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Diamond Awards winners announced

Fourteen organizations and two individuals have won the 2013 Diamond Awards from the SANDAG iCommute program because of their outstanding contributions to reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gases in the San Diego region.

Diamond Awards winners help people get to work or school without adding traffic to roads and freeways. This is accomplished by promoting alternatives to driving alone, including vanpooling, carpooling, walking, biking, taking transit, teleworking, working a compressed workweek, or a combination of these. Some organizations also provide incentives, subsidies, or pre-tax deductions to their employees to support their participation in eligible programs.

This year’s winners are as follows:

All-Star Award:
Sharp HealthCare’s commuter program includes transit and vanpool subsides, teleworking, teleconferencing, bike facilities, and incentives for employees to log their trips online in the iCommute TripTracker tool.

Parsons Brinckerhoff employees regularly use public transit, carpool, bike, or walk to work. The company offers a compressed workweek, option to telework, and prize drawings. A company bike is available for local work trips.

Program Excellence Award (size category based on number of employees):
Solar Turbines Inc. (macro) provides free transit passes, subsidized vanpools, special carpool/vanpool and bike parking to employees.

Intuit (large) has a new bike-sharing program and secure bike parking. The company also offers preferred parking for ridesharing, a shuttle to the COASTER, discounted transit passes, and telework options.

URS Corp. (medium) offers incentives to encourage employees to use alternative modes, including pre-tax transit benefits and compressed workweeks. The company holds commuter appreciation breakfasts and presents awards to top commuters.

KTU+A Planning + Landscape Architecture (small) employees bike to work as a model for each other, their clients, and the community. They have a bike buddy program to ride to work, and offer carshare service for off-site meetings.

Best New Program Award (size category based on number of employees):
Palomar Health’s (macro) new commuter program offers pre-tax transit benefits and subsidies for transit and vanpool users. A partnership with NCTD BREEZE route 353 lets employees ride for free.

RECON Environmental, Inc. (medium) offers transit pass reimbursement and pays employees who don’t use company parking. Approximately 39 percent of employees choose to bike, walk, carpool, take transit, or telework.

car2go San Diego (small) has a network of 300 electric vehicles for rent in the downtown and beach areas. Its carshare system supports commuters who rely on transit, biking, walking, or carpooling but occasionally need a car.

San Diego Coastkeeper (micro) staff and volunteers regularly bike to work, carpool, and telework to reduce their carbon footprint and stay fit.

Agency Leadership Award:
The City of Del Mar’s commuter program includes carpooling, compressed workweeks, and biking to work. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the city will soon have electric bikes instead of fleet vehicles.

Outstanding Educational Institution Award:
Ocean Knoll Elementary (K-12) has made sustainable transportation part of the school's healthy exercise and nutritional program. More than 60 percent of students bike, walk, or carpool to school.

UC San Diego (university) provides incentives and directly subsidizes alternative transportation for students, faculty, staff, and other affiliates and visitors. In 2012, 59 percent of commuters entering the campus used alternative transportation.

Community Champion Award:
City Heights Community Development Corp. has worked closely with residents, community groups, businesses, planners, traffic engineers, and elected officials to have intersections re-designed, crosswalks and pedestrian refuges installed, and bike lanes implemented.

Workplace Champion Award:
Brenna Ogg of RECON Environmental, Inc. is known for her infectious enthusiasm for alternative commute choices and workplace participation. Her creative approach has resulted in nearly 40 percent participation in alternative transportation.

Commuter of the Year:
Jamie Ortiz, an independent consultant, bikes to all client meetings across the county in varying weather, terrain, and attire. She is a role model to her colleagues, clients, family, and friends.

Diamond Awards winners will receive recognition in a regional newspaper ad and on the iCommute website and SANDAG Facebook page.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.