Representatives from Commuter Services of Pennsylvania spoke to attendees about the benefits its free commuter ridesharing services offer during a Humboldt Park Association meeting earlier this month.
Rob Mordan, Commuter Services of PA employer outreach manager, and Stacy Newcomer, deputy project manager, said sharing rides to work via carpooling or vanpooling rather than having each employee drive alone helps alleviate traffic congestion and improve on-the-job productivity and job retention among employees.
“Employers can offer this as a benefit to their employees. We help employees save money on their commute or help those without reliable transportation or a license still make it to work every day,” Mordan said. “It’s something that is needed in this area and is a free service so it’s great for businesses. We help employers keep their employees on staff and will work with each company on an individual basis to set up a program that meets your specific needs.”
Mordan and Newcomer said the mission of Commuter Services of PA, which is funded by federal Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality funds, is to help improve air quality and cut down on the number of cars on the road. The organization matches individuals from its database of nearly a thousand people across Northeast PA to create a carpool option that works for everyone. Vanpooling is offered for larger groups for a small fee due to the use of third-party van companies that provide the vehicles. Mordan also explained the organization’s Emergency Ride Home program, which a carpool passenger can use to get home in the event of an emergency or if an emergency occurs with the driver of the carpool.
“The Emergency Ride Home program offers employees a way to get a ride home if they have a family emergency, if there is an unexpected illness or emergency for the carpool driver, or if they or their driver are scheduled for unexpected mandatory overtime. A commuter will be reimbursed for a maximum of six rides and up to $100 per ride per calendar year.”
Employers looking for more information on the program can contact Commuter Services of PA at 1-866-579-RIDE or visit www.PaCommuterServices.org.
To open the Humboldt Park Association meeting, Amanda Morrison, an account manager with PPL Electric Utilities, gave a presentation on PPL’s new account structure and the company’s energy savings and rebate programs.
Morrison explained that any business customers with facilities in PPL’s service territories are eligible for the Business Rebate Program. As part of the program, PPL provides customers with an assessment of their facility, a database of participating contractors and rebates toward efficiency projects. Rebates are based on kilowatts per hour saved per year and are available for lighting, HVAC, food service equipment, refrigeration, controls/occupancy sensors, variable frequency devices for pumps and motors, combined heat and power, agriculture and some custom projects.
The energy efficiency program provides customized assistance, including energy performance benchmarking to help companies learn where and how their buildings are wasting energy. Morrison said the program is in phase three of a five-year plan but companies can get favorable rates by joining now.
“You can apply for a rebate now and lock in at a higher rate for any future projects you may do down the road,” she said. “For existing projects, once the paperwork is submitted a rebate check can be issued in as little as five days.”