Bonnie Lucara – #WhatsYourPeace?
Bonnie used to commute long distances between Denver and Boulder, Colorado, and knew someone with a similar job was probably making the opposite commute. She had the idea of job swapping as a way to reduce excessive commutes, but wanted it to have a larger impact than helping just two people at a time. She figured out where job swapping made the most sense and would have the biggest impact – in our retail, restaurant, hospitality and service chains, where the majority of employees commute past closer company locations, getting to the one where they work. It’s just the nature of the workforce that people take the job that’s available wherever it is, when they need it. But what results is hundreds of thousands of people, in every city, criss-crossing the city, passing each other on the way to the same jobs. Most people would rather work closer to home. So she formed a team and they developed the software that helps large multi-site companies optimize their workforce by location. It’s a Win-Win-Win-Win, for Employees, Companies, Communities and the Earth.
Employees: Employees enjoy shorter commutes, which saves them valuable time and money. On average commutes are reduced by 10 miles one way, saving workers 2.4 hours per week, and $3,000 per year! Because these are typically low wage positions, commute optimization can improve economic equality for cities’ lowest wage earners. Other benefits include reduced stress, better health, and greater job satisfaction.
Companies: When employees have shorter commutes, companies see less absenteeism and tardiness. Turnover is reduced, saving recruiting, hiring and training costs. What’s more, the workplace culture improves with better morale, higher productivity, and greater customer service. All of this improves their bottom line and their corporate image of social and environmental responsibility.
Communities: Most importantly, participating employees average 5,000 fewer miles of travel annually. That means multi-site companies can reduce traffic from their employee commuting from between 1 million and 18 million miles, and emissions from between 1,000 and 10,000 metric tons annually, (depending on the size of the company) in every city where they’re located. This reduces wear and tear on roads and lowers infrastructure costs. It also reduces the number of accidents and injuries and lowers emergency response needs. Everyone in the city will enjoy a higher quality of life.
Globally: Considering the size of the workforce in chain store industries, worldwide, the scope of the impact has implications toward slowing the speed of climate change.
Bonnie is available to speak, advise government, and help businesses implement a commute optimization program. Learn more at www.commutematters.com.
Update: October 2
Bonnie’s story was picked up and shared by Silicon Peace’s “Peace Times.” Read their take.
Update: November 19
Bonnie is competing in the 1776 Challenge Cup: A worldwide tournament for the most promising, world-changing startups to win cash prizes, make international connections and share their vision on a global stage. Click to learn more.