DART News Release
July 1, 1998
Transamerica and the EPA join DART's E-Pass program
DART E-Pass Hits a Home Run with Major Companies
Hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Transamerica employees are reaping the rewards of the DART's E-Pass, the commuter benefit that allows employees the option to use the entire DART bus and rail system free of charge every day, for pleasure and work.
The E-Pass has been on the market for just over a year. The program is designed to promote transit ridership in the region. Companies purchase the deeply discounted E-Pass for employees that are good for unlimited travel on all regular DART services. More than 2,500 employees from 12 companies like Hunt Oil, EDS, and Bank of America are eligible to take full advantage of the benefits provided byE-Pass.
Transamerica's E-Pass investment opens the door of DART's system of buses, commuter rail and light rail for its 575 regular full time employees in downtown Dallas. Many Transamerica employees were DART customers before E-Pass. That, along with an employee vote in support of E-Pass, made the company's decision easy.
According to Carma Potter, Transamerica human resources assistant, adding E-Pass to their benefits package "puts the employees first." Potter said employees took to the program immediately: literally "camping out" at the doors of the Human Resources Department anxiously awaiting the arrival of the passes.
Not only is the DART E-Pass a sound economic choice for employers, it is good for the environment too. More people in public transit, means fewer people in single-occupant cars.
The environmental angle got the Dallas office of the EPA on-board. E-Pass helps them "walk the walk," and not just "talk the talk" as the federal agency most involved with environmental issues. The agency has 809 regular full time employees in their downtown Dallas office.
"I think it (E-Pass) is wonderful," said Trish Grice, employee transportation coordinator for the EPA. "The employees are very happy with the E-Pass. They were already a part of our DART-supported vanpool. And employees who rode DART buses and trains are happy that they don't have to go out on their own and buy the passes anymore."
"We showed them that where they had been subsidizing for 20 or 30 percent, purchasing passes for 100 percent was actually cheaper in the long run," added DART Market Development and Sales Manager, Tony Mendoza.
EPA officials say if the E-Pass program works well for them, they will promote it throughout other federal agencies with offices in the DART Service Area.
According to DART Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Matt Raymond, "E-Pass is the boldest program of its kind ever undertaken by our agency." Both the EPA and Transamerica were participating in the monthly pass program and realized the cost savings to the company through participation in the annual pass program, Raymond added. DART hopes to leverage that type of connection to sell other organizations on E-Pass.
In addition to the E-Pass, DART has a variety of transportation programs. These include the Employer Fareshare, where companies sell discounted DART monthly passes on site; Ride-Match, an employee carpool program; a bicycle program; DART vanpool -- a program where DART helps organize a carpool that travels in a DART-provided van; a discount college pass program; and convenient pass-by-mail.
"We offer something for everyone," Mendoza said. "With our mix of transit alternatives we're confident we can find a program or service to meet any need."
Contact the DART Marketing Department at (214) 749-2661 or go online at www.DART.org for more information on the E-Pass.