Three regional businesses with outstanding commuting programs for their employees—the National Geographic Society, Orange Business Services, and XM Satellite Radio—were honored today at the National Press Club by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
The companies’ programs, which were initiated voluntarily, support alternatives to driving to work alone such as carpooling/vanpooling, teleworking, bicycling and taking public transit. These methods help reduce gasoline consumption, ease traffic congestion and provide for cleaner air through reduced auto emissions.
“The employers that we are honoring today have implemented innovative and successful commuter benefit programs, and we thank them for their commitment to reducing traffic congestion and improving the air we breathe,” said D.C. Council Member Phil Mendelson, who also serves as Chair of the Transportation Planning Board.
The National Geographic Society of Washington, DC won the Commuter Connections Employer Recognition Award for Marketing for its intensive and creative ECOmmuting Awareness Day event that attracted over 450 employees interested in economical and environmentally-friendly ways to get to work. Orange Business Services, a communications company in Oak Hill, VA, was recognized with the Commuter Connections Employer Recognition Award for Telework for achieving a 40% increase in employees using telework, which led to over 37,000 gallons of gasoline saved. Washington DC’s XM Satellite Radio won the Connections Employer Recognition Award for Incentives for offering a wide variety of employer-sponsored commuter benefit programs including free shuttles to transit, preferred parking for carpoolers, showers and lockers for bikers and company-issued phones and laptop computers to allow workers to telework.
Commuter Connections works closely with local businesses to educate and promote alternatives to drive alone commuting practices of employees. With free assistance from Commuter Connections, employers can offer a wide array of commuting options from transit subsidies or pre-tax benefits to telework and ridesharing programs.
2008 Commuter Connections Employer Recognition Awards winners:
National Geographic Society, Washington, DC (Marketing Award)
For more information, please contact: Tony Sablo, 202-857-5851
1,400 employees total. NGS organized an ECOmmuting Awareness Day event attracting 450 employees, educating staff about economical and environmentally-friendly ways to get to work. Attendees had opportunities to learn more about NGS incentives such as pre-tax transit, discount parking rates for carpoolers and hybrid vehicle drivers, telework, flextime, compressed work weeks and bicycle racks and showers. NGS continues to encourage solutions that support alternative commute options. The great success of the event prompted the establishment of the Commuting Resources Page on the NGS Intranet.
Orange Business Services, Oak Hill, VA (Telework Award)
For more information, please contact: Amy Young Teklinsky, 703-471-2558
345 employees total. Nearly 170 employees, an increase of 40 percent from last year, are taking advantage of OBS’s own cutting edge technology to telecommute. OBS recently supported the participation of 64 employees in a “Telework VA” pilot program. As the employees helped improve efficiencies for OBS they also enjoyed some benefits of their own, including an average $277 annual reimbursement for high-speed internet service at home. With more than half its staff traveling an average of 30 miles each way, flexible programs such as these help retain staff and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Through telework, efficient use of office space has reduced facility costs by $9,000 for each participating employee. Employees have also reduced annual vehicle miles traveled by over 644,000.
XM Satellite Radio, Washington, DC (Incentives Award)
For more information, please contact: Stuart Goldberg, 202-380-1280
800 employees total. XM Radio offers plenty of choice to its employees via an extensive assortment of employer-sponsored commuter benefit programs created to improve quality of life for people and protect and nurture the planet. Free shuttles to and from the Metro and commuter trains, pre-tax transit benefits, preferred parking for carpools, showers and lockers for bikers, $2 meal subsides to encourage onsite eating at the XM café, flexible work schedules, company-issued Blackberries, cell phones and laptops for telecommuters, flex cars, and after-hours escort vans to transit round out the various commuting incentives available to employees. As a result of its efforts, annual vehicle miles traveled have been reduced by 2.1 million and the company was able to cancel its plans for a multi-million dollar parking facility project.