Gov. Gregoire honors Amgen with ‘Commute Smart Award’

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  • Friday, September 19, 2008 9:32am
  • Business

Washington employers with exceptional employee transportation programs were honored — including Bothell’s Amgen, Inc. — with the “Governor’s Commute Smart Award” during a recent luncheon of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Public Transportation Conference and Expo in Kennewick. The awards were presented by Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.

In all, 25 companies were honored in 13 categories. The awards categories range from the Champion Award, honoring consistent, time-proven leadership in commute trip reduction, to the Site Challenges Award, recognizing employers achieving program success despite limited transit service or highly secure work sites.

One of this year’s Champion Awards was presented to Amgen, Inc. a biotechnology company located in Bothell. Amgen has demonstrated its commitment to helping reduce traffic congestion and air pollution with progressive thinking and offering multiple ways to participate. At the Bothell work site, 37 percent of the employees commute to work using a commute alternative and at their Helix site that number is an impressive 68 percent. Amgen currently has 26 vanpools coming to their work sites from King and Snohomish counties, Vashon Island and Kitsap County. In addition, 80 Amgen staff members use carpools to get to work. Much of their success can be attributed to the support of the site’s leadership.

“Congratulations to this year’s award winners, who have shown their commitment to encouraging employees to reduce drive alone commuting,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “These best practices are shining examples to both public and private sector organizations and I am glad they will be shared throughout the state.”

The Governor’s Commute Smart Awards recognize employers who have model programs that encourage positive change in their employees’ commuting habits and reduce drive-alone commuting. Washington’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Task Force (now the CTR Board) started the awards program in 1998. The Washington State Department of Transportation solicited nominations and selected this year’s winners.

“Encouraging and promoting multiple travel options for commuters, reduces congestion and results in greater efficiency for our transportation system,” said Secretary Hammond. “By delivering innovative, comprehensive programs that address employee transportation needs, every one of these companies has made an important contribution towards reaching that goal,” she said.

These nominated and award-winning employers are leaders in saving space on the road and reducing impacts from gasoline consumption. They serve as role models for the more than 800 employers in the state who implement CTR programs. For a complete list of the award winners, visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/partners/commute/CommuteSmart.htm

Approximately 560,000 individuals are employed at work sites participating in the CTR program. Statewide, the program removes more than 26,000 vehicles from our roadways each weekday morning. That many cars parked in a line would almost stretch from Olympia to Everett. The program also removes more than 4,000 tons of air pollution and almost 86,000 tons of greenhouse gases from our air each year and saved its participants $23 million in fuel costs in 2007.

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