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SAN DIEGO BUSINESSES TO BENEFIT FROM NEW EMPLOYER TRANSIT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

 SAN DIEGO, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Passage of the National Policy Act is good news for businesses looking to easily enhance their employee benefits and get a jump on local city regulations to reduce their Employee Drive Alone Rate (EDAR). The Act raises the non- taxable limit on transit passes from $21 per month to $60 per month.
 In response to the new bill and the ever-increasing demands upon local business to comply with Clean Air regulations, the Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) and San Diego Transit Corp. (SDTC) are creating a program to help businesses take advantage of the existing transit service network. Indra Gardiner, an independent marketing consultant, has been hired to introduce a streamlined transit program to local firms. The Employer Transit Assistance Program (ETAP) will make it easier for companies to advocate and support employee use of transit.
 ETAP will combine informational pieces with a user-friendly Transit Pass Sales Kit. According to Anne-Catherine Vinickas, marketing manager for MTDB, the program will fill a gap for businesses interested in transit. "The Employer Transit Assistance Program will simplify the process of introducing employees to transit services," said Vinickas. "The program provides a basic overview of transit options for interested employees, some elementary paperwork, and positive incentives such as transit pass raffles. It will be easy for businesses to roll out." ETAP will also help company executives understand the tax benefits of the new Energy Act.
 Employee Transportation Coordinators (ETCs) usually handle overall transportation management for their company. Selling transit passes to co-workers can be a particularly confusing aspect of their responsibilities. Amy Perkins, executive director of the San Diego Transportation Management Association, said the new Transit Assistance Program will facilitate the process for ETCs. "Our job as transportation specialists is to make it as easy as possible for San Diegans to contribute to our community through transit use, ridesharing, and other alternative modes of transportation. This program will help to do that."
 By encouraging employees who never use transit to try it just once a week, traffic congestion can be reduced by 20 percent. Public-private sector partnerships such as this make it easier for San Diegans to keep the air cleaner and highways less congested. And employees can arrive at work relaxed and ready-to-go -- not stressed by the ever-increasing tensions of commuting by car.
 Gardiner can be reached at 619-554-0197 for further information about the Employer Transit Assistance Program.
 -0- 3/5/93
 /CONTACT: Judith Leitner of MTDB, 619-557-4513/


CO: Metropolitan Transit Development Board; San Diego Transit Corp. ST: California IN: SU:

MS-LS -- SD003 -- 3535 03/05/93 15:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1993
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