Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Flash: Coping with the Clean Air Act

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Flash: Coping with the Clean Air Act

Article excerpt

The transportation service demands placed on building managers have evolved from employing a doorman to call a cab for guests to helping tenants meet the ever-changing regulations related to air quality and congestion management. As tenants struggle to comply with the Clean Air Act of 1990 and with a variety of state and local clean air regulations, property management is being called to provide transportation demand management (TDM) services directly to commuters as well as advise tenants on compliance.

Establishing a program

The first step in establishing a transportation program is to assess the needs of the commuters/tenants, typically by means of a survey. Given choices, commuters can rate those services which would be of value to them. Services generally fall into the categories of awareness, car/van pooling, mass transit, incentives, and on-site services.

For example, property managers can assist new tenants in relocating to their site by providing area maps and a brochure explaining how to get to their new workplace. This piece should include sources of transit information and how to find a new carpool. With on-site matchlisting, a new employee can fill out a survey and immediately receive a list of potential car-or van-pools to choose from.

Property management should review the bus stops in the local area. Often they can be relocated to a place more convenient to commuters or upgraded with shelters to make tenant/commuters more comfortable. If warranted, a full transit center may be developed to allow for multi-mode transit and transfers. Being able to identify and sell transit fares on site is a must; it takes away some of the guesswork that scares away new ridership.

By running a commuter incentive program, property management can supplement or relieve the tenant's requirement. Often a concierge can obtain "valued" incentive awards such as executive parking Or lunches at no cost to the building.

In part, your decision of what services to provide will also depend on what you are willing to invest in terms of personnel and capital. Finally, the decision of where the services will be delivered must be made. Some typical service points are a separate transportation office, the property management office, or the concierge.

The biggest challenge to setting up transportation services is that you are providing a highly personal service. You can either have your own personnel research and obtain data, or you can hire a consultant to help you "set up shop."

Correspondingly, the delivery has to be extremely sensitive to individual choice and differences. Taste in music, preferred air temperature, and personality are just some of the factors that come into play in carpooling situations. …

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