CLEVELAND -- The region’s first-ever Commuter Choice Awards were presented today by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). The awards salute organizations that practice and promote environmentally friendly commuter options, including transit, carpooling, bicycling, walking and telecommuting.
“These awards are a wonderful way for companies to be recognized for what they are doing to promote healthy, clean transportation in this region,” says NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. ”We appreciate their efforts to foster environmentally friendly transportation choices for their employees.”
Many of the winners participate in Commuter Advantage program of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), and allow their employees to purchase transit passes on a pre-tax basis, saving both the employee and employer money.
"More than 700 employers and nearly 14,000 employees now participate in our Commuter Advantage Program -- a unique opportunity for employees to enjoy an added discount on public transportation fares, and be enrolled in RTA's Guaranteed Ride Home Program,” says RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese. “These recipients are helping to enhance environmental quality, reduce traffic congestion, and provide transportation options for their employees.”
NASA Glenn wins the Gold
NOACA awarded its top rating to the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, for their support of alternative forms of transportation and implementation of programs that strongly encourage alternative commutes.
“NASA Glenn is doing an outstanding job supporting and promoting healthy, sustainable forms of transportation for their employees,” says Gallucci. “They’ve earned their Gold rating and set an excellent example for other organizations to follow."
NASA Glenn offers its employees numerous amenities that encourage them to commute by alternative modes and educate them on the benefits of alternative transportation choices. These include:
- Providing free transit passes to employees
- Offering secure outdoor and indoor parking for bicycles
- Providing showers, changing areas and lockers for bicyclists and pedestrians
- Offering pool cars and bicycles on-site for employees to use during the day if they take transit
- Allowing employees to telecommute and have flexible work schedules
- Offering video-conferencing capabilities to reduce employee travel
- Offering educational programs that help employees learn about the benefits of alternative forms of transportation
Saluting the award winners
Silver rating: Tucker Ellis LLP
- Case Western Reserve University
- Squire Patton Boggs
- Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Cleveland Center
- University Hospitals Case Medical Center
- Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
- Grants Plus
- Cuyahoga County
- University Circle, Inc.
- Cleveland Public Library
NOACA asked organizations to complete a survey, gauging their support and promotion of alternative forms of transportation. Each participating organization received a numerical score based on the amenities and programs they offer. The total score determined Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings.
“Through the surveys submitted for this year’s awards, we are excited to see that many companies and organizations actively encourage their employees to commute in ways other than driving alone,” says Gallucci. “We applaud these efforts and urge employers to keep up the good work. We encourage them to continue these great practices, expand on them and apply for a Commuter Choice Award next year.”
NOACA will select one organization as Most Improved when determining the 2015 Commuter Choice Award recipients.
NOACA will present Commuter Choice Awards every year at its annual meeting. It encourages employers in RTA's service area to sign up for RTA’s Commuter Advantage program and to apply for a Commuter Choice Award in 2015. For more Commuter Advantage information, call 216-781-4764.