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Tufts Health Plan Wins 2 Awards for Encouraging Alternative Commuting Options from Dept. of Transportation

Watertown-based health care group recognized for giving incentives for employees to leave their cars at home.

Tufts Health Plan made the following announcement:

Tufts Health Plan announced June 28 that it has been awarded two Excellence in Commuter Options awards (ECO) by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The nationally recognized health plan was given the Innovation Excellence award for its parking incentive program, which provides employees a cash incentive to leave their car at home. It was also one of 28 companies to win a Pinnacle award, the highest ECO honor.

Created in 2005, the company’s Commuter Connection program offers incentives for car pooling, preferred parking for hybrid vehicles, access to on-site Zipcars, secure bicycle storage and a guaranteed ride home for employees who use alternative transportation

The annual Massachusetts ECO Awards are a celebration of the exemplary contributions in the field of commuter options that Massachusetts employers have made toward creating a more sustainable and healthier Commonwealth.

“Creating environmentally friendly programs goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to promoting health and wellness,” said Mark Foster, who manages the commuter programs at Tufts Health Plan. “By leaving their cars at home, our employees are engaging in more active commutes that are better for them and better for the environment.” 

In the parking incentive program, employees who agree to leave their cars at home are paid $100 each month, with a minimum three-month commitment. Program members may park in the garage three times per month for $5 each time. The program, which is limited to 225 participants, has had 200 people enrolled for more than two years.

The Commuter Connection program is just one of many environmentally friendly programs implemented by the health plan.  Since 2004, Tufts Health Plan has been a member of MassRIDES, the statewide travel options program, which supports employers in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decreased drive-alone trips.

For five consecutive years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Tufts Health Plan the ENERGY STAR label for superior energy performance at its Watertown headquarters and the health plan has also earned a "Best Workplace for Commuters" designation from the EPA.

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