Johns Manville - Denver, CO
FAST FACTS ABOUT: Johns Manville - Denver, CO
Types of TDM: Modal Shift
Keywords: Transit subsidy, parking management, pre-tax benefits
Employer Demographics: Corporate office located in downtown Denver near ample bus and light rail service, limited parking. Although Johns Manville has multiple offices around the country, the program is offered to Denver employees only
Program: 100% transit subsidy, GRH, free-parking vouchers and parking subsidy
Results: 55% drive alone, .5% vanpool, 44% bus/rail, .5% walk, carpool not tracked
Cost of Program:.$372,129 includes parking charges, EcoPass and parking validation stamps.
Staff: 1 FTE, Risk Management Coordinator dedicates 20 hours a month to transportation benefits.
Contact: Pam Linam, LinamP@JM.com
1987-1990s: The Early Years of the Transportation Program
In 1987 Johns Manville, a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products, moved from a spacious location in the Foothills outside of Denver, Colorado to a transit-convenient location in downtown Denver. Despite the expense, management guaranteed employees free parking for the first five years at the new location. For employees that did not want to drive, the company paid all but the taxes on either a monthly transit pass or up to four coupon books of transit tickets. Employees opting for the monthly pass could choose between purchasing a subsidized Local, Regional and Express bus pass. The individual employee’s commute lengths determined the type of pass they preferred.
Johns Manville extended their parking subsidy after five years and continued to pay 100% of parking costs for employees until 1998. On October 1, 1998, Johns Manville capped the employer paid parking expense at $110 per month. Employees had the option of parking on the roof for no extra expense or parking under cover for an additional $15.00 per month. For those who chose covered parking, the additional $15.00per month was deducted through payroll at $7.50 per pay period. Both rooftop and covered parking costs increased through the next four years. Effective March 1, 2002, roof top parking increased to $131.30 and covered to $146.40. Current lease requirements include a 1% increase in parking costs per year, which Johns Manville passes down to employees. Currently, Johns Manville continues to subsidize all parking at $110.00 a month.
Pre-Tax Benefits and Light Rail
A provision amended by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century increased the limits for public transit to $65 dollars per month (Federal, tax free) in January of 2000. The allowed pre-tax amount exceeded the cost to ride the bus and therefore, the employee was no longer taxed as part of the program. This legislation encouraged Johns Manville to reevaluate their transportation benefits program. Cost-effectiveness and bottom line good business sense became the main motivations for Johns Manville.
It became cost effective for Johns Manville
to purchase the local annual employee bus pass, the Eco Pass, when over
30% of employees started riding light rail and transit.
In 1994, Denver welcomed its first light rail line which included a stop in front of Johns Manville’s Denver office. The opening of the rail line attracted additional employees to transit. It became cost effective for Johns Manville to purchase the local annual employee bus pass, the Eco Pass, when over 30% of employees started riding rail and transit and the cost for the monthly pass increased. Purchasing individual monthly passes for 30% of employees became far more expensive than purchasing the Eco Pass for all employees. Additionally, upper management recognized the financial benefits of providing an Eco Pass program for employees as annual parking costs were significantly reduced as the number of employees choosing light rail and transit increased.
In 2000, Johns Manville worked with the local transit district, RTD, to provide the Eco Pass to all employees. The company received a variety of incentives and “first-time-Eco Pass” subsidies that further convinced upper management to expand the transit program. Despite the short-term incentives, the company recognizes the need to provide choices to employs and is committed to providing the Eco Pass as long as the benefit is cost-effective when compared to parking. Johns Manville pays 100% of the Eco Pass cost.
Due to the fact that Johns Manville subsidizes each parking space they require employees to choose between a parking space and the Eco Pass, employees cannot have both. Given the “either-or” policy, Johns Manville recognized the need to provide flexibility within the program. Therefore, employees are free to try one form of commuting for a short term in order to make the best decision between driving and utilizing transit. Additionally, all employees that chose an Eco Pass are eligible to participate in the Guaranteed Ride Home Program and can receive up to 12 free parking days a year. Finally, Johns Manville’s transportation program also provides $110/month in vanpool subsidies for interested employees. Given the close proximity to transit and rail, only two employees currently participate in a vanpool program.
Since 2000, when the Eco Pass program started, Johns Manville’s transportation benefits program has resulted in the following mode split: 55% drive alone, 44% bus/rail, .5% vanpool, .5% walk.