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Local Transportation Coalition Announces 1st Annual List Of New England’s Best Workplaces For Commuters More than 80 employers recognized for offering outstanding commuter benefits.

Release Date: 10/30/2003
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008 Carey Evenson, PRR, (206) 623-0232 ext. 257

Boston – New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters Coalition today announced the first annual list of New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters. The list spotlights New England employers offering superior commuter benefits to employees, thereby reducing traffic and air pollution and improving quality of life for harried commuters.

The coalition is comprised of New England business, transportation, human resource, and environmental organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current list includes 83 New England employers representing almost 120,000 employees, including Dartmouth College, Yale University, Delta Airlines, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Novartis, and Time Warner Cable. More information about the list is available at www.bwc.gov or www.bestworkplacesforcommuters.gov.

“In 2000, more than 6.5 million people commuted to work every day in New England. Almost eighty percent of those drove alone,” said Ira Leighton, Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Cars and trucks are responsible for more than half of New England’s ozone-forming pollution. The New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters list recognizes employers that are committed to alleviating these problems, saving their employees time and money, while reducing the congestion and pollution caused by so many cars on our roads.”

“The employers on New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters list have recognized the importance of offering an array of commuter benefits to their employees”, said David Straus, president of the Association for Commuter Transportation’s Patriot Chapter. “These employers should be seen as leaders in their communities, and the commuter programs they offer benefit not only their employees through monetary saving and reduced commuting stress, but to us all by decreasing New England’s congestion and air pollution.”

To qualify as one of New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters, organizations must provide:

    • A central point of contact for information, who actively informs employees of commuter benefits available.
    • Access to a regional, TMA, or employer-provided Guaranteed/Emergency Ride Home program.
    • At least one primary commuter benefit, which can include a monthly transit/vanpool pass subsidy, cash in lieu of free parking, or a significant telecommuting program.
    • At least three supporting commuter benefits, which can include carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or walkers, incentives to live near work, or onsite amenities such as day care or dry cleaning.
“Massachusetts General Hospital is proud to offer our employees programs and benefits to help them get to work stress-free, while helping the community as a whole to reduce congestion and improve air quality,” said Bonnie Michelman, CPP, Director of Police, Security and Outside Services at Mass. General. “Being on the first New England Best Workplaces for Commuters list is a great sign that we’re on the right track in our efforts to contribute to the health of our employees and our neighborhoods.”

About the Best Workplaces for Commuters
The Best Workplaces for Commuters is a free and voluntary program that recognizes employers nationwide for offering a comprehensive package of commuter benefits. Participating organizations must meet a National Standard of Excellence as defined by program criteria. The Best Workplaces for Commuters improve employee job satisfaction and save money from reduced payroll taxes. Employees enjoy reduced stress and delays caused by driving alone to work and save money by using employer-provided commuter benefits. For more information, visit
www.bestworkplacesforcommuters.gov or www.bwc.gov.

About New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters Coalition
The New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters Coalition, led by EPA, consists of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, CARAVAN for Commuters, Grow art Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, New England Chapter of the Employment Management Society, New England Council, Northeast Business Environmental Network, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, and the Association for Commuter Transportation’s Patriot Chapter. The coalition works to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, cut global warming emissions, and make commuting less stressful and costly.