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If you ask 100 employees what part of the workday caused them the most dread, you might be surprised at their response. A looming deadline, perhaps? That big meeting with important clients? Or maybe it’s that stack of papers waiting on their desk? Of course, any of those items can create stress, but the most grinding drag on the daily psyche has to be commuting.

There’s almost nothing that makes a person feel more out of control than being trapped and herded along endless concrete mazes filled with other anxious drivers. The thought of all those other looming tasks accumulates and weighs on your mind, and foot, which undoubtedly just wants to step on the accelerator and speed off to a secluded destination of peace.

Consider all the emotion involved each morning with just getting to work. Then add the issue (and sometimes crazy competition) of parking. It’s a wonder anyone can start the day in the right frame of mind to be productive. What if someone put you on a wild rollercoaster, and just as you got off, asked you to thread a needle? Ok, maybe that’s a bit silly – or is it?

Now picture a workforce that showed up more relaxed, happier, and prepared for the day. Instead of gripping the steering wheel, they can catch up on email, review calendars, organize their thoughts, read up on the latest news, or just kick back and get in a few minutes of me time. Imagine being able to improve company culture and productivity with something seemingly so simple. This is only the beginning of all the incredible benefits that corporate commuting programs can offer to businesses.

As a business, providing corporate-sponsored commuting options is a great way to extend your employee benefits packages to attract and retain better talent. For a growing part of the workforce, commuting considerations can play as much of a factor in job selection as health care. It’s also interesting to note how much the daily commute can play a part in an employee’s overall health. An increased talent pool and healthier physical outlook equate to more value and production.

Another valuable aspect of a good corporate commuting program involves the wide range of financial benefits. The federal government offers both employees and employers a variety of tax relief. Businesses can also dramatically reduce costs associated with subsidized parking and, as mentioned, the boost in employee productivity can be astounding.

Bottom line? Corporate commuting programs can help improve both cultural and financial environments. There’s one more benefit: improving the actual environment around us. Corporate commuting and public transportation play a critical role in reducing pollution. As our population increases and demands on our natural resources grow every day, communities must take steps to keep our air and water clean for generations to come.

“Enough already,” you’re saying. “It sounds great, but how difficult is getting a program like this started?”

The good news is that San Antonio already has a solution in place with VIA Metropolitan Transit’s VIAWorks, a business-focused program that makes it easy for employers to sign up quickly and conveniently.

VIAWorks offers companies three different ways to connect their employees to work. The VIAWorks Business Pass delivers 31-day passes to participating employers each month, with the option for employers to subsidize the cost for their workers. For a year-round option, VIAWorks EZ Ride provides access to all mainline buses and other services with a convenient sticker applied to a work-issued photo ID. And the VIAWorks Vanpool program allows employees to travel anywhere within VIA’s service area, or up to 100 miles outside of San Antonio.

Combined, VIAWorks is designed to fit almost any location or employee schedule. The program offers companies access to its more than 90 bus routes across Bexar County and beyond through affordable vanpool options.

Public transit and corporate commuting saves on stress, time, money, prevents pollution, and creates an unquestionably positive impact for employees, employer, and the entire community. Don’t let your company get left behind. To get started, or learn more about available programs, visit VIAinfo.net/VIAWorks and keep your business moving forward.

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VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA serves 14 member cities and the unincorporated areas of Bexar County, operating seven days a week on 92 routes and mobility-on-demand options.