2009 News & Events
This September - Commute Solutions Month 2009 - people got out of their single-occupant vehicles and motivated to use their commute solutions! During the two-week Commuter Challenge, local employees reported their alternative commuting efforts for a chance for prizes via RiverCities Rideshare (www.rcride.com), resulting in 20,339 single-occupant vehicle miles saved and 19,483 lbs of vehicle emissions reduced! The annual Weirdest Commute Contest held September 16th at GSD&M Idea City was a big hit this year with twice as many entrants as usual, competing hard for ACL tickets with their unique commute solutions! The closing celebration event at the City Hall Plaza on October 1st was also well-attended with the Commuter Challenge winners of great prizes! Also announced were the Challenge’s employer awards who went to three Clean Air Partners: University of Texas (Public/Government winner), AMD and Spansion (corporate winners)! Congrats to these Partners for highest employee participation in the Challenge this year!
Congratulations to Clean Air Partners Freescale, Whole Foods and Travis County who received Winner and Honorable Mention Awards from Keep Austin Beautiful for 2009!
2009 CAPP “Strategies That Work and the Big Push” Partners Luncheon held 3/27/09 was a Success!
We had great attendance for this year’s Partners luncheon – a chance for Partners to meet together as a program working for clean air. Our special guest speakers were Senator Kirk Watson and CLEAN AIR Force Board Chair Jim Marston of Environmental Defense Fund who boasted of Central Texas’ proactive efforts for clean air and how Partners can make a big a difference this year by working with the “Big Push” for cleaner air to avoid nonattainment ozone status for our region. We also heard from Dell and TxDOT on their own successful clean air programs. The luncheon was graciously hosted by Dell and the catered Piadini meal was sponsored by Freescale. Thanks to all our sponsors, speakers and Partners in attendance this year! Get more details from the luncheon presentation slides here.
The Best of the Best KAB Award Winner will be announced at the 24rd Annual Keep Austin Beautiful Awards Luncheon on October 28th. http://www.keepaustinbeautiful.org/awards
2008 News & Events
New Climate Change
Resources Available for Local Governments & Organizations
EPA has launched a new resource directory for governments and organizations to use in developing and implementing climate change initiatives. This new guide includes information on greening transportation, land-use decisions and building construction requirements, improving recycling, conserving water, and using more efficient and renewable energy. Many of EPA's existing programs provide grants to help cities fund their climate action activities and national recognition of local projects. To view the directory, visit www.epa.gov/region09/sustainable-cities/EPA_Programs_Directory-LocalGov-v3.pdf
Bicycle Commuting Benefit details are found in Section 211 - Transportation Fringe Benefits to Bicycle Commuters of The Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (HB 1424)
The Real Dangers of Air Pollution - US News and World Report Article, 12/05/07 This recent article based on a new publishing by the New England Journal of Medicine explains the health implications of today's ground-level air pollution.
Commute Solutions Month 2005 was another BIG SUCCESS with record-breaking Commuter Challenge numbers!! There were a total of 1,313 eligible Challenge participants! A lot of single-occupant vehicle (SOV) trips, miles and emissions were saved between Oct 9th and 22nd, 2005! 18,510 Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips were saved in all! Commuters saved…
7,930 daily work commute trips
8,533 lunch trips
2,047 business meeting trips
Over 239,690 SOV miles were saved in daily to-from work
And due to these miles saved, so were these ground-level Ozone-forming vehicle emissions!
422 lbs VOC emissions
459 lbs NOx emissions
What a great benefit to our traffic congestion and air quality!
Employer Awards for highest Challenge participation:
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)/Spansion – Business Employer
Reduced their Single Occupancy Vehicle Commute Miles by 37,317!!
The University of Texas – Government
Employer- Staff/employees only
Reduced their Single Occupancy Vehicle Commute Miles by 37,129!!
The next two biggest winners were also Partners…. Dell Inc. and URS Corporation. Hurrah for all. Thanks for all your hard work. You've made the Program very proud!!
Commute Solutions Contest 2004 - A Rousing
The annual Commute Solutions Commuter Challenge, held in October, was sponsored by CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization), Cap Metro, and members of the regional Commute Solutions Coalition (including the CAF and the CAPP). The total number of people who entered the contest was the highest ever-over 700! Over the two-week contest period, 6,158 work commute trips and 5,677 lunch trips were saved. These trips equaled 96,353 vehicle miles saved, reducing NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) emissions by 206 lbs and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) by 199 lbs. The Clean Air Partners certainly did their part. For the first time, the program (thanks to the generosity of the CAF) sponsored a special side contest for Partners’ employee participation. Employees from almost 40% of the Partners entered the Challenge. The top 3 winners were presented with beautiful recycled glass trophies. And the winners were…..
