MetroPool Curbs Traffic Congestion, Pollution In Connecticut and Hudson Valley, NY Counties

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MetroPool, Inc. reduces pollution and traffic congestion by reducing single occupancy driving and the number of vehicle miles traveled.

to Swiss Re, Pepsi, Cartus, Pitney Bowes, Health Net, Pace University and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Since launching the Earth Day Race to the Finish Commuter Challenge two years ago, MetroPool, Inc. has succeeded in reducing nearly 12 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), saving over a half a million gallons of gas and clearing the air of nearly 5,000 tons of emissions, according to Paul Scribano, outgoing chairman of the MetroPool, Inc. Board of Directors.

During the 2009 Commuter Challenge year alone that ended April 30th, commuters reduced their driving by 6,229,518 miles in Connecticut and lower Hudson Valley, NY counties, while reducing car trips by 223,331 miles, saving 281,887 gallons of gasoline and preventing 2,740 tons of emissions.

"This event has attracted many top companies in our area from IBM, UBS, RBS, Northern Westchester Hospital, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and New York-Presbyterian Hospital," he noted, "to Swiss Re, Pepsi, Cartus, Pitney Bowes, Health Net, Pace University and Boehringer Ingelheim."

Last year, the renewed focus on carpooling stemming from the spike in gas prices even attracted the attention of ABC's Good Morning America and CNN. While CNN interviewed MetroPool President and CEO John Lyons for a mid-day segment, ABC ran a carpooling challenge with employees at Pitney Bowes Inc. in Stamford and Cartus in Danbury that included early morning broadcasts and daily web blogs.

The attention, Mr. Scribano said, is due in part to MetroPool's continued promotion of transportation demand management (TDM) solutions from carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, and walking, to telecommuting, compressed work weeks, and riding public transit modes of commuting such as the bus, train and ferry.

MetroPool continues to promote popular ridematching programs that include the successful NuRide online network and EasyStreet vanpools.

According to Mr. Scribano, studies show that one ton of pollution causes over $120,000 in healthcare costs. The fact that MetroPool has helped to eliminate thousands of tons of emissions in the region it serves demonstrates how TDM contributes not only to curbing congestion and pollution, but to the health of children and communities, as well.

Another support for commuters and employers alike is MetroPool's promotion of the federal Commuter Tax Benefit, which doubled in the pre-tax deduction offered to employees as a result of the Stimulus Package signed last February. The amount of pre-tax income that commuters enrolled in an employer-sponsored program can deduct from their gross income increased from $120 to $230 a month.

The increase enables vanpoolers and transit-commuting employees to save an additional $1,000 a year. Plus, companies that offer the benefit will save an additional $100 per employee in payroll taxes annually.

Additionally, MetroPool, continues to help companies ease the commuting stress for their employees and thus boost productivity by offering guaranteed ride home programs, surveys to assess employee needs, relocation programs, park & ride lots, kiosk information centers, ridematching initiatives, telework programs, shuttle busses, and other commute mobility programs and services.

Much of its success, said Mr. Scribano, can be attributed to MetroPool's strength in expanding its reach through strategic public-private partnerships and relationships created with metropolitan planning organizations, municipalities, other government entities, associations and universities in an effort to promote sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Another strength is the presence of offices in key market area of White Plains, Pomona, Highland, Yonkers, and Wappingers Falls in New York, as well as in Bridgeport, Danbury and Stamford, Connecticut where regional managers work with employers and commuters to reduce VMTs, lower carbon emissions, and help improve air quality by promoting TDM services at organizational sites, environmental fairs, Earth Day events, and other gatherings designed to encourage people to 'go green'.

The result of its nearly 30-years of promoting TDM programs can be seen in benefits to commuters and employers alike by curbing pollution and congestion, making the environment cleaner, reducing our carbon footprint and helping all commuters save time, money and stress.

"It's a privilege to be part of an organization that works to make our world, our communities and our environment better by proving that together, we can make a difference one person, one ride, one car at a time," said Mr. Scribano.

Mr. Scribano has served as chairman of the MetroPool Board of Directors since 2007. He is director of financial planning for Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc., an IAC Company - a leading internet company with more than 35 fast-growing, highly related brands.

About MetroPool
Since 1980, MetroPool has provided employers and commuters with free services to encourage transportation options -car/vanpooling, walking/biking, bus/train/ferry transit, compressed work weeks/flex hours, and pre-tax commuter benefits. With the support of the New York State and Connecticut Department of Transportation, MetroPool's services are available to commuters traveling to destinations in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties in New York, and in Fairfield County in Connecticut. For information, call MetroPool at 1-800-FIND-RIDE (1-800-346-3743), or visit http://www.metropool.com

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Colleen Brathwaite
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