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EPA, TransOptions, and Assemblyman DeCroce Recognize Pfizer as One of New Jersey's Best Workplaces for Commuters; Launch Program to Recognize Employers that Combat Traffic, and Reduce Air Pollution and Employee Stress

Release Date: 10/16/2003
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In an attempt to reduce traffic congestion and the air pollution that comes with it, TransOptions, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a regional coalition, is launching Best Workplaces For CommutersSM (BWC) Exit EPA disclaimerin the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metropolitan area. Earlier today, Jane M. Kenny, EPA regional administrator, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce and Transoptions President John F. Ciaffone congratulated Pfizer for being one of the first companies in New Jersey to meet the high standards of the best workplaces for commuters program. EPA will unveil a complete list of the Best Workplaces for Commuters in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metro area in May 2004.

"Pfizer's choice to become one of the region's Best Workplaces for Commuters is an important step to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "If half of the employees in the U.S. worked for Best Workplaces employers like Pfizer, it would be equivalent to taking 15 million cars off the road every year. We urge other New Jersey-based companies to join this important program, and look forward to recognizing their efforts in the spring.

"The metropolitan area experiences some of the nation's most congested traffic," said John F. Ciaffone, TransOptions President. "We want to showcase these employers and encourage others to follow their lead."

"BWC employers, like Pfizer, make New Jersey and Morris County a better place to work and live. I strongly urge all employers to follow Pfizer's example and join with TransOptions and BWC to help their employees find better ways to work," said Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, 26th Legislative District.

To achieve Best Workplaces for Commuters recognition, employers must offer comprehensive programs and incentives that encourage employees to use "alternative" methods of commuting to work, other than driving alone. Employers who offer key commuting benefits such as employer- provided transit passes, vanpool subsidies, bike commuter facilities, onsite amenities, and telework programs can qualify.

"Our average commuter is spending more than an entire workweek stuck in traffic each year," said Ron Slember, Senior Director, Administrative Services at Pfizer. "Every workday, congestion causes commuters to spend a great deal in wasted time and fuel causing them to arrive to work late and stressed out. That's why Pfizer is proud to provide commuter benefits to its employees and proud to be named a Best Workplace For Commuters. This program has helped improve the quality of life for our employees, and in turn, helped to raise productivity and morale. At the end of the day, fewer cars on the road means cleaner and healthier air quality which is a priority for everyone. It's great to have a program like BWC to support commuters and offer recognition for what we do to help them."

BWC employers benefit from improved employee job satisfaction, lower staff turnover rates and reduced payroll taxes by providing free transportation benefits to employees. Their employees enjoy reduced stress caused by traffic delays when they drive alone to work, and save money by using employer-provided commuter benefits in place of, and thereby reducing the use of, their personal vehicles.

Some Of The Highlights Of Pfizer's Commuter Benefits Package Include:

    • A Commute Options Office to help workers coordinate their travel-to-work plans. Up to $100.00 per month in TransitCheks for mass transit users
    • Monthly subsidies for Vanpools in addition to that provided by NJ TRANSIT
    • Preferential parking for carpoolers
    • Networked computer bulletin board for posting carpool requests
    • Published schedules for Pfizer's inter-office, train station, and NYC shuttles Myriad of on-site amenities ie. onsite daycare, banking, and dry cleaning services
    • Tax-free ridesharing benefits for participants
    • Up to four emergency rides home each year
The Best Workplaces for Commuters program is sponsored nationally by EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation, and locally by a coalition of state, county and city departments of transportation, business organizations and transportation service organizations like TransOptions. Companies self-nominate for inclusion in the program, which is already successfully underway in other major metropolitan areas including Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Houston.

A list of the Best Workplaces for Commuters will be released in May 2004. Your company may already meet the requirements, and registration is FREE. For more information about Best Workplace for Commuters, visit or or call 973-267-7600.