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Sustainable Mobility Needs More Than Just Public Transit

by Lexi Ryan | May 30, 2018

Enterprise Holdings Inc., the world’s largest car rental company, shares how its new Rideshare program is extending opportunities in the KC job market. Enterprise Rideshare is a service of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand.

As cities like Kansas City grow and prosper, so does the need for sustainable mobility options for its workforce. It’s important for local businesses to step up when local transit agencies need additional resources to keep the region’s workforce connected and thriving.

Three years ago, the Mid America Regional Council (MARC), Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and Johnson County were awarded a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The funding was to double the number of jobs accessible by transit in the region over the next 10 years. As that strategic plan began to unfold, challenges and gaps were identified in area transit’s ability to reach low-density developed areas. Local agencies searched for more ways to bring jobs and housing closer to existing transit services.

To help fill those gaps, Kansas City employers recognized vanpooling services as offering one of the most cost-effective transportation and commuting solutions available today.

Vanpooling allows groups of coworkers who live near one another to save time and money by commuting to work together each day. Coworkers can form a vanpool group through services like Enterprise Rideshare, which provides a newer model van or SUV and splits the monthly rental cost among the participants.

These programs are popular for the convenience and cost efficiency they provide commuters, and are perceived as a valuable employee benefit for both economic and social reasons:

  • Money: For an average commute of 100 miles per day, ridesharing saves individuals up to $10,000 per year by reducing the cost of tolls, gas, vehicle maintenance and depreciation.
  • Time: With no need to focus on driving, the average vanpool passenger gets nearly two hours (106 minutes) of time back each day to read, email, nap, shop online, talk, watch TV and more.
  • Safety: Vanpools have proven to be the safest mode of public transportation when compared to motor bus, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail and demand response services.1
  • Stress: Vanpoolers’ stress levels have been shown to decrease more than 20 percent compared to commuters who drive their own vehicles to and from work.2
  • Access: Vanpools are a low-cost way to expand public transit options outside metropolitan areas.

More than 20 employers in the Kansas City area are currently are taking advantage of Enterprise Rideshare services – including Hallmark Cards, the National Weather Service, Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leavenworth.

“Kansas City companies that offer ridesharing are providing a number of benefits to their commuting employees, including increased flexibility in choosing a place to live and how to get to work,” noted, Michelle Kay, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Holdings in Kansas City. “By using rideshare, workers who want to live in the center of downtown Kansas City can commute to their jobs in a cost- and time-efficient manner, even if they work out in the suburbs, and vice versa.”

More and more employers across the nation are also realizing these benefits. Based on annual passenger miles, Enterprise Rideshare would rank as the fourth-largest U.S. public transit agency today, and is supported by the extensive Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood network, which helps deliver a level of fleet flexibility and local service unmatched in the vanpool industry.

Enterprise Rideshare strongly complements the benefits and services of RideshareKC, a publicly funded program that helps individuals find alternative commute opportunities and assists employers with transportation programs.

It’s an exciting time for Enterprise to be working with Kansas City transit officials to find ways to expand our Rideshare services to provide even more sustainable mobility options for its local workforce.  We look forward to bringing more services to the Kansas City market to help deliver workers safely to work and home again every day.

To learn more about Enterprise Rideshare, visit www.enterpriserideshare.com.

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics 1990–2014 data (Table 2-33: Transit Safety Data by Mode for All Reported Accidents).
  2. Ditmore, C. (2015). “Former vRide employee - A Comparative Analysis of Vanpool and Single Occupant Commuters’ Self-Reported Stress Level Before and After the Commute.” University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska. https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/xmlui/handle/11122/6529.

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