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ADMINISTRATOR WHITMAN CELEBRATES NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE COMMUTING

Release Date: 05/14/2002
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Also available in Spanish: "LA ADMINISTRADORA WHITMAN CELEBRARA LA INICIATIVA NACIONAL SOBRE RESPONSABILIDAD AMBIENTAL PARA OPCIONES PARA EL TRANSPORTE COTIDIANO"



Environmental News



FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2002

ADMINISTRATOR WHITMAN CELEBRATES NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE COMMUTING

Recognizes Nearly 300 Outstanding Corporate Partners for Leadership in Program

Contact at EPA: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov
Contact at Department of Transportation: Lori Irving 202-366-0660



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman along with Mary Peters, Federal Highway Administrator, today recognized top executives from companies around the nation for their efforts in providing employees with benefits that help improve the environment and reduce the number of cars on the road. This partnership, called the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative, provides transportation benefits to employees and helps change commuting behavior by offering alternatives to riding solo in a car.

“Commuter Choice Employers represent the best of environmental cooperation, showing that a healthy balance sheet and a healthy environment can go hand in hand. I hope that their leadership encourages others to take advantage of this extraordinary partnership opportunity,” said Whitman. “These efforts will ensure that the ride to work B and to a clean environment B will be smoother for generations to come.”

“I am pleased to recognize these pioneer agencies that are helping to expand the choices for commuters,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. “By improving the choices available for commuters to get to work, they are playing an important role in reducing the overall impact of congestion and protecting the environment.”

The Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative is a business-government partnership that is making it easier and cheaper for employers to provide commuter benefits to their employees. Sponsored by the EPA and Department of Transportation, the partnership gives American commuters a meaningful and environmentally responsible choice for getting to work without driving alone. The partnership helps reduce the impact of cars on the environment, while saving time and money. Fifty of the nearly 300 companies participating in the program attended today’s recognition ceremony.

Three-quarters of all trips made to and from work in the United States are by vehicles driven alone. Nine billion gallons of gasoline is wasted in traffic jams each year, about 800 times the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez. If half of all U.S. commuters worked for Commuter Choice Employers, air pollution and traffic would be cut by the equivalent of taking 15 million cars off the road.

Commuter Choice Employers must offer their employees at least one major commuter benefit such as $32 per month in transit passes, vanpool subsidies, or cash instead of subsidized parking spaces. Commuter Choice Employers must also offer three other commuter benefits from a list, including carpool matching, bike lockers, compressed work schedules and on-site day care. Commuter Choice Employers span from every business sector and region of the country and range from Fortune 500 companies with over 40,000 employees to small businesses with fewer than five workers.
Information on the Tour del Sol is available at: http://www.nesea.org/

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