You can also get involved by providing incentives for reducing emissions at your business every day, not just on orange or red days.
As a CAC, you can further your commitment to the clean air effort by exploring the services of organizations in the region who offer transportation options designed to improve the quality of the air we breathe.
RideFinders, the regional ridesharing agency, can help you and your staff members take advantage of the benefits of carpooling and vanpooling. The organization currently works with over 1,500 employers to provide their employees with access to a free ridematching service, which can pair them with other commuters they can carpool or vanpool with to work. Through their employer’s free participation, these employees also can take advantage of RideFinders’ Guaranteed Ride Home Program incentive, which provides ridesharing employees with a free taxi ride home if they have to work late or leave work early. For more information, visit www.ridefinders.org.
Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) can also be a great resource for those who choose to utilize mass transit, or bike or walk for the work commute. The organization can assist employers in implementing a number of transit benefit programs including the Guaranteed Ride Home, pre-payroll tax deductions for transit passes, transit subsidies, the Ten Toe Express Program, and much more. For more information, visit
Metro, the region’s transit agency, also has a great transit benefit program for MetroBus and MetroLink riders that helps employers and employees save money. The program allows employers to provide up to $120 per month to employees who commute by public transit. The employer can deduct the costs as a business expense and employees aren’t required to report the subsidy as income for tax purposes. To learn how to make this benefit available to your employees, visit www.metrostlouis.org.
Offering flex-time and telecommuting options can also go a long way towards improving the quality of the air we breathe. Flex-time arrangements allow employees to change the starting and ending times of the workday to avoid idling in rush hour traffic congestion, while maintaining the same total work hours for the week. Telecommuting is a mobile work option that allows employees to be productive outside the traditional office setting, and can eliminate the work commute one or more days a week. To learn more about these alternatives, visit www.hr-4u.com.
One of the most effective ways businesses can help is also the easiest. Informing your employees about air quality is a no-cost way to improve regional air quality. Every time you inform an employee, customer, colleague or friend about Orange or Red air quality days and what we can all do to improve air quality, you help to empower people with the information they need to make a difference. For more information contact the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.