A Boulder nonprofit association is looking to help businesses pay their employees to get to work any way other than by an almost-empty car.

Boulder Transportation Connections is in the midst of rolling out what staff say is the first large-scale “cash-out” program, in which they will encourage employers to pay bonuses or give other benefits to employees who carpool, take public transportation, bike or walk to work.

The initiative is one of many strategies local governments and nonprofits are eyeing to combat the crush of regional traffic and its associated emissions.

Of the approximately 104,000 jobs in Boulder, people who live outside city limits fill more than half, or 56 percent, according to data provided by the city. Of the people who commute into Boulder, 77 percent of their trips in 2017 were in single-occupancy vehicles. Meanwhile, about 28 percent of the city’s emissions are attributed to transportation.

“This is one of the strategies to figure out how to reach our goals,” cash-out program manager Allison Crump said. She also is a transportation planner with the city. “It’s a very effective strategy.”

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