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SHARE Carpooling in Columbus: How to Make Your Employee’s Commute More Productive

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originally posted on Medium.com

Imagine a world where your ride to work arrives at your home to pick you up, you get to work on time with a stress-free commute, and you gain an hour or more of productivity each day. Parking space demands are slashed and access to reliable transportation is universal for all employees, with ride options for different employee schedules and budgets. When you arrive to work, you are dropped off at the door. What a better way to start the day! That example is the promise of self-driving cars. You can give that to your employees today. Hear me out. Employers have an opportunity to prepare their organizations now for self-driving cars and you don’t need to be google or Amazon to participate.

At A.V.E., we are building technology for a world where everyone is a passenger. This all started with a dream of gaining a little more productivity from each day’s commute. Columbus rush hour is nothing compared to LA or Chicago, but either way it is dead time. That captive time spent commuting can be filled with a conference call or learning with eBooks, but can you really say that your commute is productive? Not if you live in a area without reliable access to public transportation. (Where does your city rank with public transit?) Geographic barriers to transportation become economic barriers. Only 2% of American’s use ride-sharing services regularly. Statistics show that Uber or Lyft have not become reliable commuting options beyond a few miles. For the rest of us. . . we drive. . . and most of us drive alone. That is why we have traffic. Add empty autonomous vehicles into the mix and ‘carmageddon’ is an everyday reality. Our roads would be congested with human-less pods doing Starbucks runs and the non-connected vehicles will jam up as long as someone has their hands on the wheel. Only 5% of commuters in the US use public transportation and the average commute is 26.5 minutes, each way. What would happen if 50% of these rides were scheduled in advance? More shared rides would be coordinated and cities would accomplish their objectives of reducing single occupancy vehicles with commuting alone. Pollution reduction, traffic reduction, parking reduction, and everyone will save money. Period.

So how do employers get involved? Reliable transportation has historically been a standard condition of employment. Employers want to know that you will show up on time each day and this serves as a filtering mechanism for reliability. Transportation is also a barrier to gainful employment for many people. If your business cares about diversity, inclusion, workforce development, and providing equal opportunities, you should be offering paid transportation benefits. Managers know the impact of a $1/hour raise. Allocating $1/hour for employee transportation will have a return on investment through improved employee satisfaction, employee retention, and employee performance. Employees need to feel safe before they can effectively contribute and providing reliable transportation will give your employees a feeling of trust and relief because they don’t have to worry about how they will get to work tomorrow. Lack of transportation is a barrier to access. Transportation is the connecting post between rungs on a ladder of opportunity. If your business cares about your employees, consider launching a shared mobility pilot to measure how it will positively impact your employees.

WIFI IN EVERY SHARE

Employers should be leading the transportation change by taking a role in commuting coordination. (I will get into the Transit Pass Employee Benefit in another post, which gives businesses a financial incentive to pay for transportation). Do you want your employees to be spending 19% of their income on transportation? Because that is the national average and while commuting accounts for about 50% of the demand for personal transportation, a new job is often a trigger for purchasing a vehicle. Offering transportation benefits to your employees is the first step towards getting self-driving cars for your employee’s commute. Keep following the thread.

When your employees buy a car, it can last 10–15 years, and often much longer. If by 2030, there are still cars made in 2010 on the road, new mobility will be delayed. Autonomous vehicles will need to handle the unpredictable, human-driven vehicles. Vehicles sit idle 95% of the time and if that continues to be the standard. By operating a vehicle more hours of the day, the life of the vehicle will be shortened. Imagine an accelerated product lifecycle curve for connected vehicles where every 18–24 months there are massive improvements in technology because the vehicles are being used and refreshed at a much higher rate.

Are you still following the thread? If your business follows along, at this stop on the thread you now have shared mobility options for your employees. Employees are mixing public transportation with other modes and overall they are saving money on transportation while gaining productivity on their commute to work (just like they would in a self-driving car). The vehicles that transport your employees are being used constantly because they are shared with other employers. Transportation is as easy as subscribing to Netflix. You and your employees only pay for rides when you need them. Zero Wasted Resources. Driver assistance systems are getting more advanced and because you don’t own them — you always get to ride in the latest technology. The last stop before you get to self-driving cars is “data-driven demand”.

