A group of Western NY business leaders and transportation partners have come together to offer a business membership program that provides incentives to people who use alternative forms of transportation. Go Buffalo Niagara, a Transportation Management Association serving Erie and Niagara Counties, has launched the program, which encourages people to ditch their cars when they commute to work. By either taking public transportation, carpooling, riding a bike, or walking, members of the business membership program receive (for example):
- Discounted transit passes and preferred parking for carpools
- Guaranteed Ride Home, which provides those who don’t drive alone with a free ride home in case of emergencies
- Discounted memberships to GObike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare
- Monthly raffles for commuters who log their commute trips
“In Buffalo, the average commuter wastes 40 hours per year in peak-hour congestion, given that 82% of people in our region get to work by driving alone,” said Kelly Dixon, Principal Planner for the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council. “Go Buffalo Niagara is a key component to promote transportation options that improve the viability of the overall network and the region’s economic vitality.”
The alternative transportation program is under the umbrella of GO Buffalo Niagara. By heading to the GO Buffalo Niagara website, employers can view the business memberships available. Once a business is a member, its employees will have access to the myriad alternative transportation incentives. Rich Products recently partnered with GObike Buffalo and GO Buffalo Niagara by becoming a member of the new program, because the company felt that it would help with employee recruitment and retention.
The program leverages State resources and the 511NY Rideshare system in partnership with businesses, the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
“GObike is excited to support this program which will help contribute to environmental sustainability, community health and economic viability in our region,” said Justin Booth, Executive Director GObike Buffalo (GObike Buffalo is hosting the Go Buffalo Niagara program). “Creating a thriving and connected Western NY is about more than just bicycling — it’s about building a healthy culture that promotes active transportation and multimodal access. Transportation demand management has long been part of GObike’s mission and we are thrilled to grow our capacity to offer these services at a regional level.”
The Buffalo Medical Campus (BNMC) is another great example of a business entity that has bought into the program. In fact, much of what we are seeing rolled out in the business membership program was designed after BNMC’s proven track record. Within two years of incentivizing its employees, the number of commuters driving to work dropped by 4%.
Along with the various incentives to use alternative forms of transportation, Go Buffalo Niagara also has a number of handy online tools and resources that are available to everyone. The features include:
- Free ride-matching platform for carpools and bike buddies
- Interactive maps
- Commute cost calculators
- Links to free mobile apps