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Governor Deal Announces Georgia CommuteSmart Program
In an effort to reduce state employee commute times, Governor Nathan Deal recently initiated the Georgia CommuteSmart Program. The plan includes four commuter options for agencies and state employees to choose from, allowing for more flexibility in their work travel schedule.
According to the Governor’s Office, about 62,000 state employees spend an estimated 340,000 hours per week on metro-Atlanta’s roads, almost entirely during the morning and afternoon rush hours. 9,300 of those state employees commute to the Capitol Hill Complex and the immediate surrounding area, traveling through the center of Atlanta and the Georgia’s busiest roads.
To reduce commute times and increase efficiency, Governor Deal has proposed agencies to implement one or more of the following program options:
- Alternative Hours, allowing employees to arrive and depart at set times that facilitate non-rush hour commutes.
- 4-Day Workweek, letting employees work extended days, fulfilling work obligations within a four-day period.
- Teleworking, permitting employees to work from home, typically for some set portion of the workweek, and
- Commute Alternatives, encouraging and facilitating employees to carpool and use public transportation.
Due to differences in each agency and employee positions, agency heads will lead the process and determine which strategies are best suited for their employees. Agencies are encouraged to develop a diverse collection of plans to help get state employees off of metro-Atlanta’s roads during rush hour.
Guidelines have been implemented to help agencies with their CommuteSmart planning. These include avoiding strategies that create new facilities and/or energy costs, piloting CommuteSmart plans for a time period for agencies to gauge effectiveness, limiting certain state positions eligible for the program, and allowing agencies complete discretion over who to include in the initiative.
Representatives from Georgia’s Clean Air Campaign will also be available to assist agencies in their implementation process, and help tailor the Georgia CommuteSmart program to each agency and assist with training.
For more information regarding the Georgia CommuteSmart Program, including a full list of guidelines, visit the Office of the Governor.