From: Marcelene Edwards, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.
Published October 1, 2004 12:00 AM

EPA Rates Intel Tops for Clean Commutes

Sep. 30—Christy Bermensolo leaves her SUV at home a couple of times a week in favor of a bike ride to her job with Intel Corp. in DuPont.


She cycles the 15 miles each way from her home in North Tacoma as a way to get exercise. But a side benefit is saving money on gas.


"It takes me about an hour — there's some hills on that route," said Bermensolo, a mechanical design engineer. It takes about 30 minutes by car.


She and many of her colleagues at the semiconductor company use alternative transportation methods to get to work. That effort earned the company the top spot in the Environmental Protection Agency's Best Workplaces for Commuters list released Wednesday.


The environmental agency ranked employers that are leaders in offering commuter benefits, such as subsidized transit or van pool passes, telework programs or shuttles to employees. Intel provides cyclists with lockers and showers to make it easier to ride their bikes to work, company spokesman Rick Meeder said.


Sixty-nine companies were recognized for their commitment to reducing air pollution and their role in easing traffic congestion.


At Intel's DuPont plant, nearly 20 percent of the 1,300 employees commute through a van pool or car pool. Meeder said the company encourages workers to use alternative transportation because it's good for the environment and good for their health.


Americans spend an average of 46 hours each year stuck in traffic. Gridlock produces more than $63 billion in congestion costs per year, according to the EPA.


Intel is at the top of the list because it offers commuter benefits to 92 percent of the company's work force. Best Workplaces for Commuters 1. Intel 2. Fannie Mae 3. Cisco Systems 4. USAA (financial company) 5. (tie) Sun Microsystems 5. (tie) Oracle 7. Advanced Micro Devices 8. Texas Instruments 9. Safeco 10. EMC (information storage)


To see more of The News Tribune, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.tribnet.com. (c) 2004, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


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