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Coalition Announces 1st Annual List of the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- 24 Employers Representing More Than 70,000 Workers Qualify for EPA's Growing List of Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM)

Today, the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition, a group of business, health, transportation, human resource, and planning organizations, released the first annual list of the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM). The list recognizes leading employers committed to reducing traffic congestion and air pollution and improving the health and quality of life for thousands of commuters in the Triangle Region. The coalition will announce the list during a celebration with Triangle businesses and government leaders at the Exploris Museum in downtown Raleigh.

Twenty-four Triangle employers representing more than 70,000 employees qualified for the inaugural list of the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM), up from 11 employers that initially qualified in April. Qualifying employers provide outstanding commuter benefits that are intended to reduce the number of employees that drive alone to work.

With support from SmartCommute@RTP, the Triangle Transit Authority, and the Triangle J Council of Governments, the U.S. EPA was excited to see the list more than double in four months and expects continued growth in the future. Because this will be an annual list, new employers that qualify will be included on the 2005 list.

"Air quality is a major concern in the Triangle Region, and we think it's important to be part of the solution," said Gayle Lanier, vice president, Nortel Networks Global Corporate Operations. "By providing a flexible work environment and offering commuter benefits such as telework opportunities, we're encouraging many employees to switch from drive-alone commuting to options that help relieve traffic, air pollution, and stress."

Employers designated as one of the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) include IBM Corporation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BASF Corporation, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and NC State University. For a complete list of the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) visit www.trianglebwc.org.

According to Deborah Bryan, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of North Carolina, "More than three in 10 children in North Carolina suffer symptoms of lung disease, the leading killer of infants and children. Six million children in the United States suffer from asthma: more than 500,000 live here in North Carolina. It is the leading cause of school and work absenteeism due to a chronic illness. The past two decades have yielded a 55 percent increase in deaths due to asthma -- and with North Carolina having three of the top 25 worst areas in the United States for ozone, we need to do all that we can to clear the air."

To qualify as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM), 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, such as 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 the Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM)

The Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) list recognizes employers that are leaders in offering superior commuter benefits, such as subsidized transit passes, vanpool subsidies, or telework programs, to their employees. Like the list of FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For, employers are recognized for their excellence and leadership. It's a win-win for everyone: employers earn prestige from being recognized as one of the best; employees enjoy more options in balancing their personal and work life; and communities benefit from reduced traffic congestion and cleaner air. For more details and to see if an organization qualifies, visit www.bwc.gov.

About the Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition

The Triangle Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition is comprised of leading government and business organizations in North Carolina's Triangle region working to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and make commuting less stressful and costly. Members include the American Lung Association of North Carolina, N.C. Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Greater Triangle Regional Council, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh-Wake Human Resource Management Association, Regional Transportation Alliance, Research Triangle Foundation, SmartCommute@RTP, Triangle J Council of Governments, Triangle Society for Human Resource Management, Triangle Transit Authority, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 16, 2004
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