Did you know the average Central Indiana commuter drives 41 miles and spends more than 50 minutes commuting to and from work every day? Also, a recent study found that 30% of U.S. employees consider the commute when choosing a job, and 23% have quit a job due to their commute. In addition, some employees are faced with unreliable transportation which results in unexpected absences.  More than ever, workers are weighing the cost and hassle of commuting as they consider job opportunities.

Although public transportation is limited in Boone County, employers have several resources to assist in tackling transportation challenges. At the Boone County Workforce Alliance meeting on September 8, the group heard from three organizations that address transportation needs in our region.

Commuter Connect

Commuter Connect, a service of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA), offers a variety of free programs to employers looking to offer transportation benefits to employees. These programs include:

  • Helping to establish pre-tax flex accounts for commuting-related expenses
  • Showing employers how to subsidize IndyGo partially or fully and Workforce Connector passes and/or vanpool fares
  • Working with employers to set up preferential parking for vanpoolers and carpoolers
  • Showing how to create incentives for vanpooling and carpooling
  • Giving guidance on installing bike lockers and commuter showers

For the Whitestown Business Park employers, the Whitestown Connector, a service of CIRTA, connects Central Indiana workers to Whitestown jobs. Starting September 7th, the Whitestown route has been expanded to serve all 3 shifts, 7 days a week.

For more information on the Whitestown Connector or free services offered by CIRTA, connect with Molly Oliver at moliver@cirta.us.

Commute With Enterprise

Sharing a ride to work is easy with Commute with Enterprise. They partner with CIRTA and its Commuter Connect program to provide VanPooling, a transformative transportation solution. Enterprise connects employees with similar schedules and who live near each other, provides the vehicle (SUV, crossover, or van), as well as 24/7 roadside assistance, preventative maintenance, and comprehensive physical and liability coverage. When employers register for this program, CIRTA provides a subsidy to help with the cost. To learn how your company and employees can benefit from Commute with Enterprise, connect with Brooke Kimmet at brooke.k.kimmet@ehi.com.

Boone Area Transit System

Boone Area Transit System (BATS) provides in-county transportation for people of all ages. As the designated public transportation provider for Boone County, BATS provides on-demand response service to any person who resides in Boone County for a fee. Demand response service is curb-to-curb service and is on a first come first serve basis. (Advance reservations are highly recommended.) While their hours are limited, the transportation team does their best to accommodate as many people as possible. To learn more about BATS, connect with Cindy Elliott at cindy@booneseniors.org.

For companies, offering a mobility solution can be less expensive than the cost of employee turnover, and the associated costs of constant rehiring and training. Being proactive about transportation options can help increase stability for employers and employees. Until public transportation becomes more readily available in our area, local employers should be open to creative solutions when addressing workforce challenges, such as transportation.