Parking Cashout



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A cash-out policy allows employers who give workers a free parking space to also let them choose to receive instead the parking’s dollar value in cash. “Cashing out” employer-paid parking helps level the economic playing field between driving and other transportation modes.

Tests of this policy in Los Angeles show that as many as two in five commuters take the money and leave their wheels at home. In greater Seattle, the federal government is supporting efforts by local governments to encourage businesses to offer this cash-out.

Madison, WI has a couple of modest examples of Parking Cash-Out that are producing great results. One local HMO has gotten their employees to walk, bike, carpool and take the bus to work at 5 times the rate they were before instituting their cash-out program. Parking Cash-Out usually costs employers no more than subsidized employee parking.

This is a real boon for employers, because not only will they reduce the costs of employee-dedicated spaces, they can free up spaces for clients and customers. Employees benefit with hundreds of dollars extra in their pocket every year and more transportation choices. Surrounding neighborhoods enjoy reduced traffic. Local governments experience less pressures on streets. And everyone gets to enjoy cleaner air!

Parking Cash-Out is a true win-win policy a signature component of UrbanThoreau’s projects.