EPA and DOT Offer New Recognition for Hacienda Companies' Commuters

Hacienda companies that participate in alternative commute programs can now receive special recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation under the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative.

The program identifies employers who use cutting-edge programs and signifies them under a National Standard of Excellence as a Commuter Choice Employer.

The best part is that Hacienda companies already qualify for this recognition by virtue of their employee's participation in the park's commuter programs.

Hacienda's comprehensive approach to transportation alternatives has received numerous awards. The leadership companies have displayed through their participation in these programs is an important part of their success and worthy of commendation.

Hacienda, in partnership with the EPA, is excited to be able to play a role in establishing resident companies as nationally-recognized business leaders.

"Participating companies will receive regional and national recognition by a special EPA communications team devoted to promoting the initiative and the Commuter Choice employers," says the EPA's Robin Snyder, who works for the agency's department of Innovative Transportation Programs and Partnerships.

She notes additional benefits for participating companies.

"Prospective employees will know that your business is part of the commuter benefits program when you use the trademarked term, 'Commuter Choice Employer,' in your recruitment package."

It could prove to be an important detail in today's competitive job market.

"Companies are proud of the good things they do," she notes. "Letting their employees know that they work for a company that is serious about offering alternate commute benefits is important."

Other benefits available to companies participating in the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative include information exchanges and forums to share successes and lessons learned with other employers, and access to information about program and participation rates with other similar companies.

Already participating are organizations such as the City of Atlanta, City of Boulder, Emory University, Enron, Birkenstock, and Presidio Trust.

Employers are encouraged to enroll in the Commuter Choice Employer program prior to August 1, 2001. Doing so will afford the opportunity to receive recognition by the EPA at a special national press event to be held in mid-August during the Association for Commuter Transportation conference in Portland.

To receive the designation of Commuter Choice Employer, companies must be enrolled in the free Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home program. The program allows Hacienda employees a ride at no charge via taxi or rental car on those days where they have taken transit but need emergency transport home due to special circumstances.

Companies must also complete the Commuter Choice Employer enrollment form.

For businesses interested in participating in the EPA/DOT program, there are a number of resources ready to guide you through the application process. Please contact James Paxson, Hacienda's general manager, for information on the program at (925) 734-6500 or via e-mail at james@hacienda.org .

Additional details are also available by contacting the Commuter Choice Hotline at (888) 856-3131. Robin Snyder can be reached at (202) 564-1359or via e-mail at snyder.robin@epamail.epa.gov .

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