Save time, save fuel, and help America

This week’s blog is about the interplay of saving time and reducing congestion, saving gas, saving money — and helping our nation during a challenging, uncertain time globally.

Let’s begin with a focus on saving time.

In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I offered a “daypart” suggestion for aligning the time, location, and purpose of meetings.

The gist was this:

  • For coordination meetings — particularly those involving people from multiple locations — my suggestion was to hold them online (i.e., “virtually”), and schedule them near the beginning or the end of the workday, at say 8, 8:30, or 9 am, or 4, 4:30, or even 5 pm.
  • For strategy meetings — especially those that are internal to and integral to the enterprise — seek to hold those in-person, and schedule them during core working hours (e.g., 10 am to 3 pm).

Almost two years later, I still stand by the above framework. To the extent possible, all strategy and outreach meetings where either the relationship is new or the communication needs are multifaceted will do better in person, whenever that is a practical possibility, and the middle of the day typically minimizes the impact on both schedules and the transportation network. For other types of meetings, you will get more participation from disparate people and geographies, and also minimize overall time, by scheduling them near the start or end of the day.


This brings us to the related item of reducing congestion and delay — for the roadway network, and for your associates — and simultaneously helping the country.

Last year, a blog post offered a reminder/request to continue workplace flexibility in order to minimize congestion, and that thinking still applies.

In fact, three new situations have emerged:  return to office policies, significant inflation, and the conflict in Ukraine which is exacerbating fuel price inflation. We have recently discussed fuel tax holidays as a potential remedy for inflation (summary:  we are not supporting them).

One thing each of our companies and organizations can do is continue or expand workplace flexibility to the extent possible. For example, if your company has gone back to say a 3 days per week in the office policy, can you revert that requirement back to 2 days per week for a while? It will lessen fuel consumption and vehicle miles traveled, and the reduced demand for fuel will reduce upward pressure on prices. Your associates will thank you for the flexibility, and to the extent that we reduce the demand for fuel overall, this will put downward pressure on inflation, preserve our fuel supplies, and benefit the nation.


The bottom line:  Work from home one more day each week if you can, spend less on fuel, save time, reduce congestion, and help America.


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation


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