ALTRANS Staff secure Funding for
Two Exciting TDM Projects


This year, ALTRANS staff helped to win two impressive grant awards for our valued partners Kaiser Permanente and Palo Alto TMA (PATMA). Both grants will fund impactful TDM projects to help make the commute experience easier and more rewarding for Bay Area workers.

In particular, we want to recognize team members Kostoula Vallianos, Sana Ahmed, Steve Raney, and Kruti Ladani, who were instrumental in securing these grants. Thank you for the initiative and work you put into finding grant opportunities, gathering materials and submitting compelling applications to create a win-win for the stakeholders involved.

Read on to learn about the meaningful work we’re doing with Kaiser Permanente and PATMA to improve commuters’ experiences with the help of these grants.

MTC SHIFT Award Will Fund New Commute
Management Platform for Kaiser Permanente

ALTRANS team members Kostoula Vallianos and Sana Ahmed worked to secure funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) that will enable us to roll out a new commute management platform for Kaiser Permanente staff at the Oakland, Richmond and San Leandro Medical Centers.

Through the SHIFT matching grant program, MTC awards funding to employers to supplement the cost of implementing commute management software. This makes commuter benefit platforms more accessible to organizations and supports MTC’s mission to improve peak-period traffic flows across Bay Area freeways. When MTC released a request in early 2020 for a large employer partnership, ALTRANS pinpointed Kaiser Permanente as an ideal fit.

With the support of Kaiser Permanente leadership, ALTRANS worked diligently to build strong relationships with MTC’s approved software vendors. This allowed us to move quickly. Partnering with software provider Luum, we’ve built a plan to roll out Luum’s Commute Management Platform in early 2021. Once fully launched, we expect to regularly engage up to 4,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in using the platform to make their commutes more convenient and efficient. Janis Cruz, Kaiser Permanente’s Support Services Administrator for Oakland and Alameda, said, “We are delighted that MTC selected us for their SHIFT grant, and grateful to our partners at ALTRANS who were instrumental in securing this award to benefit our community.

This funding gives us another avenue to continue helping our employees thrive, by enhancing our commute programs to meet their needs.”

We know that improving the commute experience has a ripple effect, benefiting employees’ mental health, productivity, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. As Kostoula Vallianos observed, “Your commute sets the tone for your day. We can all relate to the mental and physical pains of a challenging commute; it impacts your productivity and enthusiasm on the job, and your energy when you arrive home.” The commute programs we develop with Kaiser Permanente are an extension of the organization’s mission to help its employees thrive, and this commute management platform is the next step toward making the trip between home and work more seamless.

With the help of SHIFT funding, we are eager to support Kaiser Permanente employees’ health and wellness with a new commute management tool, while also fueling MTC’s goals to reduce traffic congestion — improving quality of life for Bay Area commuters and residents.

Since the time of this grant announcement, MTC has opened a new round of SHIFT funding, available to Bay Area employers looking to support the implementation of commute management software.

Transit IDEA Award Will Fund
PATMA’s Innovative Bike Love Program

ALTRANS team members Steve Raney and Kruti Ladani helped secure a $100,000 federal grant for the Palo Alto Transportation Management Association (PATMA), through the Transit IDEA program hosted by the Transportation Research Board.

Transit IDEA fosters innovation by funding novel ideas to make public transit services more convenient, accessible, secure, and environmentally responsible. PATMA and ALTRANS won the IDEA grant award for the first-of-its-kind program we’ve been developing called Bike Love.

The Bike Love program will provide daily incentives for commuters who bike to work or use an active mode for the first mile of travel between home and public transit. We designed the program in partnership with software provider ByCycling, leveraging their geofencing technology to confirm when commuters travel to a transit station via bike, e-bike, e-scooter, or e-skateboard.

Part of Bike Love’s innovative approach is that the program not only rewards commuters who use active commute modes, but also encourages patronage at nearby merchants to support the regional economy.

We’ve engaged local merchants with capable fintech point-of-sale (POS) terminals to include digital vouchers for their businesses through the ByCycling app. Commuters can redeem the incentive dollars they earn as iPhone or Android vouchers for participating businesses.

Steve Raney, the Executive Director for PATMA, stated, “It’s extremely fulfilling to be able to apply the resources, experience, and network of ALTRANS on behalf of PATMA to create a winning proposal. This program’s ability to meet the Palo Alto Council’s sustainability goals and the Bike/Ped Action Plan’s objectives makes it exactly the type of win-win that we are always striving to achieve at ALTRANS.”

Thank you to the fourteen grant partners who contributed their resources and letters of support to help win this grant; we are delighted to implement the Bike Love program and excited to explore how Bike Love can scale beyond Palo Alto to improve quality of life for more commuters.