at Vanderbilt yet. I think that like I said, the staff departments that are participating in the Future of Work are really going to be sort of piloting out a hybrid work scenario. But my impression is that it will really be up to sort of the manager, and then the employee on a more individual basis to decide how many days a week you want to come in, and then which days those will be. And so we’ll have to see what that impact is on parking. I am just as interested in seeing sort of how, what the impact is on sort of the quality of our meetings. We all went from being all in-person to then all virtual, where we each have like this little box where we’re on the screen, and we’re having — we have an equal sort of presence in the meeting. But when you start doing the hybrid model, you will have a handful of people in the conference room, and then a handful of people on the screen, and sort of how will that work out. So, I think both the parking impacts and sort of the quality of the meetings will be things that — that’s why we’re doing it as a six-month pilot with a sort of smaller group of staff to sort of see what works and what doesn’t work. And we’ll make it — I imagine we’ll make adjustments and have new guidelines in the spring.
Aneka: Yeah. We’re doing something really similar. We’re not dictating to any teams and departments of when they can come back. We’re certainly leaving that up to their leadership to determine when they need certain folks to be in the office, or when people want to be in the office. Of course, just like pre-COVID and people working from home, we anticipate slower Mondays and Fridays here. We have invested in technology much like other companies that allow people to reserve their desks or place their schedule of when they’ll be in the office on a shared system so people can see that. We do have one team at one building that is doing a hoteling pilot, so we’re excited to roll that out and see how it works. And if we can potentially expand that to other offices or to other teams. So, we don’t anticipate that there will be with people only coming to work two days a week, not anticipating a huge demand on parking spots. But I’m personally hoping that they fill up so that I can get some budget to push other programs for programs like the parking cash lot or rewarding other commute modes.
Lisa: I have heard of a company saying that one of your days in office has to be a Monday or Friday, so that everybody’s not just there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday all the time.
Pragathi: That’s really good information. It’s good to know. Another one of the questions that has come up is — and this is directed at Erin — what were the biggest obstacles you faced in moving to daily parking? And how did you overcome these obstacles?
Erin: So, I would say we had two major obstacles. So, one of the ones — Actually, I think it was at a past Luuminary Conference where I had an opportunity to speak with a lot of my university peers that were thinking about daily parking programs. And one of their biggest recommendations was just take whatever you charge for annual parking, and divide it by the working days of the month, and that becomes your new daily parking rate. Well, that sounds really simple, except for the fact that we have four different parking rates for our annual and monthly parking programs based on income. So, we have four different income tiers. And each income tier pays a different parking rate. All four, even if you make over $150,000 a year, are all subsidized.
So, one of the things that we are hoping to do as we transition to the daily parking it’s become a little bit more of a market-based parking rate, and focus our programs — our equity programs on really are our lowest-paid employees and the people that we think really need it rather than everybody. The challenge with that is sort of where do we start. And so we had to start with a relatively low parking rate, $3 a day. I know for folks that are in Seattle that sounds crazy. But we had to start at $3 a day so that we weren’t immediately making it completely unaffordable for some of our lowest paid employees. This year, in two of our highest demand garages, will go up to $5 a day. And hopefully, that sort of trend will continue. So, that was one of our biggest challenges was making it palatable to our pretty diverse group of folks.
The second was actually internal. This one was one that I wasn’t necessarily anticipating. But because we were relying on the commute hub, this very much became an IT project. And we had to have it be integrated with our payroll, it had to be integrated with our HR system, and then integrated with all of our card systems, because that’s how people access the garages. And so there were a number of governance bodies that we had to present to and sort of get approval at the Vice Chancellor level for. And I came from city government before, so I was warned that there was a lot of bureaucracy in higher education. And I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as the city, but it turns out that it’s just as bad. And what ended up being the problem was that there was this fear around these really small payments. So, you’re processing these daily payments for parking across potentially 12,000 commuters. And how do you ensure that those are accurate from a day to day basis, let alone from a monthly basis? And it took us all summer last summer to convince our CFO that we had a system in place that really had a great accounting review and audit protocol. But that was a big surprise, for me personally, that that ended up being sort of the sticking point that dragged it out. But we were able to address those concerns and launch on time, just barely, on September 1st.
Pragathi: Wow. Yeah. Sounds like there’s a lot of due diligence that needs to happen in data collection. And even in Aneka’s case, when she’s talking through the parking programs and building a case for anything other than the free parking she has to start with data collection, first building their case, and then presenting it to the right stakeholders. So, I think we have about five minutes left on our panel. So, this brings me to one of my favorite parts of the panel, which is the lightning round questions. So, all the panels, you’ll have about 30 seconds to answer each of these. They’re super short, they’re not intended to be like a very intense round. So, my first question is, what’s your favorite mode of commute? And let’s start with Lisa.
Pragathi: Bike, nice. What about you, Erin?
Erin: I got a new electric bike for my birthday last year, was definitely a pandemic purchase. I think I got the last one in stock at our local bike store. So, I had been practicing my commute to work on my bike, and I’m excited to start using that.
Pragathi: That’s awesome. What about you Aneka?
Aneka: I am in the market for an e-bike. But I would definitely say transit bus. I’m a transit girl. And when I get downtown [inaudible 01:38:13] micro-mobility. We’re lucky to have a lot of micro-mobility options in Austin.
Pragathi: Yeah, I feel you on that. I’m also on the transit vibe. The second question I have and maybe this would have been more relevant pre-quarantine, but I’m going to ask it anyway. If you could multitask during your commute, what would you do? I’m not sure what the multitasking options are on a bike, but I’m going to ask it anyway.
Lisa: I would exercise my dog. Right now she tries to hurt me on a bike and bite my tires. So, it’s not working anytime soon. But yeah, getting her some exercise would be great.
Pragathi: That’s awesome. What about you, Erin?
Erin: Mine is definitely listening to a podcast, particularly the New York Times Daily. And when I stopped commuting, I had to figure out a way to listen to my podcast. So, I started doing, you know, morning walks, essentially to replace that commute time so I could still listen to my podcasts.
Aneka: I’d probably like to sleep for another 25 minutes on the bus if I could. But I think I usually use that time to scroll through Twitter, get my morning news in for the day.
Pragathi: Nice, very productive, or you know, self-care with sleeping. The last lightning round question I have is, it’s a fill-in-the-blank. I’ll know my organization’s commute program is meeting my employee’s commute needs when… And then there’s a blank. I know Lisa, in your case, you’re working with other organizations [01:40:00] that do this. So, yeah, what is your take on that?
Lisa: I would say when everyone knows how to use transit. When everyone knows you know how to use their transit card or how to pay for it, they don’t have to, but just that they know how.
Pragathi: Gotcha. What about over at Vanderbilt?
Erin: I would say that I will feel like our program is successful when everyone feels supported in whatever their chosen commute choice is, and that everyone feels like they have at least more than one option to get to and from campus. I think Paulo said this at the end of the talk that it’s so important to talk about options, and that we’re not just taking away the drive-alone option or we’re taking away parking. But it really truly is about options. In Nashville right now, the only option you have is to drive alone often. And our goal is to make more options available.
Aneka: Yeah, I would 100% echo what Erin said. Personally, when we can start — when I can start just like selling off parking spots to other people, and just build a park over some of these parking lots that we have, and then really just making sure everybody has an option right now. It’s just really challenging because I know that the majority of our employee population doesn’t have a great alternative. And I’m waiting for Project Connect and all these initiatives to be done to start maybe then.
Pragathi: Yeah. Gosh, it was very heartwarming to hear all the reasons behind how you know that the commute program is meeting folks’ needs, very supportive. So, we’re at the end of our panel session today. I’ll be handing it back to Kelly to take it from here.
WEBINAR | 03.03.20
Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle Children’s Hospital Director of Transportation, Jamie Cheney, takes us on a deep dive into the policies and results that have shaped SCH's trailblazing commute program. Using a strategic blend of incentives and disincentives—which they activate and administer through Luum—SCH has reduced its drive-alone rate to 33%.
WEBINAR | 09.22.19
Google & Bedrock | Joint Webinar with ACT
Gain insights from Sabrina Ruiz, Transportation Program Manager at Google, on how her program used a combo of incentives and disincentives resulting in a 43.5% parking reduction. You'll also hear from Kevin Bopp, VP of Parking and Mobility at Bedrock, on how daily incentives for non-drive alone trips increased alternative commutes by 3% (a remarkable feat for an organization with over 15,000 employees).
DIGITAL CONFERENCE | May 19 & 20, 2020
Featuring Allina Health, Alta Planning + Design, Bedrock, Bikes Make Life Better, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Expedia Group, Oregon Health & Science University, Vanderbilt University, and others! Get insights into the programs and partnerships that drive commute innovation.