When re-evaluating your workforce’s transportation programs to be successful in this new COVID-19 landscape, it’s vital to keep safety at the forefront of your decision making process. After all, the safety of your people doesn’t begin the moment they arrive at the office–safety of your workforce starts the moment they step outside their front door.
When formulating your back-to-workplace plans, you’re beginning at the baseline that your employees have a right to a safe workplace. To have a safe workplace, employers have to ensure their people can get to work safely.
For many companies, the commute historically is the employee’s issue, but now that an unsafe commute creates a company risk, the commute is a company issue. The commute bookends the workday. It’s what your employees are bringing into the workplace and what they’re bringing home to their families.
While many employees may choose to drive alone back to your workplace, the strain on facilities will be staggering, and experts predict congestion will be worse than pre-COVID levels.
What about the one-third of commuters who don’t own or have access to a vehicle? They’ve likely relied on some form of shared transit to get to your workplace in the past, but will be looking to replace it because of safety concerns.
Conventional wisdom used to champion denser transportation modes for the commute because it led to less congestion, better air quality, and more liveable cities. But density is now in direct opposition to safety, and as a result, employers must invest in commute offerings to solve that challenge. Active mode programs (e.g. bikes, scooters) and low-density mode programs (e.g. carpools) are going to become must-have offerings.
As your organization begins to plan for the return-to-workplace, here are five key reasons why carpooling is a safe solution to help your people feel confident in their commute:
1. Significantly smaller exposure population compared to other shared transportation options
Public transportation, shuttles, and vanpools are high-capacity services—even with physical distancing in place, they can group anywhere from five to hundreds of passengers at a time. These passengers (your employees) will interact with shared surfaces, entry points, and air systems. In addition, these options support repeat trips, creating even greater risk of exposure between groups, which means increased opportunities for exposure and/or substantial disinfection overhead.
Carpooling enables a shared transportation mode that has fully reduced capacity to the minimum option: just two people—co-workers who they’ll be sharing an office with. Specifically with Scoop, we’ll be limiting all carpools to just two people, and we’ll also direct passengers to sit only in the back right seat to maximize distance between the Driver and the Rider, and to eliminate contact of shared surfaces (e.g. door handles, cup holders, seats, etc).
Unlike group transit, carpools also have full control over air conditioning/ airflow, which stops movement of aerosol contaminants.
2. The Scoop community is built on trust and responsibility
The Scoop community is composed of respectful, safe, and trustworthy employee commuters. Our community knows each other (both from sharing transportation and your workplace) and exhibits a heightened sense of responsibility toward one another. This should greatly increase comfort and provide a sense of safety and responsibility when commuting with others.
3. Scoop’s policies instruct carpoolers to be responsible–and holds them accountable
We’ve implemented strict health and safety policies that all Carpoolers must follow to use Scoop. These policies include everything from regular cleaning protocols to symptom checks to in-car physical distancing requirements. We’ll regularly review Carpooler feedback and support channels to verify users are following these policies. Additionally, we’ll continue to make and release experiential improvements to support our health and safety goals. Because safety is our top priority, users who violate these policies will be removed from the Scoop platform.
4. Conformity to safety policies is possible with Scoop
Group transportation options (e.g. public transit, shuttles, etc.) present a clear safety risk because the relative capacity makes it difficult to enforce health and safety protocols consistently and reliably. As a result, when one commuter doesn’t comply with safety protocols, it creates an unsafe and at-risk experience for everyone else sharing the same space—and that means those risks then enter your workplace.
In a two-person Scoop carpool, it’s easier to ensure your fellow Carpooler is complying with Scoop’s policies, making for a safer and more pleasant commute. Most importantly, however, in a Scoop, a user can always cancel a trip and report their fellow Carpooler if they ever have a safety concern, and our Support team will be available on-demand to assist.
5. Autonomy to create the experience that feels safest
One of the benefits of carpooling is having the ability to take additional safety precautions that aren’t available in other group transportation options. So long as Carpoolers are following Scoop’s health and safety protocols, they can coordinate with their fellow Carpooler to create a commute experience that feels safe and comfortable for both parties. By carpooling with Scoop, users have the autonomy not available on group transit to make their commute meet their needs.
If your company is searching for a solution to help ensure your workforce has a safe, reliable, and equitable way to get back into the workplace, please reach out to our team—we’re happy to provide you with an overview of how we can help support you at this time.