The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today was recognized as one of the best workplaces for commuters by the Greater Washington Region's Best Workplaces for Commuters Coalition. The coalition is led by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and consists of leading government and business organizations in the region working to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and make commuting less stressful and costly for employers and employees.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation established the commuters coalition to recognize employers whose commuter benefits reach the national standard of excellence. To qualify, organizations must provide:
- At least one primary commuter benefit, which can include a monthly transit pass, a monthly vanpool subsidy, cash in lieu of free parking, or a significant telecommuting program.
- At least three supporting commuter benefits, which can include benefits such as carpool/vanpool incentives, lockers/showers for bikers or walkers, incentives for living near work, or onsite amenities such as day care or dry cleaning.
- A central point of contact for information that actively informs employees of available commuter benefits.
- Access to a regional or employer-provided emergency/guaranteed ride home program.
Nearly half of USPTO's employees participate in the WMATA MetroChek program that provides for a subsidy of up to $100 per month for public transit or participating vanpools. USPTO's MetroChek program has been in existence for over 10 years.
Approximately 1,433 employees participate in USPTO's telework program. The agency also offers employees flexible and alternative work schedules. Secure bicycle parking, showers, and lockers are provided, and employees have access to an emergency ride home program.
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