Business Resources / Maryland Workforce
How Commuter Choice Maryland can benefit businesses
By Brittany Brothers /
October 11, 2019
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Guest feature: Brittany Brothers is the transportation outreach coordinator with the Maryland Department of Transportation. Follow along with MDOT and the Commuter Choice Maryland program on LinkedIn and online at commuterchoicemaryland.com

Over the past year, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has made great strides in expanding and enhancing the delivery of workplace commuter benefits, assistance services, and resources to employers—with nearly 1,200 employees currently benefitting from the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit, a key incentive of the Commuter Choice Maryland program.

The state is projected to add one million more residents and 300,000 additional jobs by 2040, an expected increase of 30 percent in vehicle miles traveled.  And while transportation congestion can present challenges for everyone in Maryland, including businesses trying to attract and retain top level talent, companies can help ease the stress of employees’ commutes by knowing about the commuter options available to them. 

“With increased traffic in Maryland, MDOT is encouraging commuters and employers to explore commuting and work alternatives,” said Heather Murphy, director of the Office of Planning & Capital Programming for the Maryland Department of Transportation. “Commuter Choice Maryland representatives can work with employees and employers to minimize the challenges of driving alone by outlining alternatives such as transit, carpooling/vanpooling, teleworking when feasible, and changing work hours to avoid peak travel times.”

The benefits are real, and the Commuter Choice Maryland program can help your business save money through the tax credit, as well as retain talent, and make your employees’ commutes less stressful with transit options and the Guaranteed Ride Home program. Since 2018, MDOT has connected with more than 12,000 commuters and business owners through outreach events, and reached more than 7,000 additional business owners through online webinars.

“From a leadership and business perspective, investing in a vanpool program is a smart decision, especially if your employees face transportation obstacles,” said Steve Heise, vice president of human resources at Live! Casino & Hotel, when asked about offering commuter options for employees. 

“If we are having power outages and we need to get additional call center staff on the phones, we can get them on the phones within a matter of minutes when they work from home,” said Joe Trentacosta, senior vice president of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), regarding telework options.

Commuter Choice Maryland

MDOT’s Commuter Choice Maryland program can help mitigate traffic congestion and support the mobility, health, and wealth of its community, environment, and business partners. By implementing alternate commuting options to your employees, businesses can take advantage of the benefits through the Commuter Choice Maryland Tax Credit, such as keeping top talent, increasing employee productivity, enhancing sustainability objectives, and saving money. This program also encourages commuters to explore and use alternate means of transportation to and from work. 

Another great program for commuters is Guaranteed Ride Home, which provides a free ride home to registered commuters. The free ride home option makes it easier for people to carpool or take transit even if they need to stay late or get home for a family emergency. Guaranteed Ride Home is available to commuters who take transit, rideshare/carpool, vanpool, or bike or walk at least twice a week, when they have an emergency and need an emergency ride home. Commuters can qualify by registering through Commuter Choice Maryland.  

Save Money and Earn Tax Credits

Did you know businesses of all sizes can save money through the Commuter Choice Maryland Tax Credit? All you have to do is provide commuter benefits, like transit passes, vanpools/carpools, or the Guaranteed Ride Home program to your employees.

To make signing up more convenient, we have automated registration through an electronic form on the Maryland OneStop Portal. The OneStop Portal allows business owners and citizens to apply to various state government issued licenses and permits in one spot. The customer-friendly platform will make it easier for business owners to apply for the Maryland Tax Credit by completing a brief e-form. Commuter Choice Maryland can also help identify your businesses best alternative transportation options and how the program can serve your needs. 

Looking for a free resource to learn about the benefits of commuting? We offer webinars free of charge, but space is limited. Reserve your spot today by visiting commuterchoicemaryland.com.

For more information on Commuter Choice Maryland please contact us by phone at 410-865-1100 or email commuterchoice@mdot.maryland.gov. Representatives are available to assist Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

Photo courtesy of bikemore.net
 

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