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Bureau of Transportation’s SmartTrips program proves popular with local businesses, commuters

January 18, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Dan Anderson

503-823-3723, dan.anderson@portlandoregon.gov

Bureau of Transportation’s SmartTrips program proves popular with local businesses, commuters

PORTLAND, Ore. –  The Portland Bureau of Transportation released a program summary that showed nearly 75 percent of businesses in their SmartTrips Business program said promoting walking and biking was good for business.

The SmartTrips Business program encourages Portlanders to commute by bicycle, mass transit, ridesharing or as a pedestrian instead of driving alone and contributing to traffic congestion. The program began in 2006 and is overseen by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. In this time, SmartTrips Business has served over 600 Portland employers, providing sustainable transportation resources to 18,000 of their employees and customers.

“Making an active transportation choice for commuting has many benefits for Portlanders, including exercise and weight loss, cost savings from reduced fuel use and vehicle maintenance, and less traffic. Also, local businesses benefit because active commuters who get exercise are more productive workers, and residents who don’t drive alone to work are more likely to spend money at local, neighborhood establishments,” said SmartTrips Business Project Manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth.

SmartTrips Business offers individualized programs for business owners and operators in a target zone each year. In 2010, the program served 189 businesses in the area around Tri-Met’s new Green Line light rail in the I-205 corridor of outer Southeast Portland. The program model works to get more people using active transportation by offering information and incentives that encourage more sustainable, inexpensive, and healthy transportation choices.

After the program, more than 50 target area businesses asked for follow up services, including more maps for their customers, kits for employees, or more information on bike racks or transit programs.

SmartTrips Business is paid for by the City of Portland’s general transportation revenue, which is funded primarily with parking fees and vehicle taxes, the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit and various grants.

More information is available at www.portlandonline.com/smarttrips.

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