Answering “yes” to those questions or implementing other measures to reduce commuting times not only can save your fuel budget, but it also could make a difference in ITD’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.
A survey of ITD employee commuting habits indicates that nearly two-thirds arrive before 7 a.m., 25 percent leave by 4 p.m. and 21 percent leave by 4:30. Travel outside of the traditional periods of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. can reduce congestion, idling time and auto emissions.
More than half of the District 4 employees work 10-hour shifts, four days per week. An estimated 17 percent of all employees have compressed work schedules, according to the survey.
ITD may consider expanding options for alternative commuting times and work schedules as part of its Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Action Plan – as long as altered schedules do not negatively impact the department’s commitment to customer service.
“Foremost in any plan to change arrival and staff departure and arrival hours and/or the number of days worked during the week will be the need to meet our business mission to serve our customers,” emphasizes Patti Raino, who coordinated ITD’s greenhouse gas reduction team.
More than 80 percent of ITD’s employees responded to the survey last summer and were instrumental in creation of the action plan.
How much difference can a compressed work schedule make on the environment?
According to the recently completed action plan, cutting one commute day per week would translate to 600 round-trips each week, or 31,200 trips per year.
“On average, the weekly commute for ITD employees is approximately 76.2 miles, based on information gained from the employee survey. This would mean savings of 2,377,440 miles driven in the course of a year if approximately 50 percent of our work force used a 4/10 compressed work schedule,” according to the action plan.
ITD’s ambitious plan calls for increasing the use of a four-day work schedule to at least 25 percent of its employees in fiscal year 2009 – as long as the customer service remains a top priority.
That would require a review of ITD’s policy, a review of the District 4’s experience, supervisor training and guidance and promoting the compressed workweek in highly congested areas of the state.
"Foremost in any plan to change arrival and staff departure hours and/or the number of days worked during the week will be the need to meet our business mission to serve our customers," Raino said.
Other measures related to employee commuting that were identified in the action plan include:
ITD’s 12-member greenhouse gas reduction team formed last summer to shape the action plan. The group will meet at least quarterly to evaluate progress and determine additional steps that can be recommended to management and employees.