Coalition Challenges Employers to Join 2nd Annual ``Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters'' List.
News Editors/Environment Writers
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 17, 2003
Final List Will Be Announced in Fall 2003 Recognizing Employers Who
Offer Outstanding Commuter Benefits Commuter benefits is the common description of what the Internal Revenue Service calls "Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits" (QTFB) or Section 132(f).
The [IRS Final Regulations on Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits] may be found at 
The Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition today announced the sign-up period for the second annual list of The Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM).
The list spotlights Bay Area's employers offering superior commuter benefits to employees, thereby committing to reducing traffic and air pollution and improving health and quality of life for harried commuters.
The coalition is comprised of Bay Area business, transportation, human resource, and environmental organizations and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and (EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. ). Last year, the first-ever Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) list recognized more than 80 Bay Area employers, including Yahoo!, Inc., Stanford University Stanford University, at Stanford, Calif.; coeducational; chartered 1885, opened 1891 as Leland Stanford Junior Univ. (still the legal name). The original campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. David Starr Jordan was its first president. , Amy's Kitchen Amy's Kitchen is a privately held corporation which began operation in 1987, with the purpose of making healthly, organic, and easy-to-prepare frozen food. Owned and run by Andy and Rachel Berliner, Amy's Kitchen took its name from their then-newborn daughter. , and IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) Corporation. More information about participating organizations is available at www.commuterchoice.gov/sanfran.
"The Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) list was incredibly popular last year," said EPA Bay Area program manager Robin Snyder. "By offering commuter benefits, a company with 1,000 employees can lower its parking expenses by more than $70,000 and save employees $13,000 in taxes and $160,000 in gas, parking, and vehicle costs each year. The list is a chance to recognize employers who have shown their commitment to alleviating these problems, saving their employees time and money, while reducing the congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. and pollution caused by so many cars on our roads."
To sign up by August 29, 2003, organizations can simply enroll online at www.commuterchoice.gov. This Web site also allows employers considering the Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) designation to access a Web-based calculator to estimate the financial, environmental, traffic-related, and other benefits of offering commuter benefits.
Employers on the list must offer employees key commuting benefits such as employer provided transit passes, vanpool van·pool
An arrangement by which commuters travel together in a van.
tr. & intr.v. van·pooled, van·pool·ing, van·pools
To transport or be transported in a vanpool. subsidies, bike commuter facilities, onsite day care, and telework See telecommuting. programs. To qualify as one of The Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM), organizations must provide:
-- A central point of contact for information, who actively
informs employees of commuter benefits available.
-- Access to a regional or employer-provided Guaranteed/Emergency
Ride Home program.
-- At least one primary commuter benefit, which can include a
monthly transit/vanpool pass subsidy, cash in lieu Cash In Lieu (CIL)
In a typical exchange offer, "old" shares of the target company are exchanged for "new shares". of free
parking, or a significant telecommuting telecommuting, an arrangement by which people work at home using a computer and telephone, transmitting work material to a business office by means of a modem and telephone lines; it is also known as telework. program.
-- At least three supporting commuter benefits, which can include
carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or
walkers, incentives for living near work, or onsite amenities
such as day care or dry cleaning.
About the Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM)
The Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) is a free and voluntary program that recognizes employers nationwide that offer a comprehensive package of commuter benefits. Participating organizations must meet a National Standard of Excellence as defined by program criteria. The Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) improve employee job satisfaction and save money from reduced payroll taxes. Employees enjoy reduced stress and delays caused by driving alone to work and save money by using employer-provided commuter benefits and reducing use of personal vehicles. Visit www.commuterchoice.gov for more information.
About the Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition
The Bay Area's Best Workplaces for Commuters(SM) Coalition, led by EPA, includes the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Council, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Northern California Chapter of the Association for Commuter Transportation, Northern California Human Resources Association, RIDES for Bay Area Commuters Inc., and Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group. The coalition is working to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, cut global warming emissions, and make commuting less stressful and costly for employers and employees.