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Our Newest Program: Rethinking Transportation in the Workplace

11/24/2014

 

By Hilary Reeves, Strategic Advancement and Communications Director, and Erin Kindell, Minnesota GreenCorps Member (TLC)

 

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Our newest initiative will focus primarily on nonprofits along or near the Green Line.
Photo credit: Allison Osberg, TLC.

 

Surveys show that many people consider their trip to work part of the workday. They may not be paid for that time, but it affects how they feel when they get to work and when they get home. With the opening of the Green Line and more bicycle routes and options for car- and bike sharing, more people have a choice about how they commute. These same new options also can open up new ways of approaching the workday, with results that are more environmentally friendly, save money, and create better connections with the community.

 

This year, TLC is launching a new program to encourage nonprofit organizations to be leaders in re-thinking transportation in the workplace. We’ve teamed up with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) with the goal of establishing transportation best practices and certifying nonprofit transportation leaders.

 

In this first year, we’ll be focusing primarily on nonprofits along or near the Green Line in Minneapolis and Saint Paul We want to encourage employees to consider options other than driving alone. And we want to help organizations foster an equitable, sustainable, multi-modal workplace and establish themselves as leaders in innovative transportation best practices. We’re particularly excited to work with nonprofits because of their commitment to community and to squeezing the most out of hard-won funding.

 

Earlier this month, we attended the MCN conference to share plans for the program and hear about the ways transportation comes up in the work of nonprofit organizations. Many nonprofits already have pioneered ways to reward cleaner, greener transportation choices—or to think creatively about how visitors reach their location. We’re eager to document these stories and hear more.

 

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TLC's certification program will encourage use of options other than driving alone. 
Image credit: Erin Kindell, TLC.

 

Transit for Livable Communities also collaborated with MCN on a recent survey about how nonprofit employees get around. We received 1,328 completed surveys that will inform our work on this new program! A few of the survey results include: the distance and time of employee commutes, their typical mode of transportation, the number of vehicles in their household, and current barriers to using modes other than driving alone. The survey helps us get a baseline picture of commuting habits for the certification.

 

Nonprofits enrolling in the program will receive an assessment of their current conditions and options, attend a Transportation Options workshop, and create an action plan with goals for shifting trips and encouraging options other than driving. We’ll also work with organizations to track changes in travel habits. Nonprofits that complete the certification will be recognized at the 2015 Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Conference!

 

Our intent is not only to shift trips (work and otherwise) for employees, but also to make sure that organizations incorporate the full range of transportation options in the way they carry out their work. This initiative is designed to benefit nonprofit staff and organizations as a whole, as well as the communities, volunteers, visitors, and clients they serve.

 

TLC’s new certification program will continue to develop over the winter months as we encourage nonprofits to sign on and participate in this leadership opportunity.

 

If you are interested in learning more, contact us!

 

  • Hilary Reeves, 651-789-1415 or hilaryr@tlcminnesota.org
  • Erin Kindell, 651-789-1403 or erink@tlcminnesota.org

 

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