With gas prices climbing toward $4 a gallon, employees are paying much more to get to work—a direct hit on the wallet. In fact, a recent survey put gas prices at the top of Americans’ “serious problem” list relating to the economic slide (see box below).
The result: More interest—among employers and employees—in commuter-assistance benefits and programs. Expect to become more involved in getting your employees to work. Among the options to consider putting into play:
- Mass-transit vouchers
- Gas cards
- Car pool programs
- Rebates for the purchase of hybrid vehicles as employees trade in cars that are less fuel-efficient
- Use of satellite telework centers.
Don’t expect employees to jump on the subway and buses just because of gas-price hikes. Studies show most people view work travel as essential and it’s the last place consumers consider changing, unless they’re given some financial incentive.
For a how-to guide to various commuter benefits, plus the tax advantages offered, go to www.bwc.gov/employ/benefits.htm.