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City, Hacienda Business Park team up for commuter fair

Representatives on hand from various area transportation agencies

There are a number of different ways to commute to work without turning on the ignition in your own vehicle. That was the message sent loud and clear at a Commuter Choice Transportation Fair held Thursday at the Hacienda Business Park, sponsored by the park and the city of Pleasanton.

Held in the outdoor courtyard outside the CarrAmerica Conference Center, the event featured booths from area agencies such as BART, WHEELS, ACE Transit, East Bay Regional Park District, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Dublin Cyclery and the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency.

The three-hour fair began the first hour targeting businesses that have employee transportation coordinators or those overseeing employee benefits programs.

Alameda County's Bike to Work Day, held May 15 was very successful with more than 100,000 people participating. A representative with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, which advocates for cyclists and holds safety courses, said more and more people are using a bicycle to commute due to rising gas prices and a concern for the environment. One message he said he'd sent to people is that commuting by bike isn't inconvenient and doesn't mean you have to don spandex.

The Alameda County Congestion Management Agency booth was promoting its Guaranteed Ride Home program, which offers commuters who use public transportation a sort of insurance when unexpected circumstances arise.

A representative said one of the main reasons workers decline to use public transportation to commute is because they're concerned that their child might get sick or another emergency will happen, and that they can't rely on public transit to get them home on a minute's notice. The Guaranteed Ride Home service gives vouchers for a rental car or taxi ride--the user only pays for the tip to the cab driver or the gas in the rental car and the service can be used up to six times per person per year.

The program is funded by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. For more information, visit www.grh.accma.ca.gov.

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