A growing number of businesses are offering employees a financial incentive to switch to public transportation, just as skyrocketing gas prices are making transit an increasingly attractive option for South Florida commuters.
Miami-Dade Transit’s Corporate Discount Program provides group discounts of up to $12.50 and tax savings to passengers who purchase their monthly Metropass through a pre-tax payroll deduction from their employer. But many employers are further sweetening the pot by subsidizing the transit passes, which are good for a month of unlimited rides on Miami-Dade Transit's Metrorail and Metrobus system.
One such employer is the University of Miami, which this June will begin fully subsidizing Miami-Dade Transit Metropasses to UM employees who earn less than $35,000, while providing a 50 percent transit subsidy to employees earning between $35,000 and $100,000. In anticipation of the subsidy, the number of UM employees purchasing transit passes has nearly doubled in the last month from 1,216 to 2,402.
"It was a retention tool to address all the transportation issues employees are facing,” said Paul Hudgins, associate vice president for medical human resources at UM’s medical campus, which is conveniently located next to a Metrorail station. “We thought we should provide an incentive to help employees with the cost of gas and parking and give them some time back from their long commute.”
Other Miami-Dade employers that recently began providing transit subsidies are Baptist Health South Florida, Espirito Santo Bank and the Family Resource Center.
To find out how your company or organization can participate in the Corporate Discount Program or to schedule a presentation by Miami-Dade Transit staff at your workplace, call 786-469-5402 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.