The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Commuter Services Section was recognized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Commuter Connections Network with a 2023 Employer Services Sales Team Achievement Award for its outstanding work in creating and promoting commuter alternative programs.
The award was given at COG’s 26th annual Employer Recognition Awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Commuter Connections is a regional network of transportation professionals dedicated to helping employers set up, improve and expand comprehensive commuter benefits and telework programs. These programs have been proven to help businesses recruit and retain employees while addressing air quality and Climate change concerns.
The MCDOT Commuter Services Section works with employers in the County to encourage commuter programs that are focused on reducing single-occupancy drivers and offering alternatives. While businesses are responsible for implementing the programs, MCDOT helps in program design, promotion, and employee participation. The services are provided free to businesses and are designed to link available County, State, and Federal resources to local businesses. Employees working in the County can receive commuter benefits up to $300, tax-free if their employer contributes $25 per month toward the FareShare program.
In 2022, MCDOT Commuter Services’ six sales representatives made more than 13,300 contacts and held more than 200 meetings with employers in Montgomery County.
“MCDOT Commuter Services exemplifies Montgomery County’s commitment to working with the local business community to develop programs that benefit employers, employees and the greater Montgomery County community,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Montgomery County has made significant investments in our transportation framework, including improving access to public transportation, expanding our bikeway infrastructure and prioritizing pedestrian safety. Flexible commute options are a valuable incentive for attracting and retaining top talent.”
Abt Associates, located in Rockville, is one of the employers that Commuter Services works with within Montgomery County. Abt Associates won the Telework Award at this year’s award ceremony. The award was in recognition of their extensive remote work system, which led to a reduction of 1,720,330 vehicle miles of travel (VMT) and an annual savings of more than 78,000 gallons of gasoline. Additionally, eight other local employers working with MCDOT were recognized with honorable mentions for their robust commuter programs.
The COG Commuter Connections Awards program received nominations from employers throughout the region. The awards program is focused on improving employee morale and reducing their carbon footprint through innovative commute alternative programs. Winners were selected for their dedication and ability to reduce gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through fewer vehicle trips, and miles traveled while creating measurable and sustainable commuter benefits for employees.
“The MCDOT Commuter Services team has set the standard regionally for creative commuter solutions,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Through their efforts, we have seen a shift in how those who work and live in Montgomery County commute. By engaging with local employers, we have been able to encourage a shift toward multimodal transportation, promoting a greener and more active lifestyle. These programs will serve as a regional model.”
Montgomery County Commuter Services is within the Office of Transportation Policy of the County’s Department of Transportation. Outreach and support contractors assist with Commuter Service’s efforts. Those contractors include Bethesda Transportation Solutions, North Bethesda Transportation Center, Fovndry by Van Eperen, Sharp & Company, and McAndrew Company.
Montgomery County businesses interested in expanding commuter options and benefits are urged to reach out to MCDOT’s Commuter Services Section for more information or to enroll in the FareShare program by calling 240-777-8382 or emailing email@example.com.