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City of Renton Receives “Pacesetter” Recognition from Commuter Challenge

City Recognized for Continued Outstanding Commute Trip Reduction Efforts

May 5, 2008

For more information contact:

Nate Jones, Transportation Planner, Public Works, 425-430-75217
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569, cell - 206-491-8158

RENTON- The City of Renton’s employee transportation program has been recognized as a “Pacesetter” by the Commuter Challenge organization for the city’s efforts and programs to reduce drive-alone commute trips by city employees. The award ceremony was held in Seattle on Thursday, May 8, 2008.

For 15 years, the Commute Challenge “Pacesetter” recognition and Diamond Awards have been bestowed on the King County businesses and employees who have not only done what is mandated by state commute trip reduction (CTR) laws, but have put their ingenuity and resources into improving and even reforming their employees' commute habits. These employers are innovative leaders in reducing employee commute trips and represent the top tier of King County work sites with highly effective (CTR) programs and strong organizational commitment to the principles of CTR.

“We are happy to receive this recognition for the efforts we have made in our city to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions, and improve the quality of our air,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “Taking transit, biking, walking, and carpooling are the transportation modes of our city’s future and we are committed to programs like commute trip reduction that benefit our employees and our environment."

“We are very pleased with the success of the program, since it makes it easier for employees to get to work and helps preserve our community’s quality of life,” said Councilmember Randy Corman, Chair, Transportation and Aviation Committee.

Commute trip reduction programs implemented by employers are one of the most cost-effective approaches to improving local transportation mobility. The City of Renton supports employees’ efforts to reduce commute trips by providing a free FlexPass, which covers unlimited rides on Sounder Commuter Rail, King County Metro Transit, Pierce Transit, and Sound Transit buses; subsidies towards King County Metro VanPool and VanShare fares; incentives for employees who walk, bicycle, or carpool to work, and a Guaranteed Ride Home program (free emergency taxi ride home). These benefits are offered to regular employees who are on the city’s payroll.

In 2007, the City of Renton was a Commuter Challenge Diamond Award winner and in 2006 was listed on the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s “Best Workplaces for Commuters” list.