Paradox Prize pilot programs aim to attract and retain employees

Most employers offer transportation as an employee benefit to make the job more attractive to job candidates. Unfortunately, it’s usually free parking, which is no benefit to employees who don’t have a car to get them to work.

But that’s beginning to change. In Lake County, for example, Laketran, the county’s public transit agency, in December 2020 created a program called Transit GO, an employee benefit program that is helping workers get to their jobs, either on a regular Laketran bus route or on Dial-a-Ride, the system’s door-to-door service.

The program is being used by 400 employees at 175 employers. The monthly cost is $70 for an employee who uses the bus line and $400 a month for Dial-a-Ride service.

The program is one of eight first piloted as part of The Paradox Prize program, which offered $75,000 to help get the program off the ground. With additional support from an Ohio Department of Transportation grant and the grand prize money Laketran won for creating the best of the eight programs, Laketran has made Transit GO permanent a year after it began.

“A lot of times when companies think of where they want to locate, they look at taxes and finances; they don’t look at things like transportation, and the reality is transportation is very expensive,” said Ben Capelle, Laketran’s CEO. “I would love for business owners to say, ‘Well, I want to locate here, but is there bus service?'”

The Paradox Prize is an initiative of the Fund for Our Economic Future. Continue the full story here.