City transportation fair discusses commuting alternatives

San Francisco employers will gather at City Hall today to learn how to green their employees' commutes without laying out too much green of their own.

The San Francisco Department of the Environment and 511 are hosting an employer transportation fair today to present employers with alternate commute options to driving.

Faiz Khan, transportation demand management coordinator with the Department of Environment, said the purpose of the event was to reduce pollution and congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road.

“The people who are coming tomorrow are decision makers: HR contacts, executives. Our goal is to get them to embrace carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, that sort of thing, instead of driving into the city.”

The two presentations will outline incentive programs that may make green commuting more attractive. The Internal Revenue Service offers pretax benefits for employers and commuters, while 511 Rideshare offers carpoolers credit toward gas or groceries if they regularly carpool.

Presenters will also discuss the emergency ride home program, in which The City will subsidize a taxi ride home for nondrivers in case of an emergency.

“We’re attending just to see what this program is, what it means,” said Esther Leong, administrative director for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, which will attend the fair. She said her company was mostly interested in the emergency ride home program. “It sounds like it's supposed to be helping environmentally, so we don't always have to have cars.”

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