Power Authority Designated as 'Best Workplace for Commuters'

Michael Saltzman

January  21, 2004


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority has been designated as one of the “Best Workplaces for Commuters,” by the U.S. Departments of Environmental Protection (EPA) and Transportation (DOT).

The program recognizes the Power Authority’s tangible efforts to encourage staff members to commute by using public transportation and organized van pools rather than personal vehicles.

“We recognize the great opportunity to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution from automobiles as well as provide an easier and less stressful commute for many of our staff members,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority. “Our commitment to public transportation, including van and car pools, is recognized by this designation as a ‘Best Workplace for Commuters.’ Our participation truly demonstrates that we lead by example, that we are committed to cutting traffic-related air pollution, reducing traffic and improving the quality of life for our employees and our neighbors.”

Each staff member at the Power Authority’s headquarters in White Plains is eligible for free transit checks in the amount of $30 per month that can be applied to van pool costs and train and bus tickets. In addition, each employee is eligible to purchase an additional $70 in transit checks per month using pre-tax dollars.

More than 25 percent of the Power Authority’s headquarters staff participates in the commuter programs that include Metro-North trains, various bus lines and van and car pools.

According to Marge Oge, EPA’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, the effects of incentive programs like this initiative can be dramatic.

“If just half of all U.S. employees were covered under these commuter benefits,” she said, “traffic and air pollution could be cut by the equivalent of taking 15 million cars off the road every year, saving American workers about $12 billion in fuel costs. That’s both cleaner air and real savings for families.”

“Best Workplaces for Commuters” began in 2000 to address the impacts of growing traffic congestion and traffic-related pollution across the country. The program is widely considered as an effective tool to address environmental, energy, traffic congestion and safety concerns.

Other companies in Westchester County with “Best Workplaces for Commuters” designations include several IBM locations, Swiss Re, Texaco and Master Card.