Each year the Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds approximately 17 million dollars in transit subsidies for employees across the country to encourage the use of mass transit for commuting purposes in order to reduce traffic congestion, dangerous greenhouse emissions and pollutants.
In alignment with the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, USDA recently determined that more than 70% of its total workforce is eligible to participate in telework. Based on a cost savings model used from the Telework Research Network, if those employees who currently receiving transit subsidies and are eligible to telework desired to add just two additional days of telework per week and opted to reduce their transit subsidy to work from home or from an alternate worksite closer to their home- USDA would save nearly $1 million, or more, per year.
Since January 2011, USDA has overhauled its Telework Program and is gaining recognition in the industry as a thought leader in this area.
If USDA’s model were applied government wide, similar telework participation/transit subsidy decreases could possible save agencies more than $4.5 billion per year, reduce greenhouse gases by 309 thousand tons and save 1.7 million barrels of oil (valued at $156 million).
Reductions in funding Transit Subsidies by increasing telework would also help to stimulate the economy by saving federal employees between $350 and $1,000 per year and would allow them to recoup up to 6 full work days per year- time they would have otherwise spent commuting back and forth to their traditional offices.
Learn more about USDA’s Telework Program by contacting Mika Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.