GVSU named “Best Workplace for Commuters”

GVSU named Best Workplace for Commuters

Megan Webster

For the ninth year in a row, Grand Valley State University has been named a “Best Workplace for Commuters” by the Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) program. This designation has been awarded to GVSU every year since 2009 due to the university’s busing system.

This national designation recognizes employers who offer excellent commuter benefits that meet the requirements determined by the National Standard of Excellence. In order to receive the “Best Workplace for Commuters” national designation, employers must apply and prove they provide services and benefits that result in 14 percent of their employees not driving to and from work alone within a year-long period.

One way the university managed to achieve that number was through the partnership between GVSU Transportation Services and The Rapid, a busing system that allows the employees of GVSU to have an alternative option for transportation to and from work. All students, faculty and staff can ride The Rapid for free, and in 2016, The Rapid served as transportation for 2.6 million people.

Lisa Haynes, assistant vice president of Pew Campus and Regional Centers Operations, explained The Rapid’s essential role in this designation.

“The Rapid maintains the schedule and are in communication with drivers to ensure the buses do their best to stay on schedule,” Haynes said. “Our faculty, staff and students can show their ID and ride any of The Rapids buses at no charge to the individual.”

The BWC program is run by the Center for Urban Transportation Research, which is maintained by the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida, along with the National Center for Transit Research and the Florida Department of Transportation.

As far as GVSU’s involvement with the designation, Hayes explained that there are many factors and people involved when it comes to who is responsible for the efficiency of the busing system and the designation itself.

“Pew Campus Operations is responsible for managing transportation services at the University,” Hayes said. “The university has established a culture of transit that starts with President Haas, and the communications and marketing is managed by Jalyn Kamp in the operations department. It is a group project (with) many hands that help with managing the system.”

The naming of GVSU as a “Best Workplace for Commuters” allows the university to continue to make a positive impact on the surrounding environment. Hayes said this designation displays GVSU’s leadership abilities in sustainability, which is an important goal of the university at large.

“Anytime the university shows to be a leader, it shows well for the University,” Haynes said. “We are always looking for ways to show the value added that GVSU provides, and this is another way to show our commitment to sustainability.” 

To learn more about Best Workplaces for Commuters, visit www.bestworkplaces.org. For more information about GVSU’s advancements in transportation efficiency for faculty, staff and students, visit www.lakerline.org.