Employee Incentives

An incentive is anything that motivates someone to take a particular action, especially a desired, premeditated action.

What are common forms of transportation incentives? 


Subsidies, reimbursements, and tax-free commuter options incentivize employees in a positive way to choose transit and alternative modes of transportation as the most cost-effective option. Removing parking subsidies or charging for parking (especially on a daily basis; see Parking Management Strategies) further incentivizes employees to use alternative commute modes when they can.


Provide clear instructions for how to access transportation benefits, services, and resources to all new hires and share with current employees with updated information regularly (see Program Information Posted). Providing simple solutions and updates on improved or changing transportation options is the most cost-effective way to change behavior.


There are many ways of incentivizing employees to choose an alternative commute that will cost your employer little or no money. These include policy implementation, communications, and peer support.


Implement clear policies that emphasize alternative commute modes over driving alone. For example, provide a pre-loaded ORCA card (or instructions to retrieve an ORCA card) to every employee on their first day, but request an application for parking options.

Peer Support

Provide opportunities and platforms for your employees to connect to one another, such as quarterly happy hours where employees can join carpools, find people to bike to work with, or sign up for transportation benefits or challenges.

Company Support


An image of a group of five smiling people. The quote to the right says:  “Our programs help us  reduce our impact on our  community and increase our  capacity to serve every child  who needs us.” -Jamie Cheney, Seattle Children’s  Transportation Director
What makes Seattle Children’s stand out? See their award-winning transportation programming below:


  • Offer $4 daily commute bonus
  • Parking charged daily, not monthly Offer ORCA transit subsidy, including vanpool subsidy
  • Free shuttle service for travel between worksites and regional transit hubs as well as to off-site parking lots
  • Free bicycles for commuting
  • On-site Staff Bicycle Service Center, open 3 days/week
  • Two free bicycle tune-ups/year
  • Free lockers, showers and towel service
  • Free covered and secure bike parking
  • Cycling education program
  • Regular, mode-specific custom communications
  • Integrate transportation programs with employee onboarding 10 customer service, planning & operations staff
  • Discounted carpool parking
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Telework and compressed work week

Employee Incentives Checklist

☐ Review your current transportation benefits and assess the following: how these benefits are communicated, when these benefits are communicated, and how employees are financial incentivized to behave.

☐ Empower employees to connect to one another online or in-person. 

☐ Take advantage of free campaigns offered by local agencies (see Promoting Annual Campaigns / Important Dates).

☐ Empower employees to connect to one another online or in-person.