Michigan Land Use Institute

Thriving Communities / News & Views / Google Saves Big By Offering Bus Passes, Specialist Says

Google Saves Big By Offering Bus Passes, Specialist Says

Incentives save company thousands for each participating employee

Choices | June 26, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Recent Posts

Like Food, Local Music Can Grow Economy

Thriving Communities | April 30, 2015 | By Hans Voss

Traverse City has shown that anything is possible. The arts are a growing and important part of our local culture and economy. Now it’s time to ramp up the local music scene to a level that meets the high standards of our terrific town ....

MLUI Supports Proposal 1

Transportation | April 17, 2015 | By James Bruckbauer

Michigan’s roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair, yet the funding structure for transportation is broken. The measure on the ballot this May 5 attempts to remedy that. While Proposal 1 is not a perfect fix, the Michigan Land Use Institute firmly believes that the positive changes it would have for our infrastructure far outweigh the negatives. ...

MLUI takes first place in crowdfunding competition

A2TC | March 26, 2015 | By MLUI

The work to bring passenger rail to Traverse City is off to a good start thanks to a quick crowdfunding effort that raised almost $19,000 in ten days. This month, the Michigan Land Use Institute took first place in the Patagonia and Moosejaw “$10,000 Charity Thing,” an annual crowdfunding competition among ten causes nationwide, and took home an additional $5,000 prize for a total of $18,650....

Mary Sell, of getDowntown in Ann Arbor, explains how Google provides incentives to employees to leave their cars at home.
Mary Sell, of getDowntown in Ann Arbor, explains how Google provides incentives for employees to leave their cars at home. 

One of the benefits you’re offered on your first day as a Google employee in downtown Ann Arbor is a financial incentive to leave your car at home.

Earlier this month, at the Getting Transportation to Work Commuter Summit in Traverse City, Mary Sell told the audience that the tech giant offers one of the best commuter incentive packages in the city.

Google employees can choose a monthly parking pass, OR a year-round bus pass plus $50 a month for things like gasoline, car-sharing credits, coffee or baked goodies.

The bus pass, called a go!pass, is provided through Ann Arbor’s getDowntown program, which is dedicated to encouraging employees to carpool, bike, bus and walk to work. The pass provides free unlimited busing on all local routes, discounts on cab rides, as well as discounts at downtown stores and restaurants.

Companies can provide go!passes to their employees for $10 a year. The city’s parking revenues offset much of the cost of the pass.

Google pays its employees not to drive alone because they want to promote healthy lifestyles to employees, recruit and retain talent, and save money.

Since it costs the company $160 a month to provide a parking space to each employee, by offering the incentive not to drive, Google saves about $1,260 per employee, according to estimates by getDowntown.

As a result, Google has more employees using the bus than any other downtown employer.

James Bruckbauer is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s transportation policy specialist. Follow him on Twitter at @jimbruckb. Reach him at james@mlui.org.

No Comments

Search Archives

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org