Enterprise Mobility Offers Help with Transportation Gap in Workplace

Commute with Enterprise Vanpooling. Photo from Enterprise website.

Four primary workforce barriers keep workers from filling jobs: Lack of needed skills or education, substance abuse, childcare and transportation. In Tennessee, living without a car is hard according to a recent report by HVAC Gnome. But Enterprise Rent-a-Car is hoping to become one of the solutions with the name change to Enterprise Mobility and the growth of their Commute with Enterprise (CWE) division.

“In the last two weeks we have changed our name to Enterprise Mobility because of divisions like us who move 50,000 commuters daily,” said Ariel Long, Account Executive, Commute with Enterprise, at a recent business conference in Rutherford County.

Currently, the program is available in 48 states, has eliminated one billion commuter miles, and removed 45,000 cars from roads.

With more companies requiring workers to come back into the office, commuting opportunities are one of the top two incentives being offered according to Long. It is the second-most important factor to job applicants according to research shared by Long. She also stated that 23% of employees have left jobs because of a bad commute. And long commutes are associated with higher absenteeism.

This program provides a van to groups of employees who live in a specific area and are willing to share driving responsibilities. With a seven-passenger van, this would mean that each commuter would only have to drive every seventh week, freeing up driving time for the other six to have personal time, sleep or work.

“We can connect four to fifteen individuals who live in a central location or along the same corridor,” explained Long. “They can pick their own vehicle. And they can opt in and opt out monthly.”

Vehicles include SUVs, crossovers and vans depending on the number of participants. Each participant shares in the expense, and included in that expense is protection, maintenance and 24-hour roadside service coordinated by the CWE Account Executive.

This is not a new concept, not even locally. Franklin, Tennessee has a similar program coordinated by their Transportation Management Association (TMA) Group. TMA was formed in 1988 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation as a public-private partnership of government, business and community leaders. TMA manages a variety of mobility, transit and transportation demand management solutions within the Middle Tennessee region.

Using their public/private partnership, TMA has been able to attain funding for their programs through the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

TMA not only offers van-pooling, car-pooling, and manages Franklin Transit Authority, but they also have educational programs for the public about transportation solutions and they design employer solutions using extensive travel information to provide smart commute solutions.

With the increase in traffic in Middle Tennessee, it is going to become important to look for solutions that will decrease the number of cars on the road. The HVAC Gnome report assessed four factors when looking at the Best Cities for Carless Living: Access to multiple forms of transportation, commute culture, safety and climate.

According to HVAC Gnome, “…owning a vehicle can be a big burden on your bank account. Car ownership costs increased by over 13% between 2022 and 2023, after increasing by 11% the year before…Researchers have found that public transportation is both cheaper and safer. Some cities are experimenting with bold “open streets” concepts, designating temporary or permanent car-free spaces to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety… Choosing public transportation over taking your personal vehicle is a better option for the environment, too, reducing emissions by 45%.”