By Katy Bryce for Commute Options
Commute Options is excited to announce the Employer Group Bus Pass program, in partnership with Cascades East Transit (CET.) Through this program, we offer a very affordable Cascade East Transit bus pass to employees at partner businesses. This brand new partnership was finalized in 2014 and is now being implemented in Bend with workplaces within the Bend Fixed Route boundaries.
How It Works
Once enrolled, employers enter into an annual contract for services with CET for a rate of $2.50 per month, per full time employees (FTE). For example, a business with 10 FTE will pay $25 each month for a total of $300 a year. Businesses or organizations must have at least 10 FTE to enroll in the program, but businesses under 10 FTE can combine with another business to reach the minimum number of FTEs. Once a business enrolls in the program, all employees at the business receive a pass to ride CET.
The Group Bus Pass is available to use in workplaces and routes within the Bend Fixed Route boundaries. Businesses participate in the annual program from the time they register, through the following 12 months.
Your Business Benefits
The Group Bus Pass is a very affordable benefit that businesses can offer to their employees by providing free and dependable public transportation. At some point, many businesses might face challenges in retaining workers that might not have dependable transportation. Providing a bus pass expands your employee pool by providing access to low cost transportation.
Providing bus passes can also help free up valuable parking spaces that would otherwise be used by customers that bring revenue to your business. For example, Visit Bend and the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) partnered up to enroll in the program. With their participation, they demonstrate a strong commitment to the downtown economy by reducing traffic congestion and by freeing up parking spaces for revenue-generating shoppers and diners that come downtown to spend money.
In the unique case of downtown Bend, small businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate due to size can now get a group bus pass under the DBBA group. DBBA Executive Director, Chuck Arnold thinks the Group Bus Pass is a great opportunity for businesses. “The Group Bus Pass is so affordable, is a great employee benefit, and helps reduce congestion and parking issues in the downtown core. It can also help our staff have more transportation options in general since they can use the pass whenever they want.”
Downtown businesses that are interested in the Group Bus Pass can contact Chuck Arnold at www.downtownbend.org.
Our Community Benefits
Public transportation is the most accessible form of transportation around—allowing people of all ages, abilities and incomes to have mobility in their communities. Riding the bus provides a safe, economical and dependable way to get to and from work, school and running errands such as medical appointments, shopping and more.
If you are part of a business that wants to provide a very affordable employee benefit and help reduce traffic and congestion, contact Commute Options for more information.
Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647 or visit www.commuteoptions.org
Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend. www.katybryce.com