| Model commuter program announced
September 30, 2004 - The City of Knoxville and
Knox County today announced a model "Smart Trips" program to help employees
find alternatives to driving alone.
Many East Tennesseans cite convenience as the reasons so many of them drive alone to and from work. Driving alone, however, contributes to air pollution, traffic congestion and parking hassles.
"This program is one way we can set a positive example and show the region that other transportation options that exist," said Mayor Haslam. "This program is good for the environment, good for individuals, and good for our economy."
"The Smart Trips program will help our employees find carpools, bus routes, priority carpool parking as well as biking and walking alternatives," Mayor Ragsdale said. "This will allow them to become part of the solution - and save money doing it."
The national average for driving alone is 78 percent. A recent survey
showed that county and city employees drive to and from work 90 percent
of the time.
"That means that, on average, they're spending about $3,000 per year
to drive alone to work," said Clark Miller, Smart Trips Employer Outreach
Coordinator. "We can help them reduce that expense dramatically."
and county employees who register with Smart Trips can receive a special
carpool parking spot in the City County Building and free Knoxville
Area Transit (KAT) bus passes will also be available. Participants can
qualify for other incentives such as drawings for merchandise, dinners
for two and tickets to cultural events. County employees can also earn
points in the Bright Start wellness program.
To enroll, City and County employees call the Smart Trips office at
215-2916 or visit the Smart Trips web site at smartrips.knoxtrans.org/.
The City-County program was developed after a survey of employees conducted by the local Smart Trips office.
Other organizations that have agreed to conduct an initial employee survey are Covenant Health, Bell South, TVA, UT Medical Center and SAIC in Oak Ridge.
Smart Trips is currently surveying all UT/Knoxville staff, faculty and students living off campus to determine transportation habits and openness to transportation alternatives.
Funded by the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Smart Trips is staffed by the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.