Join the movement and change your commute! The Commute Connections program helps City of Austin employees understand their sustainable commute options and take action to reduce their drive-alone work trips, especially during peak travel times. The ultimate goal is to minimize the impact these commutes have on traffic congestion and air quality in our region.

Commute Connections logo

News and Updates

Did you know? The City of Austin has been named as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters in 2020 and in 2019 for offering exceptional sustainable commuting options that meet national standards of excellence.

Read the Commute Connections Annual Report to learn more about what the Commute Connections program achieved in 2018 and what it plans to work on next.

City of Austin employees can access a new internal SharePoint site dedicated to teleworking tips and resources. 


Use the Commuter Map to plan your sustainable commute! This map provides information on transit stops, B-cycle bike-share stations, showers and more, to help you know your options for getting from place to place.

An interactive online map that shows available sustainable transportation options in City. Map information includes public transit routes, car-share, van pool, and shower facilities (for bicyclists).

Learn about the commute and rewards options available to City employees below.

Commute Options

Transit

City employee benefit: Free Capital Metro transit pass. 

If you're unsure about taking the bus or train, start small with a goal of taking transit at least one day a week until you figure out the system. Before you know it, you'll be making friends and enjoying the time and money you’re saving.

Capital Metro: Plan your route using CapMetro’s Trip Planner. Check service area maps to determine the routes that serve your destinations and see maps and schedules to plan your trip. All buses have bike mounts in front to accommodate trips using different modes.

City employees can ride any Capital Metro bus or train at any time of day using their free employee transit pass. The passes are available from your department’s HR representative. Employees must commit to riding the bus or train at least one day a week.

  • MetroBus (Local and Flyer): Neighborhood routes with frequent stops. Count on these routes to get you just about anywhere you need to go.
  • MetroRapid: The MetroRapid is faster than traffic during rush hour, thanks to transit-priority lanes and transit queue jump signals that let the buses go ahead of regular traffic.
  • MetroExpress: Express buses have direct routes with no or limited stops, sometimes with toll-free access on express lanes, allowing faster trips to downtown.
  • Round Rock Service: Capital Metro now provides bus service to and within the city of Round Rock. Riders may park at the Round Rock Transit Center, located at 300 W. Bagdad Ave., and travel into Austin from there.
  • MetroRail: Board a MetroRail train and watch the scenery, read, catch up with a friend or surf the web with free onboard Wi-Fi.
  • MetroAccess: Employees can receive a free Metro Access pass through Human Resources. To receive your MetroAccess pass, contact the Human Resources Employee Benefits Division and ask for the Benefits Coordinator. You can contact them by phone at 512-974-3284 or email HRD.Benefits@AustinTexas.gov.
  • Guaranteed Ride Home Program: This program provides registered MetroExpress, MetroFlyer, MetroRail and MetroRideShare vanpool customers with a taxi ride home in the event of an unexpected emergency from work. For an annual membership fee of $5, you can register and get reimbursed for up to four emergency taxi rides a calendar year.

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS): Regional transportation for the non-urbanized areas of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis and Williamson counties and the San Marcos urbanized area.

  • Interurban Coach: The Interurban Coach is a regional intercity route providing connections between Austin, Bastrop, Bertram, Burnet, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Lockhart, Luling, Marble Falls, Round Rock, San Marcos, Taylor, Texas State University, LaGrange, Giddings, Paige, Smithville and Elgin. This service also makes connections to Greyhound and Capital Metro.
  • Metro Connector: The Elgin (Manor/Elgin Express 990) provides bus service from Downtown Elgin to Downtown Austin. The connector route extends service from the Elgin Park & Ride lot to the Capital Metro buses and Metro Rail.
Bicycle

City employee benefit: Free B-cycle bike-share membership and free bicycle education class.

Given the numerous benefits of bicycling, it’s no wonder so many commuters are taking up this option. Check out the Austin Bicycle Map (view the interactive version or download a PDF) to learn about the city’s bicycle network and plan a safe and comfortable bike ride to work.

  • Austin B-cycle: B-cycle provides a bike-share network of 24-hour on-demand bicycle stations in the urban core. With convenient station placement all across downtown Austin, B-cycle will get you from point A to B quickly with ease. The City of Austin provides employees with a free one-year bike-share membership; employees can register online.
  • Yellow Bike Project: The Yellow Bike Project is an educational facility open to the public to learn how to commute by bike, fix a flat and other biking essentials. Bicycle Education Classes are free to City of Austin employees. View class and registration information.
  • Bike Austin: Bike Austin provides information and resources for City of Austin residents who are interested in or passionate about cycling.
  • myCommuteSolutions: Looking for a bike buddy for your commute? Check out myCommuteSolutions to get started.
  • MetroBike: Access secure bicycle shelters conveniently located at popular MetroRail Stations and major transit centers for only $30 per year. 
Walk

Walking is a great way to travel short distances, and with plenty of health benefits!

