News

2022

Participate in our Story Contest. Submit a story or picture about your favorite bike trail to commutesolutions@h-gac.com for a chance to win some bike swag.

Want to learn more about bike safety? Join one of our bike safety courses throughout the region.

Visit our Bike Month page below for additional opportunities to celebrate in the region.

From April 1-30, commuters across the region can join a self-paced virtual Transportation Resource Fair sponsored by the Commute Solutions program. Featured are various options for saving money (and pollution) while traveling to work or school. There are videos to watch, brochures to download, and links to maps and schedules.

Visitors can also use tools like the Make Your Commute Count interactive online calculator that shows much can be saved by changing a commute even just one day each week. Participants can also learn more about the new ConnectSmart app and sign up as an early user to connect to transportation options like transit, bike share or bike paths. This fair is open 24 hours a day. Drop in when you wish, and visit the booths at your own pace.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council, through its Commute Solutions program, is looking for employers (business owners, company leaders, HR professionals, and anyone involved in the day-to-day planning and decision making of company policies) to take this year's Future of Work survey.

The information collected in this survey helps us better plan for the region's future in areas like transportation, community and small business development, land use and future workforce needs. We would like to know how your business has had to pivot in terms of flexible work and commuting—and how you expect things to continue to change going forward.

All responses will be anonymous and will only be reported in aggregate.

Please complete our brief survey about your employees' current commuting habits and your organization’s future of work plan.

Take the Survey

View the 2021 Regional Workplace Survey Results

For the entire month of April, every day is Earth Day! We will host a Virtual Transportation Resource Fair to discuss available commuting options within the region. The Commute Solutions team will also participate in the following Earth Day events:

  1. Discovery Green, Green Mountain Energy Earth Day – April 10
  2. UTMB Health Earth Day – April 15
  3. LaCenterra in Cinco Ranch – April 22

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to learn more about small changes you can make to your daily routine that will help reduce carbon emissions.

Do you need Commute Solutions to assist your organization with finding a better way for your employees to commute to work, please contact Francis Rodriguez at francis.rodriguez@h-gac.com or 713-993-2437.

2021

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently shared that the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit will increase to $280. The benefit is one of the most effective strategies for helping commuters choose to take public transit and vanpools.

Both employers and commuters can receive their tax benefits through pre-tax purchasing. Employers may opt to directly subsidize payments up to the newly increased monthly limit. The benefit will provide affordable commuting options as offices begin to reopen.

H-GAC’s Commute Solutions program provides guidance and information for employers to help them align their commuter benefits program with organizational goals. If you or your employer would like assistance with updating or establishing a commuter benefits program, please contact Francis Rodriguez, Senior Program Coordinator, at francis.rodriguez@h-gac.com.

Visit the IRS’s website for more information about the adjustments for 2022.

October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. Whether you walk to work or school, for relaxation or as a form of physical activity, it’s important to remember that everyone is a pedestrian. This month creates the opportunity to increase awareness about the shared responsibilities of both pedestrians and drivers.

We’ve included a few tips for drivers and pedestrians below:

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  1. Always be visible by wearing bright and reflective clothing.
  2. Always remain alert and don’t become distracted with electronic devices.
  3. Don’t assume that a driver sees you. Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.

Driver Safety Tips

  1. Always look for pedestrians, especially in school zones, parking lots, and near bike trails. Look for pedestrians when backing up or driving in reverse.
  2. Yield to pedestrians.
  3. Observe slower speed limits in school zones and neighborhoods where they may be children.
  4. Be present and focus on the task of driving. Limit distractions to minimize a potential collision.

Help us increase awareness around pedestrian safety and remind drivers to watch for pedestrians each and every time they are behind the wheel. Save a life by sharing information on how to be a safe driver and keeping those who walk safe.

Tell a friend, family member, or co-worker. Don’t know what to say? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a toolkit available to everyone! These resources can be used for your website, social media, emails, and newsletters!

September is Commute Solutions Month, and this month we have one request--to attend one of our virtual fairs to learn more about alternate forms of commuting, such as biking, walking, riding the bus or rail, carpooling, vanpooling or telework!

Visit our Commute Solutions Month page to register for one of our virtual transportation fairs, where you can play games, speak one on one with experts, watch short videos, grab additional information and win prizes!

Managing the Hybrid Environment: Best Practices for Managers & Employees
8/12/2021 at 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Special Guests, Elham Shirazi (E-Commuting) and Allison Velleca (AECOM) and H-GAC’s Deborah Mayfield.

This session will provide an insight into the latest trends and practices that impact the hybrid environment (having a schedule that allows employees to work at home a few days a week and few days in the office). We will also provide solutions to challenges that have become apparent during the pandemic version of teleworking and highlight best practices for teleworkers and managers.

Cloud Security and the Virtual Office
07/20/2021 at 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Special Guests, John Tran, IT Manager at H-GAC and Virtual Q joined us to discuss arming your teams with a safe and secure virtual environment for remote collaboration.

