Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nonprofit Roundtable hosts local transit experts

July's Non-Profit Roundtable, which met on July 17, discussed the many ways that individuals can travel around the Oakland Metropolitan areas, and several of the opportunities available to secure safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport.

With the fifth largest container port in the country, international airport, regional rail system, public bus system, ferries, Amtrak station and bike lanes, Oakland is a transportation and transit mega-star.

At the meeting, two local organizations serving Oakland and all of Alameda County presented their respective organization's opportunities to individuals and companies.

LaShawn Martin of 511.org, the Bay Area transit specialist, introduced the many transit opportunities offered to individuals and corporations, including several of the free services for commuters. These services include coordinating and supervising over 500 vanpools and carpools throughout the Bay Area (and oh yes, there are rewards for users), transit schedules and route maps, up-to-date traffic information and future traffic challenges, bike maps and even a trip planning function. 511.org even provides parking information.

For companies that want to meet state air quality requirements, care about making their locations convenient and accessible to their employees, and want to reduce employee transit costs and enhance their corporate image, 511 offers several options, including worksite events.

511.org can be accessed via the internet and by phone (by dialing 511). The site also has several downloadable apps.

The second presenter was Melanie Curry, representing The Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRH), a unique service that does just what it says—“guarantees a free ride home for employees working in the event of unexpected circumstances such as illness, family crisis, or unscheduled overtime. Registrants may use the GRH vouchers to take either a taxi or a rental car, provided they have taken transit (BART, bus, etc.), a carpool, a vanpool, walked, or biked to work.” Users don’t have to live in Alameda County, they just have to work here. Up to six trips may be used per employee each year.

This fantastic program is a “free county benefit for employees and offered through the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA). To register, or for more information, see the Guaranteed Ride Home website at www.grh.accma.ca.gov or call (510) 433-0320.”

One specific side note about the Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home Program is that companies must sign up first—and any Alameda County Company can, no matter the size of the business.

Every month, the Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable holds pertinent discussions and addresses issues and opportunities for growth and to connect with For-Profit businesses, all in the effort to strengthen the greater Oakland metropolitan community. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21, from 2:30-4:30 pm, in the Oakland Chamber board room. The group is a great introduction to the Chamber as well as a great networking opportunity for all Oakland businesses.


Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD (amj@cardcanhelp.org)

Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager of Biotech Partners (jerry.metzker@bayer.com)

Chamber Liaison Triche Christmon, Membership Director (tchristmon@oaklandchamber.com)

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