In the News

DBJ: Colorado legislators want to incentivize employers to reduce worker car trips

By Ed Sealover for The Denver Business Journal

Key Colorado legislative leaders on Thursday said they will seek to reward employers to incentivize workers who take public transit or carpool to work.

Sen. Faith Winter and Rep. Matt Gray, the Democrats behind the $5.3 billion transportation-funding bill that included new environmental regulations on roadbuilding in the 2021 session, are coming back with a proposal to cut emissions produced by the transportation sector. The duo held a conference call Wednesday with 56 different business organizations worried about what may be in the bill, and several of those organizations said Thursday that while they are pleased with some ideas voiced by the legislators, they remain concerned with other details.

Loren Furman, the Colorado Chamber of Commerce senior vice president who organized Wednesday’s call to address rumors of what might be in the bill, said Thursday that the move away from potential mandates to establish carpooling or remote work for large employers is a positive step. But, particularly with no bill having been drafted yet, there remain several issues of concern for business leaders.

Furman noted that Winter said she hoped to reduce vehicle miles traveled by 10% through what is being called the “Clean Commute Program” — a standard that she said she would pilot with state employees for three years before moving to the private sector. But business leaders are concerned about how changes could affect workers at an office or store that must drop off and pick up children from daycare at set times and could find their schedules very difficult to manage using only public transit.