PHOTO FROM LEFT: Renee Johns-Goodenough (RideFinders), SIUE Director of Administrative Services Bob Vanzo, SIUE Manager of Campus Parking Carolyn Turner, SJ Morrison (MCT/RideFinders), former SIUE Student Senator Jodi Cox, SIUE Library Information Sciences Business Administrative Associate Laura Scaturro and Kiley Herndon (RideFinders).
From Illinois Business Journal news services
ST. LOUIS – RideFinders, the St. Louis region’s free rideshare program, has announced that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, United States Department of Agriculture and Scott Air Force Base are the recipients of the second annual Regional Sustainability Awards.
The awards recognize the outstanding efforts that employers in the area have made to encourage staff or students to carpool or vanpool as they promote sustainable transportation, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
Through the efforts of the VA, SIUE, USDA and Scott Air Force Base, approximately 64,000 pounds of air pollution have been eliminated in the St. Louis region during the first nine months of 2015. In appreciation of their efforts, RideFinders presented their representatives with plaques made of recycled glass.
“The VA St. Louis Health Care System was honored to receive the 2015 Regional Sustainability Award from RideFinders,” said Deputy Director Keith Repko. “Reducing the number of vehicles on the road not only assists with reducing the parking demand at our facilities, but it also helps improve the air quality in the St. Louis region. With this, we reaffirm our commitment to carpooling and support of the RideFinders program.”
RideFinders works with more than 900 employers in Missouri and Illinois to encourage alternative transportation options. employee transportation coordinators within these organizations act as ambassadors for the program.
“We want to commend these employers for their leadership and commitment to making our region a healthier and more sustainable place to work and live,” said RideFinders spokesperson SJ Morrison. “We appreciate what they do, and urge other companies to follow their lead in taking steps to increase the number of commuters who rideshare.”
This year’s honorees have exceeded standards in promoting sustainability with a variety of different rideshare initiatives, such as offering preferential parking spots and providing vanpool subsidies. In 2015, SIUE began the Cougar Carpool Program, which offers preferential parking and reduced parking fees in an effort to increase ridesharing among staff and students.
“Through the leadership of Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville seeks to maximize sustainability in all aspects of campus life from inside the classroom to LEED certification for new construction,” said SIUE Interim Chancellor Steven Hansen. “SIUE embraces sustainable practices and collaborating with RideFinders to promote activities like the Cougar Carpool Program is another example of that focused effort.”
RideFinders operates as a free public ridesharing service, organizing and promoting carpools, vanpools and schoolpools, for employers and commuters working in St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri; and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois.
The organization is operated by Madison County Transit and is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program with support from the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.
For more information about RideFinders, go to http://www.sharetheridestl.com/