Connecting 1,500+ TDM experts virtually

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to influence the way we live, work, and commute across the world, transportation industry leaders are working to create future-proof strategies that allow our cities to safely and effectively resume transportation for when commuting returns. 

On Wednesday, April 1, more than 1,500 Transportation Demand Management (TDM) experts gathered virtually from around the world for the fifth annual CommuteCon, the world’s largest annual online transportation and mobility conference held by RideAmigos, bringing leaders in search of smart and sustainable commuting solutions together to participate in a robust exchange of ideas. 

Among the list of expert speakers this year were Scoop’s Senior Director of Strategic Research Charlie Knuth, Professor Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, LinkedIn Head of Bay Area Transportation Danielle Glaser, and Emerging Transport Advisors founder Timothy Papandreou. Other speakers including leading academics, planners, and designers from Alta Planning, LA Metro, Ideas 42, and the NREL’s Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences discussing science in practice, and others from, Western Transportation Institute, and Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University focusing on applications of behavioral science to influence and optimize commuter behavior and mobility.

There’s no question that COVID-19 has effectively altered transportation as we know it. Looking forward to a post-COVID future, it’s the responsibility of government, HR, and transportation leaders to create safe and effective strategies to prepare to bring our people back to the workplace when the time is right. Centered around the timely theme of The Science of Smart Commuting, CommuteCon brought together leaders in government, enterprise, and TDM to discuss research and findings about the latest science, innovations, and technology shaping the future of commuter transportation as we prepare for the return of our workforces to the office.

Here are a few of the highlights from this year’s event:

Laying the groundwork: The State of the American Commute

Leading organizations are beginning to proactively plan about how to rebound when their organizations begin to resume business operations. At Scoop, we’re here to help organizations put in place a resilient strategy to help address the daily ritual of how workforces get to and from the office. 

To demonstrate why the commute is the connective thread between employee retention, employee performance, and individual happiness and well-being, Charlie Knuth, our Senior Director of Strategic Research, shared his expertise to CommuteCon on the current state of the American commute: it’s history, implications, and how we as individuals and organizations can make a change for the better. 

The top issue facing executives today is the struggle to attract and retain top talent–and, at the same time, the commute is one of the top three drivers of attrition, second only to pay and working overtime. Charlie shed light on Scoop’s data-driven research showing how the traditional commute is decreasing productivity, adding to costs, and extending the workdays of approximately 145 million Americans. As organizations gear up for their employees to return to work, Charlie also discussed the proof points illuminating why improving the commute is a fundamental responsibility for employers and governments everywhere.

Watch our State of the American Commute presentation from CommuteCon right now >

Scoop’s data shows just how much a poor commute can financially impact a 5,000 person company in the United States.

The Science of Smart Commuting is Pooling 

In the first keynote of the day, Professor Susan Shaheen, Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at UC-Berkeley, discussed the role technology is having on shaping consumer behavior and expectations, including potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on commute patterns. As individuals, cities, and organizations alike search for efficient and sustainable commuting solutions, Susan highlighted that on-demand carpooling has potential to create a value proposition for both travelers and their employers.

Professor Susan Shaheen, UC-Berkeley Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, walks through the potential ways COVID-19 may chance long-term traveler behavior.  

Advancing Sustainable Commuting at LinkedIn

As the Head of Bay Area Transportation for LinkedIn, Danielle Glaser, an urban planner solving community mobility and accessibility issues, is responsible for helping over 8,000 LinkedIn employees find alternative ways to get to work than driving alone. 

LinkedIn realizes that the commute and sustainability go hand in hand. Joining Microsoft’s Carbon Negative Pledge, LinkedIn and other companies in the Microsoft family are working to remove all carbon Microsoft has emitted directly or via electricity consumption since its founding in 1975.

In order to provide a great commute experience while achieving advancing sustainable transportation practices, Danielle spoke on LinkedIn’s top four transportation benefits it offers to their people: bike/walk, public transit, ridesharing (such as with Scoop), and commuter shuttles. 

LinkedIn Head of Bay Area Transportation Danielle Glaser provides an overview of LinkedIn’s four main commuter options

LinkedIn is known for championing strong employee experience. Recognizing that offering employees a portfolio of commuter options is a core tenant of an exemplary employee experience, LinkedIn uses its commuter program to bolster strong company culture while meeting corporate sustainability goals. 

While Danielle provided an overview of LinkedIn’s big four transportation offers, she provided a case study on the success of LinkedIn’s Commuter Bike Program with the KPI of increasing the bike commuting mode split. To meet this goal, Danielle discussed how the company was able to drive commuter change and increase its Commuter Bike Program usage and engagement by enacting bike classes, a monthly employee newsletter, educating new hires and interns at onboarding and orientations, and partnering with other LinkedIn groups such as PAL and GoGreen. 

The Great Transport Transition

Closing the conference was keynote Timothy Papandreou: founder of Emerging Transport Advisors, former Chief Innovation Officer at San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency, and former lead of strategic partnerships for autonomous vehicle leader GoogleX/Waymo. 

As our populations and cities continue to evolve, our transportation infrastructure and programs must continue to evolve at the same pace. Tim provided his unique insights from private, public, and community experience to highlight why–and when–the great SEA (shared, electric, automated) change is coming to our world’s transport systems. Tim discussed how we are at the beginning phases of the sunsetting of our traditional transport system and the dawning of this new active, shared (like carpooling!), electric, and automated transition. This transition will impact every part of our daily lives, especially commuting. 

Emerging Transport Advisors founder Timothy Papandreou discusses how traditional transportation systems are going to evolve to encompass SEA: shared, electric, and automated infrastructure. 

About CommuteCon

CommuteCon is a free annual online conference that unites members of the commuter management and transportation demand management (TDM) community. Its objective is to bring those in search of smart and sustainable commuting solutions together to participate in a robust and inspiring exchange of ideas. Each year, CommuteCon welcomes hundreds of TDM leaders and stakeholders from around the world. Beyond benefiting from the advanced insights of the conference’s all-star lineup of expert speakers, participants also enjoy excellent opportunities to build broader networks of thought partners while furthering their strategic skills. The conference is presented in partnership with Scoop, and with support from the and with support from the Association for Commuter Transportation, Waze, and the Coalition for Smarter Transportation.  

About RideAmigos

RideAmigos, the host of CommuteCon, is the leading cloud-based commuter engagement hub that brings together fragmented mobility solutions with proven principles of behavioral change programs. The platform and programs empower large employers, universities, and government agencies to influence smarter commuter behavior that reduces congestion, parking demand, and environmental impact while creating healthier, happier communities.

Lizzie Ryan

Lizzie Ryan

Lizzie Ryan is the Communications Manager at Scoop, supporting external communications and bringing Scoop's brand to commuters everywhere. In her spare time, you can find her teaching and practicing yoga across the San Francisco Bay Area.