- University of Texas-Austin: Most work commute miles saved - 34,953, as well as the highest number of total entries (but we couldn’t give them 2 trophies!).
- AMD: Second highest entries and work commute miles saved-19,018.
- The Austin Idea Network: Highest percentage of employees who entered—100%! (yes, that equals 2 people, but it proves every little bit counts!)
- TCEQ, Capital Metro, and Travis County were the next 3 Partners with the highest commute miles reduced.
29 more State agencies have become Clean Air Partners (8/04)
City Council CAPP Proclamation (4/24/03) - CLEAN AIR Force Executive Director, Deanna Altenhoff, accepts a proclamation from the Austin City Council thanking Clean Air Partners for their efforts. Representatives from about a dozen Partner organizations were present to accept the honor at the April 24 City Council meeting.
The 2003 Commute Solutions Contest was a big success! In only 2 weeks, those in our region who entered the contest saved 52,377 vehicle miles of travel, 112 pounds of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 120 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by participating in the Commute Solutions Month Challenge. Of the 464 people who entered the contest, 109 usually drive alone in their car to work! This shows how even a handful of people can make a difference by not driving to work alone in their vehicle. If everyone even made a small effort once a week to take an alternate form of transportation, think how that would add up! Way to go to all who participated!
October is Commute Solutions
The Commute Solutions Coalition is sponsoring a month of activities to help promote alternative transportation, including prizes for participating in a "Commuter Challenge." For more information, see www.commutesolutions.com.
• Clean Air Partners Update
• Austin Energy's Electric Vehicle Program for Employers
• Tax Benefits for Commuters: How Companies and Employees can Save Money at the Same Time
• Capital Metro's Business Transit Pass Sales Program
• Wrap Up and Announcements on the Upcoming Ozone Season
For more information on receiving information or materials from the Workshop, contact Clean Air Partners Program Manager.
Conference and Gathering Announce Flex Plan (3/1/02)
The CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas and Motorola bring to Austin the first ever "Ozone Action Season Kick-Off Party." On Thursday, March 28th the day begins at 11:00 am with a very special O3 Flex Plan press conference at the Motorola facility on Parmer Lane, followed by a day of awareness and celebration for the beginning of Ozone Action Season at La Zona Rosa.
The La Zona Rosa event will include a live KGSR broadcast during the lunch hour and then into the happy hour (5-7 pm) with a live remote from KLBJ-FM. The stations will hand out prizes, and there will be plenty of food from local restaurants provided by Eat Out In. A cash bar also will be available.
Live music will be provided by "Ozone Season in Texas" artist, Bill Oliver and his Otter Space Band. Sponsors and promotional partners will have the opportunity to have a booth to distribute information. Attendees will be encouraged to have their auto emissions tested at the party and receive a free tree sapling.
To help raise money for the CLEAN AIR Force, there will also be a raffle for a weekend getaway trip for 10 from Austin Outbound. See www.austinoutbound.com for more details about the trip. Beginning two weeks prior to the event, both radio stations will start airing announcements and information.
This is an opportunity to highlight your efforts to improve air quality in Central Texas. If your organization would like to have a booth at the event, please contact the CLEAN AIR Force at 916-6057. We will provide a 10x10 foot space, a table and skirting. We will need to know if you need an electrical outlet. Promotional items and/or giveaways are also encouraged. If you have a vehicle that has low or no emissions, we would like to display it outside the venue. So, come on out and join us for a day of air quality awareness and fun!
CLEAN AIR Force Teams up with Chamber of Commerce and Austin Idea Network to Recruit New Companies (11/15/01) The CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas has joined together with the Greater Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Idea Network on a recruiting drive for a new Clean Air Partners Program.
"We always knew the road to cleaner air would be a team effort, and so we're ecstatic about having the support of other key organizations in helping expand the program," said Wade Thomason, CLEAN AIR Force Executive Director.
The Austin Idea Network is dedicated to improving Central Texas by helping relieve strains caused by the region's growth. The Network mobilizes leaders in the high-tech community to drive specific projects to help improve quality of life. Air Quality is one of the organization's key initiatives, and marketing and recruiting of Clean Air Partners was seen as the most effective way to tackle the area's air quality challenges.