Rice is first Texas university to earn Best Workplace for Commuters designation

Front facade of Lovette Hall

Rice University was designated as a 2024 Best Workplace for Commuters (BWC) — an honor achieved by providing a robust employee commuter benefits program, helping reduce traffic congestion and improve the overall quality of life for those who live and work in the region.

Rice is the first university in Texas to earn a spot on the list.

Lovett Hall
Rice University's Lovett Hall

“This designation represents our commitment to provide access to sustainable, equitable and convenient commuter transportation resources to our campus community,” said Kristianna Bowles, sustainability program coordinator for Rice’s Office of Sustainability.

The annual list of U.S.-based employers met the program’s national standard of excellence, collectively transforming how more than 1.7 million commuters get to and from work each day. To achieve the BWC standard, members must apply to the program and demonstrate they meet or exceed the nationally recognized benchmark for employers offering outstanding commuter benefits.

Some of Rice’s benefits that helped clinch a spot on the list include options like telework, compressed workweeks, park-and-ride lots, fleet vehicles, bicycle parking, on-site showers and lockers, electric vehicle charging, flextime schedules and more.

“We are excited to include Rice University as a top employer in the nation for offering remarkable commuter benefits to its employees,” said Julie Bond, program manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters. “Its leadership not only demonstrates a commitment to supporting employees, it also signals to others its dedication to the environment and to improving the quality of life for our communities as a whole.”

The application was submitted by the Office of Sustainability. The office is a collaborative organization dedicated to providing direction to Rice for short-term management and long-term planning of energy and other natural resources and to reflect the university’s significant enterprisewide commitment to sustainability.

The application was also sponsored by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, which paid for Rice’s application fee and membership for the initial year.

With the recognition as a Best Workplaces for Commuters, Rice will have access to a range of services and assistance including program implementation tools, webinars, training sessions, one-on-one support and peer networking opportunities.

The Best Workplaces for Commuters program is a membership program operated by researchers at the University of South Florida.