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Three Maryland Companies Recognized as EPA’s Best Workplaces for Commuters

Release Date: 10/20/2005
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – Americans spend an average of 46 hours each year stuck in traffic. Gridlock produces more than $63 billion in congestion costs per year. Companies that offer commuter benefits help curb these costs and make a significant contribution to the health and welfare of their employees.

The EPA recognized 69 companies nationwide on October 19 for their commitment to reducing air pollution and their role in easing traffic congestion caused by too many vehicles on our nation’s roads.

Among those recognized were GEICO Direct in Chevy Chase, Md., Lockheed Martin Corporation in Bethesda, Md., and Verizon-Maryland in Silver Spring, Md.

“We are proud that so many companies in our region are among those being recognized,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “If half of all U.S. employees worked for companies offering outstanding commuter benefits, 3.5 billion gallons of gasoline would be conserved. That would save drivers billions annually at the gas pump and would result in a significant reduction of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe.”

The Best Workplaces for Commuters program recognizes employers that are leaders in offering superior commuter benefits, such as subsidized transit or vanpool passes, telework programs, or shuttles, to their employees.

At GEICO Direct carpoolers not only get to park closer but they also get to park free. The company also subsidizes 50 percent of their employees’ metro costs.

Lockheed Martin Corp. has been offering commuter benefits for five years. The company has a fast growing telecommuting program and offers compressed work schedules.

Verizon-Maryland offers closer parking for car and vanpools. The company also offers secure bike, locker, and shower facilities to their employees

The companies being recognized today have met the National Standard of Excellence, extending outstanding commuter benefits to more than 400,000 employees across the country. In addition, EPA is showcasing its Top 20 List. The list highlights the 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters from the Fortune 500 companies having the highest percentages of employees eligible for these commuter benefits in their U.S. workplaces.

To qualify as one of the best workplaces for commuters, employers must provide:

      T At least one primary commuter benefit, such as a monthly transit/vanpool pass subsidy or a significant telecommuting program;
      T At least three supporting commuter benefits, such as carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or walkers, compressed/flexible work schedules, or on-site daycare;
      T A central point of contact, who actively informs employees of available commuter benefits; and

T Access to a regional or employer-provided Emergency or Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

The best workplaces for commuters program delivers results. The 1,400 employers participating and the 2.8 million employees who work for them are annually conserving 146 million gallons of gasoline and preventing the release of 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, while saving consumers more than $400 million dollars, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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