Public life is taking root once again. As more people go back to work, they’re going to be welcomed by several changes with commuting.
However, with some planning and help from transit authorities, you should be able to safely travel to and from your work with minimal increased risk of contracting the virus.
What agencies are doing to minimize COVID-19 risk
Public transportation organizations are taking extraordinary precautions to keep you safe. Agencies have added more transportation lines, created alternate schedules, practiced continuous disinfecting, dispensed hand sanitizer, and gave drivers antiseptic wipes.
There’s also increased security presence on the platforms from the Metropolitan Transportation Association in New York City to the Metro in Los Angeles to enforce social distancing and mask use.
“Our transit and bus system is cleaner and safer than it has been in history…,” said Patrick J. Foyer, chairman of M.T.A, in the New York Times.
Officials also encourage people to bike or walk to work if possible, to avoid adding more solo-driver commuters to the streets.
What you can do to reduce the COVID risk
Before you board public transportation, make sure you are familiar with the Center for Disease Control COVID protection suggestions.
Guidelines to stay safe include:
● Practice social distancing. You should try for a minimum of six feet between people.
● Wear a mask.
● Stock and carry supplies: extra masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer, preferably 60 percent or more alcohol saturation.
● Sanitize and preferably wash hands often, especially after you have reached your destination.
● Avoid touching surfaces and your face, especially your eyes. You should try to avoid areas like fare machines, handrails, elevator buttons, and push bars on doors.
● Vary your commuter schedule. Opt for travel during off-peak hours.
● And, of course, stay home if you’re sick.
Save money with commuter benefits
With COVID’s impact on the economy, we know businesses are watching budgets and looking for ways to reduce costs until things pick up again. Commuter benefits are an ideal way for both owners and employees to save money during this time.
Commuter benefits motivate employees to take public transportation while saving money on commuting costs. Employees can save up to 40 percent of commuting costs tax-free through commuter benefits. With commuter benefits, you can save $265 per month toward the cost of commuting. You can spend the money on public transportation like subways, buses or ferries, rideshares or qualified parking.
If you own a business or are in charge of the budget, you’ll want to know that you can save $41 per employee per month for each employee who enrolls in your commuter benefits program. For a company with 50 employees participating for 12 months, that means more than $24,000 in savings on payroll taxes. If you can increase that number to 75 employees, that could mean $36,000 in savings.
As you head to work in the coming weeks and months, make sure you minimize your risks.
To learn more about commuter benefits, download the 101 Guide below: