Professional News

Changing Transportation Modes Pays With Cash Out Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2018) University of Kentucky Transportation Services is now accepting applicants for its popular "cash out" incentive program. Debuting in 2017, the cash out program financially rewards employees who choose to forgo bringing a motor vehicle to campus for one year. Qualified employees who elect to participate in the cash out program will each receive up to $200 over a one-year period, which will be divided evenly on each paycheck during the time period. Participants will have the opportunity to renew for the following year if they would like to continue their participation in the program.

The cash out incentive is primarily targeted at employees who have readily available access to commuting alternatives, such as BluPass, bicycling or carpooling, or who live within a walkable distance of campus. It also offers a reward for those who may have been considering shifting to an alternative mode of transportation.

Gwendolyn Phillips, an employee of the Kentucky Geological Survey and cash out participant, said that the introduction of the cash out program gave her a push to switch to commuting by bicycle.

“I really do like bike commuting. I get exercise and I don’t have to look for a parking space, which gives me peace of mind,” said Phillips, who bikes approximately three miles each direction.

The financial rewards of the cash out program extend well beyond $200. Over the enrollment period, participants also benefit from substantial cost savings associated with not purchasing a parking permit, as well as reduced fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses. Participants who choose walking or bicycling as their primary mode of transportation may also see reduced health-related costs.

Melissa Cowan, an employee in the College of Arts and Sciences and cash out program participant, had a variety of reasons for participating in the inaugural year of the program.

“Cash out gave me the opportunity to make a little money while experimenting with alternative transportation,” said Cowan, who carpools with her spouse. “The extra money in my pocket is definitely the biggest benefit. Not buying a permit, not spending as much for gas, plus Transportation Services adding a little money to my paycheck each month — it all adds up!”

The cash out program is designed with the goal of reducing the number of motor vehicles on campus as well as creating a more pedestrian-friendly community. To that end, priority will be given to employees who have had a vehicle parking permit for the past fiscal year (July 1-June 30), but those new to the university will also be given consideration.

Employees may submit an application for the cash out program at​cashout. The deadline to apply is Friday, June 15. Transportation Services will begin reviewing applications in mid-May and will notify recipients on a rolling basis. Interested employees are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.