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EPA names Region 8 universities to Best Workplaces for Commuters list

Release Date: 05/24/2006
Contact Information: Connie Ruth, 734-214-4815

EPA’s inaugural list recognizes top university employers for offering commuter benefits.

(Denver, Colo. -- May 22, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named eight universities in Montana, Colorado and Utah to the list of Best Workplaces for CommutersSM among colleges and universities. For the first time ever EPA is releasing a national list of innovative college and university employers committed to improving air quality, saving energy, and reducing traffic congestion while improving quality of life for employees.

The universities from EPA's Region 8 that have been named to the list are:

Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah
Colorado State University (Parking Services) in Fort Collins, Colo.
Naropa University in Boulder, Colo.
The University of Montana in Missoula, Mont.
University of Colorado at Boulder, in Boulder, Colo.
University of Denver in Denver, Colo.
University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah State University in Logan, Utah

The Best Workplaces for CommutersSM among colleges and universities list recognizes employers who offer outstanding commuter benefits for their employees, such as transit subsidies, rideshare and carpool matching services, preferred parking and reduced parkings costs for carpools and vanpools, secure bicycle parking, showers and lockers, compressed work schedules, lunchtime shuttle service, etc.

The universities are among 72 campuses designated as Best Workplaces for Commuters. These academic institutions distinguish themselves from the competition and demonstrate their environmental leadership by offering outstanding commuter benefits meeting EPA’s National Standard of Excellence. For a complete list of Best Workplaces for Commuters among colleges and universities visit <www.bwc.gov>.

“We are pleased to recognize the efforts made by universities to provide commuter benefits that encourage employees to find alternative ways to commute to work, other than driving alone,” said Margo Oge, EPA’s Director of the Office of Air Quality and Transportation.“ By giving their employees these options, these institutions are helping to improve air quality, save energy and reduce traffic congestion.”

The campuses on the Best Workplaces for Commuters among colleges and universities list reduce CO2, the greenhouse gas, by more than 300,000 metric tons a year, a valuable contribution toward addressing climate change. In addition, they are saving their employees $86 million in gasoline costs.

To qualify as one of the University Best Workplaces for Commuters, organizations must provide:

--At least one primary commuter benefit, which can include a monthly transit/vanpool pass subsidy, cash in lieu of free parking, or a significant telework program.
--At least three supporting commuter benefits, which can include carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or walkers, incentives for living near work, or onsite amenities such as day care or dry cleaning.
--A central point of contact for information, who actively informs employees of available commuter benefits.
--Access to a regional or employer-provided Emergency/Guaranteed Ride Home program.

About Best Workplaces for Commuters
Best Workplaces for Commuters is a free and voluntary program that recognizes employers nationwide that offer a comprehensive package of commuter benefits. Participating organizations must meet a National Standard of Excellenceas defined by program criteria. 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 and reducing use of personal vehicles. Visit <www.bwc.gov> for more information.