Downtown Austin employers form transportation organization

Movability Austin, formerly the Downtown Transportation Management Association, announced March 21 its name change and intent to recruit new members.

"This is an organization that is not focused on trying to make sure we are completing an I-35 crossover. This is an organization that is focused on taking advantage of exactly what we have today and finding ways to use it more efficiently," Jim Pledger, chairman of Movability Austin and partner at Jackson Walker LLP, told an audience of city staff and downtown Austin employers at St. David's Episcopal Church on East Eighth Street.

The organization provides transportation consultancy services for employers to help solve transportation problems for employees and set up incentives to remove single-passenger vehicles from the roads during rush hour.

Some of those incentives are pre-tax credit for employees who opt to use public transit, parking cashouts for those willing to give up their downtown parking space certain days of the week, and discount passes for MetroRail and buses. The organization also works with employees to navigate the various options.

"When we do it right, the [Texas Transportation Institute] modeled that the downtown, Capitol and UT area have a significant opportunity to make a real difference here one in four [employees], they project, would be willing to use opportunities besides driving alone," Movability Austin Executive Director Glenn Gadbois said.

Movability Austin was formed in May and received its first investments from the City of Austin, Travis County, Capital Metro and the Downtown Austin Alliance. The organization now counts as members Silicon Labs, Home Away and Mellow Johnny's, among others.

Membership is $250 per year for businesses with 50 or fewer employees and $1.50 per person, per year, for each employee above 50. Employers outside of downtown pay $100 annually.

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