When you live in a metropolitan area like Atlanta, being in your car is just a way of life. Atlanta has a notorius commute and terrible traffic jams (and it seems people can’t stop running into each other slowing things down even more.) In the past not many people really took mass transit or found alternatives to driving themselves to work everyday. However, with the price of gas rising the way it has people are looking at alternatives. The heavy traffic didn’t make a difference, but now combine that with a heavy cost and you see people change. So here in Atlanta there has been an increase in ridership on MARTA buses and trains. There has been an increase in the use of van pools, car pooling, and even riding bikes and walking to work has increased. (I saw a guy the other day riding a bike who was so large you know he would not normally ride. But there he was, riding on busy street. I am sure he is hoping for the weight loss benefits that will come with it. I just hope he does not get run over in the process.)
Sometime however, an employee lives in one area and works in another which provide no main arteries, no public transportation nor any opportunity for ride sharing, or they have a job that requires them to drive during the work day. What then? Well there is an article entitled “Companies Help Employees Deal With Fuel Costs” in the May 20th issue of The Wall Street Journal. It talks about how some companies are increasing mileage rates or they are providing some pay supplement to help cover the cost of gas. One company provides an extra $50 in the paycheck. We at Omega HR Solutions did something similar and gave $50 gas cards to our employees who do not have the opportunity to work from home. And we do allow some people to work from home several times a week ( I do.)
Companies are also looking at reconfiguring sales territories. Those of us in sales/customer service that have to visit customers have looked seriously at our territories or combining calls. Some companies have started van pools or take advantage of other commuter resources such as the Commuter Club in Cobb County which helps businesses and individuals find alternative transportation solutions. One company in Phoenix pays 100% of the employee’s fuel cost if they wrap their car in company advertizing.
So are you helping employees? Have you gotten creative with it? Tell us by leaving a comment on the blog so we can all learn.