Seattle Children’s Hospital is a great example of what can be done in terms of encouraging alternative means of transit. Initiatives include an alternative transit route plan for new employees outlining ways in which they can get to work without using a car, incentives for staff who use alternative forms of transport (each day a staff member chooses an alternative commute form – including walk, bus, bike, light rail, carpool, vanpool, or telecommute, s/he receives a $3.25 “commute bonus”), a shuttle service from main transit stations to hospital sites which cyclists can use thanks to the bike racks fitted onto the front of the shuttles, and access to Zipcars for business trips through a Seattle Children’s Zipcar account (the hospital houses three Zipcars on campus). The cars are also available for use by employees who need to travel to and from meetings and appointments through subsidized personal Zipcar accounts.
Seattle Children’s also partnered with King County and ECOtality to launch the nation’s first electric vanpool program and added four Nissan Leafs to its vanpool vehicle fleet for use by its employees courtesy of King County, and four electric charging stations from ECOtality.
In addition, Seattle Children’s offers free classes for employees on bicycle maintenance as well as a subsidized, on-site bike tune up service, covered and locked bicycle cages, a bicycle loan scheme which includes 180 bikes, showers and a towel service.
Automatic readers located at hospital car parking entrances has meant that the hospital has been able to track staff transportation with 60 percent of employees getting to work using a means other than a single occupancy vehicle. Jennifer Malley, Transportation Planner at Seattle Children’s added: “At Seattle Children’s we see the effects of growing numbers of children affected by asthma every day and we understand that commuting represents one of the biggest impacts we have on the environment, and our community. We have therefore adopted some of the most progressive transportation policies in the region and we’ve made remarkable progress in reducing our single occupancy vehicle car trips over the last 20 years from 60% in 1993 to 39% in 2009.”