South Florida Commuter Services (SFCS), a program of the Florida Department of Transportation, provides core market research services that can help local employers sites get a clear picture of their workplace transportation challenges. SFCS’ research tools allow employers to implement commuter programs that offer the greatest return on investment. These services are free and offered throughout the SFCS coverage area spanning from Miami-Dade County to the Treasure Coast. Many local companies and municipalities have taken advantage of the free services including: Citrix, Florida Power & Light, City of West Palm Beach and InterContinental Miami.
“Commuting is a critical issue for our staff, especially in the downtown Miami area. Traffic may be bumper-to-bumper and most parking lots have been converted to condos and hotels. This makes it difficult to obtain and retain employees,” explained Leonie Timothee, Human Resources Manager for InterContinental Miami. “We have had the pleasure of partnering with South Florida Commuter Services for approximately 10 years to offer commute options to our employees.”
InterContinental’s program assessment initially included employee surveys, work site assessment, cluster density map, commuter plan analysis and worksite assistance.
Surveys of the Employees
SFCS staff gathered information about the InterContinental staff’s commute habits; attitudes and interest in commute options. This survey was administered both online and in hard copy form and ultimately helped identify what transportation programs were most needed and desired at the site. It also set a baseline upon which to measure the success of new transportation programs.
Cluster Density Map
SFCS provided a map of the worksite and employee home locations, which identified “commute clusters” to concentrate on for forming carpools and vanpools. It also helped identify people who live within reasonable walking and biking distance of work. This provided a useful, visual reference document for employers.
The site assessment evaluated the physical elements of the hotel and surrounding areas with an eye towards commuting and transportation. All of the existing transportation and commute facilities such as parking lots, bicycle parking, proximity to bus and rail service and stops were identified and quantified. InterContinental Miami was surprised at how many commuter-friendly amenities were already in place.
“South Florida Commuter Services assisted us in promoting our transit options to the employees. Some of our staff has also been able to take advantage of the six free taxi rides per year in case of an emergency. Commuter Services has always been eager to come to the hotel to provide our colleagues with the most up to date information in reference to commuting in South Florida. Their assistance in finding alternative and creative options to commuting to and from work is invaluable,” said Timothee
Research findings from the commute survey, density map and site assessment all work together allowing SFCS to assist employers in designing commute programs that make the most sense for an employer’s worksite, business goals and company culture.