ST. LOUIS - In honor of National Rideshare Month, RideFinders is paying tribute to four area businesses and two individuals for their sustainable leadership. The organization is presenting its 2017 Regional Sustainability Awards to Schneider Electric, Express Scripts, Lewis and Clark Community College, Amazon, environmentalist Jean Ponzi and rideshare advocate Julia Gilmer.

Also in October, RideFinders is heading to several commuter parking lots to hand out treats and say “thank you” to commuters for choosing sustainable transportation options. RideFinders will be giving out free snacks and beverages at the following locations and times in recognition of area commuters who are choosing to utilize sustainable forms of transportation such as walking, biking, carpools, vanpools and mass transit, instead of driving alone:

Wednesday, October 11 from 4 – 6pm: Glen Carbon, IL (Highway 157/162)

Wednesday, October 18 from 4 – 6pm: Valley Park, MO (I-44/141)

Wednesday, October 25 from 4 – 6pm: Arnold, MO (I-55/Richardson Road)

RideFinders’ Regional Sustainability Awards annually recognize businesses, institutions, organizations and individuals that actively promote sustainable transportation and support RideFinders’ efforts to reduce traffic congestion and improve regional air quality. The following are some of the contributions of this year’s recipients:

Schneider Electric is consistently ranked among the most sustainable corporations in the world. Among its many contributions to local sustainability, the company provides vehicle-charging stations for employees’ electric cars and reserved carpool spots at its O’Fallon headquarters. Schneider employees who rideshare reduce approximately 66,365.86 miles of driving annually, and therefore eliminate 2,068.62 lbs. of air pollution each year.

Express Scripts, located in North St. Louis County, has experienced rapid employee growth at its campus and has made ridesharing a major initiative, including conducting a weeklong carpool event this year. Express Scripts employees who rideshare reduce approximately 79,429.99 miles of driving annually, and therefore eliminate 2,475.82 lbs. of air pollution each year.

Lewis and Clark Community College, whose main campus is in Godfrey, Ill., has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability regularly with its students and employees by promoting public transportation and carpooling. Lewis & Clark’s efforts result in shared rides that reduce approximately 100,275.89 miles of driving annually, and therefore eliminate 3,125.60 lbs. of air pollution each year.

Amazon, in the Lakeview Commerce Center in Edwardsville, Ill., has worked with RideFinders since it opened its facility there in 2016. Amazon invited RideFinders to participate in its employee orientations, provide information about carpooling and Madison County Transit bus services, and register new commuters. The company’s efforts resulted in shared rides that reduce approximately 104,418.16 miles of driving annually, and therefore eliminate 3,254.71 lbs. of air pollution each year.

Jean Ponzi is the Green Resources Manager for the EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden. She also promotes integration of sustainable thinking, planning and action into business practices as co-manager of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge. She is a frequent environmental spokesperson on local and national media and has been a vocal advocate for ridesharing for our region.

Julia Gilmer, Program Manager of Nutrition & Food Services for the VA at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, raised the issue of ridesharing, prompted its initiation at her worksite and became the first official ridesharer in its program. She rides in one of RideFinders’ two vanpools at the location. Shared rides at the site reduce approximately 346,439.71 miles of driving annually, and therefore eliminate 10,798.52 of air pollution

“We are fortunate to have so many employers and individuals who are committed 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 others to follow their lead and share the ride.”

RideFinders currently has almost 15,000 registered commuters in its database. Those who are interested in signing up for the program should visit http://www.ridefinders.org/.

About RideFinders

RideFinders operates as a free public ridesharing service, organizing and promoting carpools and vanpools for employers and commuters working in St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri; and Jersey, Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois. More than 15,000 commuters in the region are registered with RideFinders.

The organization is operated by Madison County Transit (MCT) and is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program with support from the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

More information can be found at: http://www.ShareTheRideSTL.com/

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