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Companies Work To Ease RTP Traffic Congestion

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Traffic jams are forcing some companies to re-think expansion plans at Research Triangle Park.

RTP companies pitched in to pay someone to focus on traffic jam solutions. They hired Meredith Yankow as RTP Traffic Demand Management coordinator. One of her toughest tasks is to get more commuters to ride together.

"Time and convenience are the main issues, so we have to work with the transit providers and the carpooling and vanpooling companies to make it convenient for them and to make it time-efficient for folks," she said.

Lots of people are pushing alternative transportation: buses, carpools, even riding a bike to work along one of the many RTP bike trails. However, most workers say they need their cars, especially with the RTP's campus-like settings.

There are about 42,000 workers in the park. The whole Triangle Transit Authority's bus system logs only 2,500 boardings at RTP per day. Those who do board the buses are pretty happy about it.

"I have friends on the bus. I review things on the bus. I like it better than driving," said bus rider George Allen.

Telecommuting, where employees hit their home computers instead of the highway, is one of Yankow's favorite alternatives. Nortel, for example, has 17 percent of its workforce working from home.


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