As the coronavirus situation evolves, a growing number of commuters are looking for alternatives to public transport. All around the world, the drop in public transit passenger numbers is massive and some services are starting to close temporarily due to economic factors or state regulations.
While many employees are required to work from home where possible, “essential workers” (including food service workers, plumbers, mail carriers, healthcare workers, and more) and many others, still need to commute on a daily basis. For those who don’t own a private car or have limited access to parking, alternatives to public transportation are needed.
Here are 3 safe solutions corporations and organizations can provide their employees to help them avoid public transport during the pandemic:
Corporate car rentals
Corporate shuttles are one of the best solutions for companies to bring a group of workers to the workplace in a safe and efficient way. Today, there are digital tools that can help companies to manage the itineraries and monitor the shuttles’ pick-ups for their teams. Some shuttles solutions, like the one provided by HERE Mobility, even come with a dedicated app for the employees where they can track and book their rides on their smartphone. With this kind of technology, employees know exactly when to leave their house limiting the amount of wasted time waiting for transportation, and the company has full transparency over the number of people entering at any time.
Benefits of corporate shuttles:
Hygiene: In terms of cleanliness, shuttle companies work with fewer clients and less vehicles than taxis companies or ride hailing services. This allows them to deeply clean between each journey, which is a must during these times.
Space: Shuttles offer more space than other vehicles. Companies should make sure not to fill up all the seats on the shuttles in order to ensure passengers can maintain a safe distance from one another, as per the current social distancing requirements.
Control: Companies know exactly who is going on the shuttle and when allowing them to better control the ride and protect passengers.
Costs: From all the options, shuttles are probably the most cost-efficient and timesaving since travel is made in groups.
Corporate taxis & private hires
Many ride-hailing services and smart mobility solutions today offer ride management tools for corporations and organizations. It can allow companies either, to order rides for their employees through a concierge solution, or for the employees to book taxis by themselves through a smart transportation system monitored by the company. Needless to say, this solution, depends on private rides, and is more expensive for the company, particularly when it comes to multiple employees commuting. In addition, it’s difficult for taxi drivers to sanitize after every ride, but it’s the company and employees’ responsibility to make sure of it. However, there are still some significant advantages of using corporate taxis.
Benefits of corporate taxis:
One passenger at a time: With only one passenger, the risks of contamination are lower - assuming of course, that the vehicle is sanitized before starting the ride.
Time flexibility: Ride-hailing services and taxis are more flexible in terms of hours which is a great advantage for employees, in particular parents, who with children at home may need to work flexible hours.
Door-to-door services: With the transportation provider coming to pick up the employee at their door and taking them straight to the office, unnecessary outside contact is avoided.
Corporate car rental
Corporate car rentals have been part of the business mobility ecosystem for a while. This solution offers customized business rental programs designed to meet companies' transportation needs. The main advantage is that employees who subscribe to the companies’ car rental programs have full freedom over their commute and are traveling alone, which guarantees the highest level of safety. The main issue is obviously one of the costs. Usually, this kind of solution is on the employees’ expense and during this challenging period, it may be a real pain point.
With that said, no matter what solution companies and organizations find most valuable, one thing remains certain: the most important part is to educate employees to ensure they adopt the right behavior and protect themselves. From washing their hands between every journey, to using sanitizer to clean their area on transport, and maintaining social distancing, anchoring these reflexes in your workers’ habits is one of the most crucial parts to prevent the spread between your teams.
There’s no doubt that commuting habits and needs will keep changing during the coronavirus crisis. However, the lessons learned will most probably last long after it. Each corporation or organization should consider adopting some of these transportation options for the long run, both in regard to their employees' safety and commuting experience.