Data Is The Fuel

According to Time, The Economist, and everyone on twitter, data is the most valuable resource on earth. Connected car data may exceed the value of the actual car one day. Marketers are salivating at the potential uses of connected vehicle data. For employers, transportation and commuting data will be critical for enabling a self-driven commute. Employers that support the smart city movement will demonstrate their commitments by embracing (and funding) new transportation options for employees. When employers start offering commuter coordination, they will set the foundation to capture transportation data that will be used to determine what routes can be first to incorporate self-driving cars. Data is the fuel to accelerate the demand for self-driving cars. Self-driving cars will be utilized when employers, cities, and transportation operators work together.

The data will also show you the ROI of productive commuting. For example, a $35,000/year employee would gain productive time valued at $4,375 per year. A year’s worth of daily commuting on shared transportation will range between $2,000 and $3,000/year. That’s a positive ROI if you measure the productivity gain for employees alone.

So how do you get your employees to get on-board with shared transportation to make their commute more productive? Find your early-adopters first and then reimagine corporate carpooling.

How to Find Your Early Adopters

You are not looking for people to sign up to go to mars. . . it won’t be hard to find employees that need transportation and would like an extra hour of productivity. Early adopters are often defined as customers that are willing to pay more. In this case, your shared transportation early adopters are your employees that feel the pain of unreliable transportation the most. Distribution centers, call centers, logistics, and other entry level positions are an ideal starting point for a shared transportation pilot. These jobs are often located outside of the city, miles away from the nearest bus-stop, and employers have long documented challenges with filling these jobs. This is referred to as “reverse commuting”. Establishing a shared transportation route for these employees will deliver an immediate return and you will have early-adopters lining up to participate. Before you open it up, fill the capacity and maximize the savings. Just like airlines, empty seats are missed opportunities.

Once you have satisfied the needs of your employees that do not have a car, you will have the data to justify your commuting programs. Then you can start working on getting more employees to ride together (and it starts by rebranding corporate carpooling).

CARPOOLING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE CARPOOLING.

Don’t call it carpooling. That failed at your company in 1995, and again in ’99 when you brought it “online”, and it failed AGAIN in 2008 when you trying to cut back on expenses. It failed because adults don’t want to carpool like they are on some underfunded field trip. No one wants to be stuck being the driver and no one wants to have their personal vehicle being used as a company shuttle. Carpooling has a bad brand. If you want your employees to ride together, rebrand your transportation program from carpooling to “Productive Commuting”.

Productive Commuting with Autonomous Vehicles

The productive commute is accomplished when you do not have to be captive behind the wheel. This can started now with shared mobility. Passengers will choose to either do more or do less on their ride to work (That’s where your company culture comes into play). The ROI of productivity will vary, but the results of improved employee satisfaction and performance will more than pay for the cost of transportation. Organizations that start now with shared transportation will be able to access autonomous vehicles first. Transportation is a great equalizer. Even if you don’t pay for it, provide the option. Your employees want it. Your millennial employees will probably leave if you don’t offer it.

See what I am talking about over at RideWithShare.com.

Technical Internship

Description

SHARE is looking for a qualified tech intern to join our team for a 3 month internship. We are looking for an intern that is studying engineering, computer science, data analytic, or other technical area of study.  Tech Interns will work with the AVE Product Manager to assist with the launch of our first mobility solution.

Your participation in this internship program will allow you to:

  • Gain insights into the future of the transportation industry
  • Work in a fast-paced, exciting entrepreneurial environment
  • Explore various job positions within the technology and product development space

 

Responsibilities:

  • Interpret data, analyze results using statistical techniques and assist with providing ongoing reports to company stakeholders

  • Create technical documentation for reference and reporting

  • Design process flow charts, for product scalability

  • Assist Product Manager with writing user stories, setting up project management software, managing ticket system for developers, etc

Requirements & Skills                                                                                                                                                   We are looking for a technical product intern with an interest in entrepreneurship and building products, to help our management team with developing our next iteration of transportation solutions. You will be helping with turning our collected data into information, information into insights, and insights into effective business decisions, while going through the Product Lifecycle utilizing an Agile Methodology.

Skills: Project management processes and process flows (understand terms like “stage gate”), tech fluent (know it or the ability to learn it quickly), understanding of Agile Methodology, coding ability is a plus.