Of all the things to look forward to post-vaccine, commuting might not be on the top of the list. But despite grand promises of a work-from-home forever, white-collar workers who went remote when the coronavirus crisis began could be back at their desks starting in June, joining the essential workers that have been trekking to their jobs through emptier streets and tunnels.
To make the journey into the physical office more enticing for everyone, some employers will be adding a new benefit to the mix: micromobility dollars.
Lime, the shared bike and scooter company, announced a new partnership with one of the largest commuter benefits providers in the U.S., Edenred Benefits. Starting this week, all 10,000 employers that use Edenred’s commuter benefits system will have an option to subsidize micromobility trips for the more than 10 million employees they cover.
Edenred already offers its clients transportation benefits for public transit, parking and work-related shared ride-hail trips. Adding micromobility furthers its quest to become a commuter’s “one-stop shop,” says Ed Fleischmann, Edenred Benefit’s CEO. Lime scooter and bike-riding benefits would be loaded onto the same debit cards that Edenred provides to users to cover bus and train fare. (While IRS regulations allow employers to give workers pre-tax benefits to ride transit to work or pay for parking, for now, micromobility is a benefit that can only be offered post-tax, through reimbursements.) The new micromobility program officially began on Thursday, and a few large clients are already in the process of onboarding, Fleischmann says.