Incentivizing Employees to Live Close to Work and Reduce Traffic

I have written about incentives that employers could pay employees for living near work in an earlier post.  I am breaking this out as a separate post because this could be a key strategy for reducing traffic around town.

The problem in Cupertino is that the reputations of schools here are the primary draw for residents moving here.  This has driven the cost of housing both in price and rent higher than many of the surrounding areas.  This makes it less attractive for employees working here to live here.  If employees of major employers could live within walking distance of where they worked that would mean fewer numbers of cars on our freeways and local streets.

Recently more and more companies have been paying their employees to live closer to work because they get employees who do not have to fight hours of traffic every day thus come to work more rested, happy and productive.  Since productivity is what companies want of their employees helping them to defray some of their rental costs would be of great benefit.  This would also improve the quality of life for employees in not having to spend hours stuck in traffic.  Some companies in Silicon Valley are already doing this (see references at the end of this article)

How can Apple employees be encouraged to occupy housing at Vallco legally without violating the Fair Housing Laws?  Apple could give their employees monthly monetary incentives for walking or biking to work or for living within for example 1 mile from work. Having employees so close to work will have great benefit to Apple from more productive employees. They will be more likely to be at work on time. Employees could wake up later and be more rested and alert not having to waste time fighting daily commuter traffic and would be in a better frame of mind at work. They would be so close that employees could conveniently go to work any time including weekends without having to worry about commuting or weather or other inconveniences we take so much for granted. This all adds up to increased productivity which is everything to Apple. Rewards for achievements could take the form of upgrades in living quarters where Apple would pay the difference in rents for example.

So if there could be significant numbers of housing at Vallco which is next to Apple Campus 2 they could walk to work in 10-15 minutes, the time it takes for a commuter to park their car and walk into their company.  They would also save a bundle of money on car and other commuter expenses and ware and tear on their cars.  The time saved each day could be used to enjoy life and be with family.  Then if Vallco would have shops, restaurants, sports facilities, theaters, fitness centers, etc. it would be like a paradise all accessible on foot.

Reference Articles:

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
This entry was posted in Examples, Ideas, Traffic. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s