Environmental Factor, September 2005, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Promoting Alternative Transportation Earns TTA Leadership Award
By Colleen Chandler
NIEHS was honored July 29 by the Triangle Transit Authority with a leadership award in the large company category.
The NIEHS Transhare program provides up to $105 per month in fare subsidies for buses and vanpools. NIEHS has a formal telecommuting program, encourages carpooling through the TTA rideshare matching, and provides bike racks, showers and lockers for cyclists. Vanpoolers and carpoolers are also entitled to use prime parking spaces.
According to the TTA, NIEHS increased its alternative commuting from 15 percent to 19 percent over the last year.
TTA plans to implement a 28-mile rail transit system with 12 stops in Durham, Research Triangle Park, Cary and Raleigh, and shuttles linking Raleigh- Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park. The train is expected to be running in late 2008.
Carpooling is the leading method of alternative transportation, followed by telecommuting, then buses, vanpools, biking and, finally, walking.
A 2004-2005 survey of nearly 14,000 employees in Durham County showed between 15 and 20 percent are getting to work by another means of transportation instead of each person driving his or her own car to work, according to TTA. Officials say that each week in Durham County, the total mileage saved through alternative commuting is 400,000 miles, the same distance as driving from Durham to Los Angeles and back 43 times.