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2005 Commuter Connections Employer Recognition Award Winners Announced

Commuter Connections, a program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), today recognized five area businesses and local governments for their outstanding efforts in promoting commuting practices that reduce traffic congestion and improve the air quality in the National Capital Region.

“The Washington-area business community plays a key role in shaping the commuting behaviors of their employees,” said D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson, Chair of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. “The employers that we are honoring today have implemented innovative and successful commuter benefit programs. I thank them for their commitment to reducing traffic congestion and improving the air we breathe.”

Commuter Connections works closely with local businesses to educate and promote alternatives to employees who drive alone to work. Employers can offer their employees a wide array of commuting options from transit subsidies or pre-tax benefits to telework and ridesharing programs.

The 2005 Employer Recognition Awards winners are:

Incentives Award - AmericanUniversity
Striving to be both a good neighbor and a great employer, AU refined is transit program to better serve the over 8,000 people traveling to and from its campus every day.  Today, AU with its mere 2,500 on-campus parking spaces has no parking shortage, which is no small feat!  A free shuttle service, group vans, bicycle racks, showers and lockers on campus, a Metrochek pre-tax transit incentive and commuter benefit information on the AU web site all play a role supporting the AU transportation program’s terrific results

Marketing Award - Chevy Chase Bank
Chevy Chase Bank’s transit benefits program, Commuting Solutions-The Choice is Yours, has seen steady increases since 2002. Program information is provided to all employees via email blasts, intranet and annual Commuter Information Days, and new hires are given a comprehensive tutorial during their orientation.  Preferred parking for carpools, bike racks and shower facilities are also provided for bank employees.  In July 2004, Chevy Chase Bank increased the subsidy for public transit and vanpools from $65 to $100.

By saving 450 participating employees a 30-mile average round-trip car commute every workday, the program is estimated at reducing the number of vehicle miles driven by 13,500 per day, or 3,375,000 miles per year.

Telework Award - National Wildlife Federation
Starting with just 28 teleworkers in 2002, NWF now has more than one third of their 250 headquarters employees enrolled in their telework program. With commitment from the top down and an open floor plan to allow for shared workspaces, the telework option has helped recruit and retain top talent and reduce the number of parking spaces needed at their new headquarters by 25%. A company-wide rollout of telework benefits to its field offices is expected in 2005.

Employer Services Sales Team Achievement Award - District Department of Transportation
During the last year, the Employer Outreach Services program, DC Partners, made over 1,100 employer contacts, addressed meetings and participated in numerous transportation fairs and new-hire orientations to educate and promote commuting alternatives. Due to their efforts, over 100 companies within DC have implemented and maintained significant traffic reduction programs for their employees.

Employer Services Organization Achievement Award - Arlington County
CommuterDirect.com® Corporate Services, pioneered by the County to better serve Arlington employers, is one of the only services within the nation that sells passes from every transit provider within its region. The model turn-key program has been a huge success with 80 employers and over 1,130 employees currently being served within the County.

More information about Commuter Connections can be found at www.commuterconnections.org.

COG is the association of 19 local governments working together for a better metropolitan region. Additional information about COG is located at www.mwcog.org.



Release Date: Jun 29, 2005
Contact: Steven Kania (COG); Beth Weaver (Com Connections)
Phone: 202-962-3249; 301-814-4088

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