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USF Center to Award Best Workplaces for Commuters Race to Excellence

Awards will laud companies and professionals who offer highest level of commuter benefits

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2009) – Best Workplaces for Commuters, a program designed to encourage sustainable transportation innovation and managed by the University of South Florida’s National Center for Transit Research, will announce the 2009 “Race to Excellence” Virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 2  at  3 p.m. (EST).

The Race to Excellence acknowledges the efforts of 26 individuals and organizations for their efforts to offer alternatives to driving alone and thereby reduce air pollution, traffic congestion, and fuel usage from Jan. 1, 2009 to Oct. 15, 2009.

Among the organizations in the running for awards are Aerospace Corporation, Stanford University, Mayo Clinic, the U.S. Department of State, and Verizon California Inc.

“The winners have shown great environmental leadership through their dedication of promoting cleaner transportation options.” noted Julie Bond, project manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters.   “Some of the outstanding efforts include adding new commuter benefits and expanding telework or transit benefits.”

Honorees will be “virtually” presented with gold, silver, and bronze medals for their efforts to make it easier for workers to leave their cars at home.

Developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Race to Excellence emerged in 2005 as an addendum to the federal government’s voluntary Best Workplaces for Commuters program.

Best Workplaces for Commuters provides qualified employers with programs and services along with national recognition and an elite designation for offering outstanding commuter benefits, such as free or low cost bus passes. Employers that meet the National Standard of Excellence in commuter benefits – a standard created by the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – can become a member of Best Workplaces for Commuters.  For more information, please visit: www.bestworkplaces.org.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The University offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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