Healthy Transportation Choices
Through its pilot, The MetroHealth System set out to determine how it can simultaneously help employees get to work, thereby improving retention as well as attraction of new employees; offer incentives for employees to improve their health; and contribute to more sustainable practices for the good of the environment. Spearheaded by the Office of Sustainability, the multi-phased undertaking includes: offering free monthly transit passes to frontline employees of its main and Old Brooklyn campuses, with an expanded offering during the pilot to employees at any transit-connected campus; the adoption of a daily parking rate; educational supports on how to incorporate public transit and other mobility options; and incentives for using various modes of transportation to commute to work, including a reduction in health care costs.
Every step of the way, MetroHealth got feedback from its employees on the pilot, through regular surveys and focus groups. For instance, the free transit passes were initially offered to those living within a one-mile radius of its main and Old Brooklyn campuses. But early feedback suggested frontline employees who lived farther out and near a bus line might benefit more because they had fewer alternatives and often faced multiple transit connections and longer commutes, so the pilot was expanded to include these employees.
Such was the case for Karen Walker, who doesn’t own a car, lives in Euclid and takes seven buses to and from her facilities job at MetroHealth’s main campus. In a Crain’s Content Studio-Cleveland article published in October 2021, Karen shared: “It means a lot to me that MetroHealth cares about my commute and what kinds of challenges I face getting to work, because I rely on the buses.”