Through partnership, Georgia Commute Options and Virtual Incentives have helped to combat Georgia traffic issues and assist in reaching Georgia Commute Options’ goals of lowering emissions and decreasing the number of vehicles on the road.
Case Study – August 2015
Leading up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a number of Georgia-area entrepreneurs faced a challenge: How can we improve traffic, reduce driving’s impact on the environment, and speed up the morning commute? The solution was alternative commute transportation, which eventually grew into Georgia Commute Options and its transportation demand management program. Almost two decades later, the initiative is stronger than ever. Through Georgia Commute Options, participants network with fellow commuters and are rewarded for it. The reward aspect is critical. Virtual Incentives found that online and mobile incentives, as well as seamless customer service, were fantastic tools to motivate and recognize participants. Digital, rapid and customizable rewards were also exactly what Georgia Commute Options was looking for. The challenge was how to motivate Georgia Commute Options realized that by pairing with Virtual Incentives, they could encourage participation. The solution was four customizable incentive programs:
- $25 gift cards awarded monthly to randomly chosen commuters
- $40/$60 gas cards awarded to qualifying car pools
- $3 a Day Program: Through this program, up to $100 in gift cards are awarded to participants
- Vanpool Rider Referral: Through this program, $50 gift cards are awarded to qualifying participants
“We’ve been able to expedite people’s payments four to five weeks faster than using a bank,” explained Ron Roberts, senior project manager for Georgia Commute Options, when speaking about Virtual Incentives. However, he added that “not everyone chooses to have a virtual card; some people still want the physical card.” This preference remains a benefit, though, since commuters can opt for virtual rewards or the traditional plastic variant with Virtual Incentives. Furthermore, Virtual Incentives can handle the customer service for Georgia Commute Options’ programs. Any lost or stolen rewards can be quickly replaced with a simple phone call from the customer.
Commuters turn to alternative transportation Today, the Georgia Commute Options helps local residents reduce emissions, improve air quality and save money. Eligible participants include many Georgia residents as well as employers, who can offer alternative-transportation programs to their workers. As Roberts pointed out, consumers aren’t likely to change behavior when it takes too long to get their incentives. This made Virtual Incentives a valuable ally for Georgia Commute Options, while the mutually beneficial relationship had a positive impact on Atlanta-area commuters. Thanks in part to effective rewards, more people carpool, use public transit, work from home or ride their bike to work. What was the end result for the Virtual Incentives and Georgia Commute Options team? According to Roberts, the change was like night and day. Before, Georgia Commute Options was in search of a viable incentive strategy and customer-service option for its program. Since teaming up with Virtual Incentives, they’ve been able to provide clear benefits for commuters, streamline their offerings and strive toward their goals of lower emissions and fewer vehicles on the road.
About Virtual Incentives Virtual Incentives is the leading provider of Visa® virtual accounts and Visa® Reward Cards serving the incentives market. The company offers a prepaid platform powered by a simple, fast, customizable virtual solution. http://www.virtualincentives.com @VirtualRewards.
About Georgia Commute Options Georgia Commute Options, created in 1996 to promote and incentivize ridesharing and alternatives to driving alone, is a bundling of free services that help commuters and employers make the switch from driving alone as part of a regional strategy to reduce traffic and improve air quality. http://www.georgiacommuteoptions.org/ @