Mobility Week Superstars: Netspend and TxDOT

What do these things have in common: colorful flair, taking the train to a local brewery, and free breakfast tacos? The answer is Mobility Week 2014 – Austin style!Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 11.06.57 AM

Companies and individuals got creative for Mobility Week in October. Participants tried out new ways of commuting, and one month later some of the habits have stuck! Let’s peek into the Mobility Week experience for a few of the participating companies…


As one of Downtown Austin’s largest employers, NetSpend – a leading provider of reloadable prepaid cards – needs a wide variety of alternative commute options for its employees. During Mobility Week, Netspend offered such a range of mobility choices that every employee could participate somehow, whether through transit, biking, carpooling and vanpooling, telelcommuting, or flex schedules.

To launch employees into these new options, Netspend hosted four “lunch and learns” with local service providers, including ZipCar, Car2Go, B-Cycle, and Capital Metro RideShare. After that, participants who had questions or needed support could get in touch with one of the “Commute Ambassadors,” fellow employees who had experience with different commute options.

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 5.36.49 PMBut Netspend leadership didn’t just talk the talk about Mobility Week; they rode the bus, took the train, and carpooled with their employees! Chuck Harris (Netspend CEO/President), Patrick Brown (SVP Commercial), and Brandon Thompson (SVP Retail) all hopped in a Capital Metro RideShare van to carpool downtown. Now that’s a carpool we would want to join!

Here’s what a few Netspend employees had to say about Mobility Week:

“It was great, and we are still carpooling today. The drive is less stressful and I don’t have to drive downtown every day. I can relax and let others drive, too.”

“I have not ridden in a bus since 1980 and I was one that said I wouldn’t… but I did, and I rode it another time after Mobility Week!”

“I gave up my parking pass and elected to take the rail from now on and use Car2Go for errands.”

“The vanpool was challenging because I wasn’t functioning on my own time frame. I prefer the bus because I can walk to the bus whenever I’m ready to go. If I miss it, there’s another one behind it. I am glad I tried something new, because now I know I really like taking the bus.”

Texas Department of Transportation

Not only does TxDOT play an important role in planning our Central Texas transportation system, they have also taken a leadership role in taking cars off the road.

TxDOT is focusing on extending the technical tools and training required for telework options for its Austin-area employees. The Austin District’s 500-plus employees – and those from surrounding districts – plan, design, build, operate and maintain the state transportation system in 11 nearby counties. As a result, the workforce hails from all over Austin. For TxDOT officials, telecommuting is a chance to improve employee productivity, allow schedule flexibility, cut overhead costs and improve employee retention and attraction.

In the words of TxDOT employees, the Mobility Week experience was a success. They hope for more opportunities to use options as TxDOT expands and improves its telework program:

“I really liked working from home. I felt as though I was more productive since I didn’t have to drive an hour and a half to work and back home. I was able to focus more since I wasn’t as tired from driving.”

“Using the rail made the commute shorter in duration, more relaxing and gave me the opportunity to get some exercise in due to the short walk from the station to the office. The challenge was getting up an hour earlier each day.”

“I took the bus. The schedules were accurate. I liked not having to deal with traffic; I could read or nap. It saved me gas money and wear & tear on my car… and nerves.

Stay tuned for more Mobility Week stories from companies and individuals making a lasting impact.

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