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August 14, 2018

Liberate Your Parking Spot: A win for all

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The award-winning sustainability program at St. John’s Medical Center implemented a new goal for the summer: reduce the number of people driving themselves to work by 3%.

St. John’s human resources and wellness departments listened to staff input and took a creative approach that would make a positive impact on summer traffic and parking, increase employees’ well-being, improve sustainability goals, and foster connection among colleagues.

The solution? A program called “Liberate Your Parking Spot,” in which staff members are paid $5 for every day that they carpool, bike, or walk to work between June 1 and August 31.

“Once we started looking at all the potential benefits, including more parking for the hospital and less stress for employees, it became clear this was a worthwhile investment for us to pilot as an organization,” said Thom Kinney, director of human resources.

During the first two months of the program, 228 individual participants carpooled, biked, or walked to work, for a total of over 4,000 participant days. Approximately 39% of participants carpooled, 41% biked, and 20% walked. Due to the popularity of the program, St. John’s installed new bike racks on campus.

The response from employees has been extremely positive, with comments like, “This is amazing!” and “These are totally the things that increase employee happiness!”

Prior to implementing Liberate Your Parking Spot, a survey showed that approximately 60% of staff members drive themselves to work, 12% carpool, 11% bike, and 6% take the bus.

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