In today’s environment, virtually every business is interested in two things – going green and saving green. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is doing its part with its Club Ride commuter services program.
Since launching Club Ride in 1999, the RTC has been on a mission to change the way Las Vegans get to work. The full-service Club Ride program targets both employees and employers. Employees are asked to use an alternative mode of transportation as often as possible when traveling to and from work, including carpooling, walking, biking or taking transit. Employers are asked to promote Club Ride within their work places. The goals of the program are simple – improve air quality and mobility while reducing congestion.
“With residents taking advantage of alternative modes of transit, countless cars can be taken off of our valley’s streets,” said Jacob Snow, RTC general manager. “This has a tremendous positive impact in terms of the environment and of moving people throughout Southern Nevada more efficiently.”
While doing your part for the community and the environment is appealing, the RTC is not relying on heart strings to get employees and employers interested. Instead, the agency is appealing to purse strings. “The program is absolutely free for both the employer and the employee,” said Snow. “In fact, most commuters will save money after joining. They’ll use less gas and inflict less wear and tear on their vehicles.”
In addition to it being free, Club Ride offers prizes to employees who participate as well as software that matches potential carpool partners who live and work in the same areas of town. There are also tax advantages available for participating employers. These perks have allowed Club Ride to flourish in these challenging economic times. Club Ride commuters left their cars at home nearly 260,000 times in 2008 alone. To date, more than 300 work sites are signed up for the program.
One of those employers is the TI Hotel & Casino. The property launched Club Ride in October 2008 with a twelve-hour event in the employee dining room which signed up 171 TI employees. “We’ve been getting a lot of great feedback [about the program],” said Catherine Siefert, TI vice president of hotel operations about the program. “Employees are making friends and saving gas. It offers them immediate satisfaction.”
In order to further encourage employee participation in Club Ride, TI offers Club Ride members preferential covered parking spaces and sells RTC transit passes at its employee services center.
“This type of partnership between the TI and the RTC sends a great message to everyone in the community,” said Siefert. “We need to work together as partners to promote ‘green’ initiatives. It’s everyone’s responsibility.”
Another Club Ride work site that is committed to doing its part is the Bellagio. Approximately 900 Bellagio staff members participate in the program, making it the leading employer in Southern Nevada in terms of employee participation.
“Teaming up with the RTC to promote Club Ride at Bellagio is the perfect partnership for us,” said Joni Moretti, Bellagio employment manager. This is a low-cost and high-impact program that we are very proud to be a part of because everyone benefits – employees, the company and the community.”
With interest in the program at an all time high, the RTC is committed to growing Club Ride and ensuring that it is accessible.
One way the RTC is achieving this is through Club Ride’s Guaranteed Ride Home service. This feature of the program takes the worry out of sharing a ride to work by providing employees with a way to get home in case of illness or family emergency. Club Ride members are provided five free rides home by cab or transit each year. Recent improvements to the program have added even more flexibility – allowing for the reimbursement of a coworker’s mileage if a ride from a colleague is the best option for a Club Ride member who needs to leave work.
Overall, the RTC’s Club Ride holds appeal for both employers and employees. Whether the goal is improving employee moral, saving some cash or saving the world, this program is worth looking into.