Leveraging Telework in Your Return to the Office
06/24/2021 at 11:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

This session will provide an overview of telework programs, highlight the latest data trends in the Houston region, and how companies will leverage telework programs into the future.

Commute Solutions celebrates "Telework Week" June 21, 2021 -June 18, 2021.

Telework Week aims to educate and motivate employers and employees to adopt flexible working and trip planning practices for their return to the office. This year we are spotlighting teleworkers, tele-managers, and executive leaders who support telework and have found creative ways to engage colleagues while working remotely.

Nominate a person of your choosing through June 14, 2021. Winners will be announced on various platforms during Telework Week.

Commute Solutions invites you to participate in Bike to Work Week May 17-21 and Bike to Work/Wherever Day on May 21!

Are you teleworking? If so, you can still participate by taking a trip to the coffee shop for breakfast or even grabbing lunch at a local restaurant. Please review our bicycle safety tips below:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while bicycling
  • Dress in bright colors
  • Inspect your equipment. Ensure that chains are correctly lubed and working properly
  • Add headlights, taillights, and reflectors to your bicycle
  • Ride on a trail, paved shoulder, bike lane, or bike route

Don’t forget to snap a photo of yourself during your trip, share it online with the hashtag #GulfCoastBikes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and tag us @HouGalvAreaCog for a chance to receive a Commute Solutions Swag Box.

May is National Bike Month! It's time to dust off that nifty bicycle in your garage and ride it to an event in your community. The Houston-Galveston region is vast, and events are happening in almost every corner to celebrate bicycling.

Visit our Bike Month website to learn more about events happening in May. You can also hear directly from the organizations participating in Bike Month by watching the archive of our 2021 Gulf Coast Regional Bike Month Celebration Kick-Off.

Join us at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, April 21st for an interactive webinar to discuss post-pandemic commuting in the Energy Corridor. Hear from key experts on biking, travel patterns, vanpool and transit commute options, and what has changed in the Energy Corridor during the pandemic.

Return to the Office: Let's Talk Transportation Choices Webinar

The presentation will be moderated by Elizabeth Whitton, AICP, the Energy Corridor District’s Transportation and Mobility Manager, and include presentations from transportation experts.

With the help of our Commute Solutions Partners, H-GAC is pleased to share results from a recent Regional Employer Survey that looks ahead through 2021 to provide an outlook on the future of telework, office space and transportation needs in the region.

Employers answered questions about their specific worksites, the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, and what their worksites might look like in the future. They also shared their thoughts on how commutes may change as the year progresses.

Key takeaways from the survey are that area employers anticipate that the percentage of those teleworking at least part-time will more than double as a result of COVID.

For those needing to physically travel to work, carpool, vanpool, transit, bicycling and walking still play a role, but over 90% of commuters may choose to drive alone, which represents an increase over the 80% regional drive alone rate reported in the American Community Survey in 2018.

If this outlook is true, we will have some real work to do to reduce congestion in our region. Congestion, according the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report, costs our area nearly $5M each year in additional fuel costs and lost productivity.

2020

September 30
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

As an extension of Commute with Confidence, the #SitSafe Partnership was created to prioritize the health and safety of public transit riders within the region.

October 5 marks the launch of a region wide #SitSafe campaign to demonstrate what measures area transit providers are taking to help keep each passenger safe.

Participating providers have developed materials that you watch, read and share to with your organization or other commuters.

September 30
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Learn more about safety when sharing the road with bicyclists. This one hour class will cover the basics and offer an opportunity for question and answer.

In recognition of the League of American Bicyclists' Bike to Work Week and Commute Solutions Month, the Houston-Galveston Area Council invites you to Bike to Work (or Anywhere) September 28-October 4, 2020.

Join the fun: Post a picture of your ride to work or anywhere with the hashtag #biketowork or #bikeanywhere on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and tag us @HouGalvAreaCog. One person each day will be selected to receive a Commute Solutions swag pack.

Make Your Commute Count is a fun, interactive calculator that measures the impact of driving alone. It also helps you discover how small changes can save you money in the long run and help reduce emissions.

Try it today and share the results with your friends and co-workers!

Contact us at commutesolutions@h-gac.com to find out what Commute Solutions are currently available for you.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council invites you to celebrate Commuter Solutions Month with us and many organizations around the region, from September 1-30, 2020. This month is dedicated to helping Greater Houston explore the wealth of available commute options and how to best take advantage of these options to make your commute count.

Commute Solutions Month will look slightly different this year, filled with live webinars, social media contests, and a brand-new game to help you calculate how you can build a better commute. We will also celebrate Bike to Work Week and Day September 21-25 and September 22, respectively.

If you are an individual, stay in touch to get the latest information as the full schedule is announced.

If you represent an organization, consider becoming a Commute Solutions Partner.