List of TMA Services
The range of services and programs offered by a TMA varies according to transportation needs of commuters and employers in the region that it serves. There is no one size fits all approach and each TMA works closely with its local business community and municipality to provide services (like shuttles and vanpools) and programs (like commuter rewards and Bike to Work Week)that address local transportation challenges and improve accessibility to employment destinations.
MassCommute TMAs keep their members informed about current transportation policies, legislation and projects that impact their member communities. Individual TMAs bring together local businesses, developers and property owners with public officials on a wide range of environmental, land use and transportation issues. MassCommute advocates for several key transportation priorities affecting our members including:
- Streamlining MassDEP’s Rideshare Regulation’s reporting and surveying process
- Advocating for transit parity in pre-tax and tax-free commuter benefits
- Providing testimony and organizing letter writing campaigns against recent MBTA fare increases and service cuts
- Supporting efforts to establish a Capital Cost of Contracting program for vanpool services
- Pressing for a long-term, state-wide solution that provides sufficient funding for our transportation infrastructure needs as well as for the viability of the MBTA and our regional transit authorities
In addition to MassCommute’s advocacy activities, individual TMAs may represent their members on local transportation related issues.
BIKE/WALK PROMOTIONS AND INCENTIVES
TMAs promote active commuting options by helping member employees track their walking/biking achievements. Participants who submit the number of miles they biked or walked in a given month become eligible to win raffles, prizes and gift cards. At various time intervals, TMAs can use these data to illustrate how biking and walking to work result in corresponding reductions in employees’ carbon footprints.
EMERGENCY/GUARANTEED RIDE HOME
An Emergency/Guaranteed Ride Home rogram ensures that employees participating in a ridesharing service will be provided transportation in the event of an emergency, illness, or unexpected overtime while at work. Sometimes referred to as a “commuter insurance” program, an Emergency/Guaranteed Ride Home helps alleviate concerns of being stranded at the office and fosters the success of the ridesharing arrangement.
When two or more people travel together in one vehicle, they are ridesharing - an important means to help reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion, and the need for parking spaces. Carpooling and vanpooling are two of the most popular forms of ridesharing and deliver many benefits, including:
- Cost Savings
- Reduced Stress
- Less Time Behind the Wheel
- Extra Time to Read, Sleep, Work, Socialize, Etc.
- Reduced Wear and Tear on Personal Vehicle
- Discounts on Car Insurance Rates
- Fuel Conservation
- Reduced Air Pollution
- Less Traffic Congestion
Carpooling – Carpools are the most convenient and popular form of ridesharing for employees who want an alternative to driving alone. Participants determine their own schedules, pick-up locations, and how costs are shared. TMAs provide assistance in forming carpools and many provide cash incentives to member employees who choose to carpool.
Vanpooling – Vanpools are the most cost-efficient commuter option and appeal to riders who can relax, read a book, work on their laptops, or nap during their commute. Although forming a vanpool involves a little more work than organizing a carpool, the cost savings for participants can be significant. Some of our TMAs work withvRide (formerly VPSI), the nation's leading vanpool provider, and provide their expertise and guidance in organizing groups of employees who are interested in vanpooling.
Ridematching - MassCommute TMAs have partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and MassRIDES, the state's rideshare program, to offer NuRide, a state-of-the-art, on-line travel rewards system. TMAs help member employees register for the program and search for other participants who share commuting criteria. NuRide allows commuters to quickly and securely find travel companions based on proximity to origin and destination points, travel routes, similar working hours, and compatible ride sharing preferences.
Several TMAs either manage or operate shuttle services from selected public transit nodes and off-site parking facilities to employment centers and offices. Some TMAs also provide inter-office shuttle services. The shuttles are not only available to member employees but are open to the general public for a modest fee. The majority of these shuttles are equipped with GPS equipment that allows riders to get real-time bus information on their desktop computer or hand-held devices.
THE TMA MODEL: PERSONAL, PROACTIVE, AND CREATIVE
Personal Commute Planning – TMA staff work with member employees to outline available options and develop individualized commute plans that fit their individual work schedules and lifestyles.
On-Site Marketing – With the consent of their members, TMAs provide site visits to cafeterias, lobbies or other high trafficked areas in order to distribute commuter information, register employees for ridesharing, and answer questions about the benefits of carpooling, vanpooling and other travel alternatives.
Seasonal Promotions – TMAs often collaborate with each other or with other organizations on special seasonal promotions to support commuter options. Earth Day, Bike-to-Work Month/MassCommute Bicycle Challenge and the MA Clean Air Challenge (formerly Car-Free Week) are examples of initiatives that TMAs have supported, often in tandem with organizations such as MassRIDES, MassBike and Green Streets.