7/31/2009- Sires Introduces Bill to Aid Commuters
For immediate release Contact: Erica Daughtrey
July 31, 2009 (201) 222-2828Legislation aims to reduce commute times and give commuters more options
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Albio Sires introduced the Commute LESS (Leveraging Employer Support and Successes) Act, to address increasing commute times and give commuters access to alternative forms of transportation.
“Every year commuters are stuck in traffic for nearly one full work week and waste three weeks' worth of gas,” said Congressman Sires. “We can give commuters better options than driving alone and spending hours in traffic by encouraging employers to create and expand commuter benefit programs.”
The Commute LESS Act aids commuters by leveraging support from employers. Research performed by the BusinessWeek Research Services found that when employers offered commuter benefit programs, eighteen percent of their employees opted for alternative forms of transportation – including transit, carpooling, teleworking, and biking or walking. In addition to saving commuters time, commuter benefit programs also reduced congestion, conserved fuel, and saved money for commuters.
“If we involve employers in the transportation process, than we can make a real difference for commuters. Working families spend nearly thirty percent of their budgets on transportation costs. By improving and creating new commuter benefit programs, they can realize significant savings, spend more time with their families, and waste less time sitting in traffic.”
The Commute LESS Act give employers the tools and resources they need to provide employees with alternative forms of transportation by establishing a grant program to create and expand commuter benefit programs. It also provides a better connection between transportation planners and employers by creating an employer advisory council to draft commuter trip reduction plans.