New Jersey Offers Telecommuting Incentives

If anyone can use incentives for not driving to work, it's employers of people who live in New Jersey. According to 2000 Census figures, New Jersey residents average the second longest commute in the country. Barbara Gordon of Franklin, Somerset County is one such commuter. She has a 12 mile commute to her place of work in Morristown that takes her 45 minutes every day. "It's a stressful 45 minutes," said Ms. Gordon. "It would be nice not to deal with rush hour traffic."

The state government in New Jersey is coming to the aid of commuters like Ms. Gordon and their employers. One state program, "Smart Moves for Business," offers tax exemptions and tax credits to employers who provide workers with telecommuting options, van pools, and other alternatives to driving to work alone in their cars. These alternatives are high on suburban companies' radar screens, according to Noreen Cardinali, section chief of the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Bureau of Statewide planning. "There are more suburban employers who have interests in transportation," says Cardinali, "because employees are making transportation an issue.