Overlake Christian Church - Redmond, WA
FAST FACTS ABOUT: Overlake Christian Church
Types of TDM: Modal Shift
Keywords: Suburban Location, Carpool, Incentives
Employer Demographics: Located in the City of Redmond, WA, Overlake Christian Church has ample free parking and receives minimal bus service.
Program: The transportation benefits program provides up to 16 hours of paid time off per year to employees utilizing other forms of alternative transportation and $20 a month financial subsidy for public transportation.
Results: 52% drive alone, 1% bus, 26% carpool, 12% Flextime/compressed work week
Cost of Program: $4,000
Staff: 1 FT with other various responsibilities including transportation program and 1 FT Director with only oversight of program.
Contacts: Nancy Thorgeson, Director of Human Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org; Barbara Graef, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, email@example.com
The Overlake Christian Church broke ground in 1968 with a handful of members and even fewer employees. By the mid-1990’s, its growth resulted in the need for a new, larger church. Church leaders selected a 27-acre site in Redmond, Washington and oversaw the construction of the 250,000 sq. ft. campus located minutes from Microsoft. The Overlake Christian Church (OCC) development included the construction of a parking lot necessary to accommodate the 2,000 plus vehicles for attendees and employees. In November 1996, OCC opened the doors to its new campus for 3,500 plus attendees and 109 employees.
OCC was driven to provide commute benefits
to employees by the desire to set an example to other employers and
the opportunity to be a role model in the community.
With assistance from the Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association (GRTMA), the OCC chose to voluntarily comply with Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) law. The CTR law requires that all employers with more than 100 employees traveling to work during peak morning times provide commute alternative programs. These programs must reduce the number of single-occupancy-vehicles (SOV) on the roadway during the busy morning commute. Though over 100 employees worked at OCC, not all traveled to and from work during the peak morning commute times. Nonetheless, OCC was driven to provide commute benefits to employees by the desire to set an example to other employers and the opportunity to be a role model in the community.
Carpool and Take Time Off
OCC is located in an area of Redmond that receives minimal transit service. This, combined with the availability of ample free parking, led OCC to develop a carpool-oriented transportation program. Upper management supported the program by providing opportunities for creativity and innovation. They also set aside funds and assigned transportation benefits program management responsibilities to a staff member. As such, the Human Resource Director and the Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) developed an incentive based program.
In 2001, OCC unveiled its unique and award-wining transportation benefits program. Utilizing the GRTMAs rideshare matching software, OCC provides internal rideshare matching services to connect employees with one another. Employees that choose to carpool on a regular basis can earn up to 16 hours of paid time off a year for carpooling. Time is earned on a quarterly basis and is based on the number of days per week an employee commutes using an alternative commute mode. As a further benefit, carpoolers receive the best parking spaces at OCC.
Recognizing carpooling isn’t for everyone, the program also provides a $20.00 a month transit and ferry pass incentive. OCC has set up a telework program, supports flextime and alternative work schedules and provides bike racks, showers and covered bike parking for cyclists.
Despite the presence of free and ample
parking and the low level of bus service, Overlake Christian Church
has created a successful model transportation benefits program.
Marketing, Partners and Results
The ETC utilized a thorough marketing campaign to educate employees about the new program. Presentations to new and existing employees throughout the year, as well as a transportation benefits program piece on the OCC Intranet ensure all employees are informed of the program. The transportation program is also shared at OCC’s regular chapel meetings and all-staff lunches and via email notification.
OCC partners with the GRTMA to leverage marketing and outreach materials produced by them for employers throughout the Redmond area. GRTMA also sponsors multiple regional events throughout the year, including Bike to Work day and other alternative commuting campaigns. The ETC works diligently to ensure OCC’s employees are aware of and involved in the various local, regional and state campaigns, events and activities.
Despite the presence of free and ample parking and the low level of bus service, Overlake Christian Church has created a successful model transportation benefits program. From 2001-2003, Overlake Christian Church’s program has reduced SOV travel by employees from 84% to 52%. 31% of employees participate in the program, 26% carpool, 12% utilize flextime, 8% telework, 1% use transit and 1% bike to work.
Overlake Christian Church has won numerous awards including the Diamond Award from Commuter Challenge (the local employer commute assistance program), the City of Redmond’s Commute Trip Reduction Program Award and recently the Washington State Governor’s Commute Smart Award.