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FDOT District One Commuter Services Polk County Employer Partner Receive Regional and National Awards for Offering Commuter Benefits

Julie Bond, BWC Program Manager congratulates Virginie Schena, LEGOLAND's HR Director.— with Julie Bond.LEGOLAND (Winter Haven, FL) has met the Standard of Excellence and is on the list as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters!

Commuter Services’ partner LEGOLAND FL was the first fortune 500 employer Partner in Polk County to achieve the regional Commuter Services Gold Level status and awarded the National Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) elite designation for their outstanding commuter benefits.

LEGOLAND demonstrated a commitment to marketing, outreach and program development efforts. This included participating in healthy initiatives to encourage and increase walking and bicycling, transportation events and campaigns, offering incentives like preferred parking for carpoolers, free universal transit subsidies, onsite company shuttles, bike racks/showers, on-site amenities, a commuter information mode center, along with demonstrating a high percentage of employee participation.

Commuter Services Outreach team members worked aggressively with LEGOLAND FL and stakeholder partners during the initial construction stages prior to the park opening to the public. Our team established new commuter benefits, modified resources, surveyed each employee to develop a strong employer plan, and encouraged key management and stakeholder involvement and support by setting up partnership meetings. Our team determined commuter program goals and Gold Level Partner eligibility, and assisted with completing the BWC application.

An official Commuter Services kick-off event was launched at LEGOLAND FL on May 17, 2012 to encourage one-on-one conversations with employees, to help them find a commute that worked into their schedules. Partners and transportation stakeholders staffed tents and tables and helped register over 400 employees during the first 3 hour event. An educational commuter campaign followed the initial kick-off event and provided over 3,100 carpool matches for their employees. LEGOLAND FL assigned 30 preferred Commuter Service’s carpool spaces to new commuters and now offers free unlimited access transit service to all employees and guest staying at partnering hotels. It took six months to complete the three-party agreement among Merlin (LEGOLAND FL), Polk Transit and the Polk County Commission. Two busses were wrapped and a new bus line that passes the theme park has been named LEGOLAND Route 30. An official new bus service dedication and commuter awards ceremony was held on August 23, 2012 at the LEGOLAND FL entrance area. The awards were presented to Human Resources Director, Virginie Schena. Presenters in attendance were; Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) Senior Research Associate, Julie Bond, Citrus Connection Director, Tom Phillips, Florida Department of Transportation Commuter Services Project Manager, Jan Parham, and Commuter Services Program Director, Christine Diaz-Pagan.

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