Commuter Programs Manager
Kim Comstock, commuter programs manager at Commute.org, joined us to talk about her organization and its Commute STAR platform.
Commute.org is based in San Mateo County, California. Its focus is to reduce single-occupancy commuting trips from, through, and into the county. The organization follows a joint powers authority structure, with 18 members and a governing body comprised of elected officials. Four-fifths of its funding comes from local transit and congestion relief grants, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), with the final 20 percent being generated by private-sector contributions.
Commute.org provides a wide range of smart commuting services and solutions, including first mile/last mile shuttles, annual events, employer consultations, and commuter programs including two-month commuter challenges, which are held each year. Commute.org’s 2016 Commuter Challenge was powered by the RideAmigos platform, which enabled the organization to measure its progress. Over two months, 1,306 individual participants achieved:
The agency’s Commute STAR online platform was designed to make it easy for commuters to log their trips, but Comstock also stressed the need for well-designed and targeted marketing and promotional products as tools for increasing public engagement. In 2017, Commute.org launched a new two-month challenge, but the agency also turned its focus toward encouraging challenge participants to continue using alternate modes of transportation after the competition’s end.
To achieve this, Commute.org launched its STAR Store, which offers rewards to those who continue logging green trips after the challenge is over. Each trip is worth points, which commuters can then redeem for branded prizes that continue to help raise awareness.
Commute.org is continuing to expand its range of commuter programs to include modes like vanpools, ride-hailing and ridesharing platforms, guaranteed ride home initiatives, and other diversifications. The Commute STAR online platform, which is powered by RideAmigos, enables commuters to log trips while accruing valuable data for administrators to analyze and use to strategize ongoing improvements.
Currently, the Commute STAR platform has 5,600 users, and in the two years since its launch, over 204,000 smart trips have been logged for a total of almost four million alternative miles. Commute.org is clearly doing a lot of things right, so to learn more, be sure to check out Comstock’s full presentation.