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More help wanted with the commute

For most Americans, commuting means driving to work alone. It's expensive, and many workers say they want their employers' help.

In fact, 86 percent of American workers feel that commuter-assistance benefits, such as discount transit passes, ride-sharing boards, or parking benefits, are useful. Yet only 17 percent said their employers offer them, according to the survey of 1,000 people conducted for Xylo Inc., a web-based company that assists other firms with their benefit programs. The survey also found that:

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* 83 percent of respondents drive alone to work. Only 6 percent carpool or vanpool, and 4 percent use public transportation.

* 86 percent of employees who don't have commuter assistance drive alone to work, compared with only 71 percent who do have it.

* Employees with commuter assistance are almost eight times more likely to use public transportation than those employees who don't have it.

* Workers under age 35 are twice as likely to carpool or use public transportation than older workers.

"Companies are finding that commuter assistance programs are not only a win for the environment, they're a win for the employees as well," says Xylo president and CEO Norman Behar.

Compiled by Staff

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor