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BATMA Honors Buckhead's Greenest Commuter, Employers and Office Building

Rollins, Orkin's Parent Company, Named Winner of "Best Overall Commuter Program" Award in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2009 – The results are in. After a five-month competition to find Buckhead's greenest commuters, employers and office buildings, the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association (BATMA) recognized the winners of the Go Green and Commute Clean Challenge at a luncheon today. One commuter, one office building and four businesses were honored for their clean commuting accomplishments.

"Go Green and Commute Clean was a fun way for us to encourage more people to get involved with clean commuting, and we're really pleased with the results," said Denise Starling, executive director of BATMA. "There are a lot of fantastic people and programs that are having a positive impact every day by reducing traffic and improving air quality in Buckhead. The Go Green winners are just the best of the best."

The Go Green and Commute Clean awards were presented at a luncheon held today at Maggiano's in Buckhead. Local business leaders and clean commuters gathered to honor the award recipients and to mark BATMA's first 10 years of work in the community. In its first decade, BATMA has compiled a list of impressive accomplishments, including:

  • establishing the buc free shuttle service, which has carried more than 12 million passengers in its six years of operation;
  • encouraging more than 6,000 commuters — nearly six percent of Buckhead's workforce — to log their commutes and become eligible for monthly prizes and rewards;
  • launching 32 vanpools and providing nearly $390,000 to support their operating costs; and
  • preventing more than 250 tons of emissions from being emitted and keeping more than 137 million miles of vehicle travel off the roads by encouraging commute alternatives.

Buckhead's Greenest Commuter

Buckhead's greenest commuter, Kevin Fitch, starts his day early, catching the 6:30 Xpress bus from Newnan to MARTA's Five Points Station. From there he rides the train to Buckhead, and finishes his commute by hopping on board the buc for the trip to Mansell Group's offices at Securities Centre. Since May, Fitch has logged more than 200 clean commutes and reduced almost 10,000 miles of driving.

Fitch won the Go Green and Commute Clean competition by earning points based on the number of clean commute trips, the number of driving miles reduced and the amount of pollution kept out of the air. For winning the challenge, Fitch gets his choice three $2,500 grand prize packages: an eco-vacation to Costa Rica, an ENERGY STAR® appliance package or six months of groceries from Whole Foods Market.

Buckhead's Greenest Employers

BATMA honored four Buckhead employers for their programs to encourage employees to use commute alternatives.

Best Single Commuter Program – This award is given to an employer that has created a program with one particular aspect that is especially successful. Chubb Atlanta was honored for its alternative work arrangement program, which gives employees flexibility and reduces the number of cars on the road during rush hours. More than 60 percent of Chubb Atlanta's employees participate in the program, choosing between a four-day work week and the opportunity to telework.

Best New Commuter Program – This award honors a company that has the best commute options program established after March 1, 2008. Atlanta History Center was recognized for its newly established program, which has already attracted nearly one-third of its employees as participants. Within two months of talking to BATMA for the first time, Atlanta History Center had a full-blown program off the ground, offering a full range of commute alternatives and getting involvement from employees at every level of the organization. Since July 2008, Atlanta History Center's commute options program has eliminated more than 209,737 vehicle miles of travel (which is equivalent to 3,279 trips around Interstate 285) and eliminated over a quarter ton of harmful emissions.

Most Creative Commuter Program – Although not an official award category at the outset, the judges who reviewed the award entry from The Buckhead Community Bank felt like it deserved special recognition for creativity. Earlier this year, The Buckhead Community Bank created the Bucks for Bikes program, which allows customers to borrow funds to purchase a bicycle with no fees or interest for twelve months. At a time when Atlanta residents are cutting back, the bank offers an incentive for them to become more active, more involved and more responsible for their environmental impact.

Best Overall Commuter Program – Rollins, Inc. was named winner in the best overall commuter program category, having eliminated 400,000 vehicle miles of travel by encouraging employees to take advantage of commute alternatives. Rollins offers transit and vanpool riders the option of paying for their commutes through pre-tax deduction, enabling them to save up to 30 percent. The company also constantly promotes commute alternatives through its newsletter, intranet and other means.

Buckhead's Greenest Office Building

In the Go Green and Commute Clean Challenge, buildings earned points based on their operations and maintenance policies, commuter participation rates, and on-site events and amenities. One Alliance Center, owned and managed by Tishman-Speyer, earned the most points and the title of Buckhead's Greenest Office Building. One Alliance Center has implemented a broad range of green programs for its tenants such as free parking for vanpools, on-site amenities that allow workers to take care of errands without getting into their cars, lunch and learns to educate commuters about available alternatives and incentives, and regular outreach via tenant events, lobby displays and emails. One Alliance Center has also proved itself to be an environmentally friendly building, achieving certification in both the Energy Star and LEED programs.

About BATMA

The Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association (BATMA) is a partnership of private businesses, public agencies and residential and civic associations within the Buckhead community whose mission is to provide relief for commuters, residents and visitors traveling in and around Buckhead. BATMA is one of nine transportation management associations in the Atlanta region fostering public-private partnerships to develop solutions for activity centers facing unique transportation challenges. Since its inception in 1997, BATMA's mission has been to work cooperatively to improve mobility, accessibility and air quality in Buckhead. For more information, visit www.batma.org.

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Oct 29, 2009

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