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16 New England Companies/Organizations Join EPA's Commuter Choice Program; Purdue Pharma in Stamford Among 5 Participants from Connecticut

Release Date: 04/23/2002
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that 16 companies and organizations in New England, including Purdue Pharma L.P. in Stamford, have joined the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative (CCLI). The participating facilities employ more than 20,000 workers.

Employers joining the program agree to provide multiple commuter benefits, such as transit subsidies, flex-time, van pools, shuttle service to transit stations, bicycle facilities, ride-sharing, and a guaranteed ride home.

"These employers are demonstrating that it is both beneficial and profitable to provide innovative commuting options so employees do not have to drive to work alone," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator at EPA's New England Office, which is among the 16 CCLI members. "We commend these organizations for their leadership in providing valuable commuter benefits to employees that also reduce traffic congestion and air pollution."

Launched last year, CCLI is a joint EPA and US Department of Transportation Program that provides tools, guidance, public recognition and other incentives to help U.S. employers of any size incorporate commuter benefits into their standard benefits plan. Participating companies earn the designation "Commuter Choice Employer," a mark of excellence for environmentally and employee-friendly organizations.

Purdue Pharma officials says their Commuter Options Program is a major reason why nearly half of the 1,000 employees at its Stamford, CT, headquarters commute by train. The company offers significant train subsidies, and runs shuttle vans to and from the railroad station every 20 minutes during commuting hours. And, if a train commuter has an unexpected emergency during the day, the company provides transportation to that employee.

"By providing such a generous transit subsidy, Purdue is helping to improve the quality of life in densely populated Fairfield County – and at the same time giving our employees a convenient and economical alternative to driving," said Diana Lenkowsky, vice president of administrative services at Purdue Pharma.

Also approved as new CCLI members are MetroPool Inc. in Stamford, CT, CARAVAN for Commuters Inc. in Boston, MA and Wheels Transportation Services Inc. in Berlin, VT, three non-profit organizations dedicated to providing assistance to commuters, companies and Transportation Management Associations. These organizations work everyday to identify innovative ways to solve commuting challenges.

"Developing and promoting commute alternatives to reduce ride-alone commuting are among the most significant ways we can decrease pollution, save fuel, lower costs and reduce traffic congestion," said John Lyons, president at MetroPool, which provides services to more than 300 Connecticut companies. "Our customized mobility programs benefit the environment and help companies in Fairfield County, CT and the lower Hudson Valley, NY attract and retain employees, improve productivity and boost their bottom line."

CCLI is part of a larger comprehensive strategy by EPA New England aimed at boosting energy efficiency practices and reducing pollution both from power generation facilities and the transportation sector. Pollution from passenger vehicles has an enormous impact on New England's air quality, water quality and climate, accounting for approximately one-fourth of all smog-forming pollution and one-fifth of the nation's emissions of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas.

To date, more than 250 employers across the country have volunteered to participate in the CCLI program, providing benefits to over 500,000 commuters. These employers represent the full spectrum of the American workforce – from large corporations with nearly 40,000 employees to small businesses with five employees. Attached is a list of the employers in New England who have joined the program.

If you are interested in providing commuter benefits to your employees, or enhancing the benefits you already offer, visit: or call Lucy Edmondson (617) 918-1004.