  • Walk Score: Discover the places that are “just a short walk” from home or work. Walkable neighborhoods with access to public transit, better commutes, and proximity to the people and places you love are the key to a happier, healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
Ride-share

Share a ride by carpooling or vanpooling! By sharing a ride, employees can share driving expenses, save wear and tear on their cars, and make better time driving to work together rather than driving alone. When you carpool or vanpool, you do a lot more than share a ride to work. You take cars off congested roadways and a load off your mind. Check out some of your ride-share options below! For more information about ride-sharing and to explore all ride-sharing options, visit our Ride-share website!

Carpool

  • myCommuteSolutions: Looking for a carpool buddy? Check out myCommuteSolutions, our regional carpool matching and trip-planning tool. To connect with potential carpool buddies, you can log on and create a profile that will allow you to use the free carpool matching service. You can also search for bike routes, discover transit routes and log your commute.
  • Smart Commute Rewards: Are you a City employee? City of Austin employees can search for and find matches with other City of Austin employees through the Smart Commute Rewards platform. Register now to use the carpool matching services, and log your trips to track your commutes and compete in contests!

Vanpool

Vanpooling brings a group of commuters together in one vehicle, typically a van. Employees with longer commutes are the most likely to be interested in vanpools as a way to reduce the stress of long-distance commuting. By vanpooling, employees can put their time commuting to use by reading, catching up with coworkers, or simply relaxing. Think of all of the cars that are taken off of the road when a new vanpool is formed!

MetroRideShare: Share the ride and pass the time with Capital Metro’s vanpool program. The program provides eligible groups of 5-12 people with a month-to-month vanpool lease agreement including insurance, maintenance, 24-hour roadside assistance, and optional fuel purchasing program. Add a subscription to the Guaranteed Ride Home Program (detailed under the “Transit” section above) if you’re worried about catching a ride from work in the case of an emergency.

Vanpool fares vary and are based on vehicle type, commute distance, group size and fuel and tolls. The monthly cost is shared by the number of riders. Vanpool groups must have an origin and/or destination within the Capital Metro service area.

All regular and temporary City employees can also take advantage of Capital Metro’s vanpool services for free, or at a discounted cost, through a subsidy of up to $70 per month. Call the MetroRideShare office at 477-RIDE (7433) or visit the Capital Metro vanpool website to get matched to a vanpool operating between your home and work location.

Telework & Alternative Work Schedules

Alternative work schedules (also known as variable work hours) comprise four main strategies: telework, flextime, compressed work weeks, and staggered shifts. These strategies can have a significant impact on decreasing traffic congestion, as well as increasing parking availability, employee morale, and air quality. Employees should contact their human resources representative to discuss the options below.

  • Telework: Telework is a work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work, during any part of regular, paid hours, at an approved alternative worksite. Teleworking just one day a week is enough to have a major impact on traffic congestion.

    The City of Austin’s telework program allows employees to work from home if the Department Director or Division Manager determines that the employee’s job content and job performance are appropriate for a telework schedule.

    Are you a City of Austin employee or manager/supervisor who wants to know more about teleworking, but are unsure of the process? View the telework training videos below.

    — Employee telework training video
    — Manager/supervisor telework training video
     

  • Flextime: Employees work specified hours each week, but are given flexibility on when they arrive to work, take lunch and leave work.
  • Compressed work weeks: Employees work more hours than typical but work fewer days per week or pay period. For example, a compressed work week may look like four 10-hour days a week.

  • Staggered shifts: Employees arrive and depart work at different times in shifts. Shifts may be staggered anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours.

For more information about any of these options, please contact your HR representative.

Midday Trip Options

City employee benefit: Free shuttle and other discounts

Midday trips can affect congestion levels outside of prime commute times and, depending on the types of trips being made, can require a car, thus limiting a commuter’s ability to use non-drive alone travel modes for their commutes. Here are some midday travel options for when you leave your vehicle at home.

  • Zipcar: You can book sedans, hybrids, SUVs and even luxury vehicles whenever you need them. Zipcar charges by the hour, month or year. Zipcars are picked up and dropped off in designated parking spaces. Just walk to the car, scan in with your Zipcard and drive!
  • City of Austin Employee Shuttle Services: The internal City shuttle is a great way to get around designated locations in the downtown area for meetings without worrying about parking. See the shuttle schedule for service locations and frequency. You can even track the shuttle’s location using your phone!

Austin Transportation staff are available to assist you with exploring commute options that best suit you. Contact CommuteConnections@AustinTexas.gov or 512-974-1150.

Benefits

Smart Commute Rewards Program

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Earn rewards for your efforts to manage traffic congestion, improve your health and preserve the environment! Find more information about how to participate on our Smart Commute Rewards website. To learn more about the structure and results of the Smart Commute Rewards pilot program, download the report from March 2018.

Program Guidelines and Administrative Leave Reward (ADL)