COVID-19 – Mass transit, Stranger Danger and Work From Home

Deadly tornadoes and the coronavirus threat have hit Nashville like a one-two punch. But Nashville’s federal, state and local leaders - as well as the community at large - are responding in typical volunteer-state fashion. Nashville is learning in real time how to “come together” in the age of social distancing. And for that, we at Hytch say thank you.

The spread of COVID-19 has hit the country like the tornadoes that hit Nashville two short weeks ago. Every action, indeed, every convenience that was once routine or taken for granted, has become a matter of thoughtful planning and acting. And we’re grateful to see the proactive social distancing steps that Hytch clients are taking to protect their teams, their families and their patrons.

photo credit: WBKO

Hytch Rewards is a transportation demand management (TDM) solution that employers use to motivate transit behavior, helping defeat traffic, defend clean air and connect people to jobs. This mission, even in light of COVID-19 social distancing, remains steady.

And we at Hytch believe our TDM solution, Hytch Rewards, can help us navigate, quite literally, these times.

1.) As a negative consequence of the virus, we anticipate a significant decline in mass transit ridership and imagine greater congestion when choice riders retreat to the privacy of their cars. This makes it critical that leaders focus on carpooling - a transit option that Hytch tracks and rewards.

2.) As the virus makes commuters more concerned with “safe space” in their necessary commute, we believe carpooling will grow within personal networks of friends, family and coworkers. Hytch Rewards has never attempted to match strangers, a practice that is even more problematic with coronavirus stranger danger concerns.

3.) Telecommuting is a basic TDM strategy. The focus of Hytch technology is on active tracking of the shared commute, solo biking, walking or mass transit. Hytch replaces the “honor system,” of self-reporting “I carpooled” or “I’m working from home” with an actual tracking system. Hytch makes verification - and rewarding - of carpooling or telecommuting behavior - possible. Hytch technology to reward trip origination points, destinations and the commute corridor that was used can also apply to the fact that you did not move. As companies of all sizes and across all industries scramble to adopt work-from-home and flexible work policies to meet the changing demands of the workforce, Htych can help them measure participation.

“This will be a large-scale experiment on the telecommute in my opinion,” said one of our top clients. “It will be interesting to see how this evolves long-term.”

Sending people home to work is a response to this emergency, but it’s not (yet, at least) a full-fledged telecommuting policy. Until systems are in place to support meaningful productivity measurements, Hytch is in place already with a scale tested technology that confirms where the work is done. Our employer partners can put cash rewards in place today for staying at home tomorrow.