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BOSTON – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 -- Today, the Patrick Administration celebrated the efforts of more than 150 Massachusetts businesses to promote healthier, more environmentally-friendly commuting at the Massachusetts Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) Awards ceremony at historic Fenway Park. The Administration recognized employers who have been successful in administering programs and resources to encourage their employees to travel by public transit, carpools, vanpools, bicycling or walking.
“By 2030, I hope to see multi-modal Massachusetts triple the share of walking, bicycling and riding public transit. The Massachusetts employers we have recognized today are helping our state to move toward achieving this mode shift goal,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “It is important that we keep these programs and resources going to encourage employees to use a sustainable mode of transportation both in their work and personal lives.”
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) hosted the ECO Awards in collaboration with MassRIDES, the statewide travel options program and MassCommute, the Massachusetts Council of Transportation Management Associations. MassDOT, MassRIDES and MassCommute actively support employers across the Commonwealth in their work to reduce drive-alone trips to work sites while encouraging employees to travel by public transit, carpools, vanpools, bicycling, and walking – or avoid commuting altogether by encouraging telework opportunities. Together, MassRIDES and MassCommute have over 700 employer partners and member organizations that support green and healthy transportation options.
“MassCommute is proud to partner with MassDOT and MassRIDES to recognize employer members and partners across the state. We are honored to celebrate our highest level of participation at this year’s ECO Awards,” said MassCommute Executive Director, David Kucharsky.
“These employers are making choices to promote sustainable transportation initiatives and advance employer, personal and statewide goals for a healthy and clean environment. Together, we have saved over 11.6 tons of emissions from entering our air in 2013. We couldn’t be more pleased,” said MassRIDES Director, Kristin Slaton.
The awards ceremony at Fenway Park celebrated the efforts of over 150 MassRIDES partners and MassCommute members. Eight employers were recognized for outstanding accomplishments, including:
Leadership in Commuter Options
Leadership in Commuter Engagement
Leadership in Innovation
The ECO Awards Ceremony is presented with sponsorships from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, vRide, NuRide, URS Corporation, 128 Business Council, ZipCar, Eastern Bank, the Rideshare Company, Taza Chocolate and the Charles River Transportation Management Association. The generous support of these sponsors allows for greater recognition of sustainable transportation efforts throughout the Commonwealth.
Employers recognized at the fourth annual ECO Awards support GreenDOT, a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative of MassDOT. Within its GreenDOT initiative, MassDOT and the MBTA have worked to dramatically reduce bus exhaust emissions by modernizing the MBTA bus fleet with the addition of Compressed Natural Gas, Electric Trolley, Dual Mode and Emissions Controlled Diesel buses. The MBTA is also undertaking the first locomotive retrofit project in the nation, testing a diesel oxidation catalyst on one commuter train. GreenDOT calls for MassDOT to incorporate sustainability into all of its activities, from strategic planning to project design and construction to system operation. The GreenDOT policy initiative includes greenhouse gas reduction targets mandated under the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008. This law requires an economy-wide 2020 emissions reduction mandate of 25 percent, the first step toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.
To see a full list of ECO Award winners, visit www.mass.gov/massdot/ecoawards
Photos are available upon request.
In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway Division, the MBTA and Rail Transit Division, the Aeronautics Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot blog: http://blog.mass.gov/transportation/ , or follow MassDOT on twitter at https://twitter.com/MassDOT and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo .