Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Tomato Head Steps Up to the Plate

It’s well-known that parking is limited downtown. But not so many are familiar with one solution that’s already available, is FREE, and even rewards participants with gift cards to local businesses for taking part. Hello Smart Trips!

Smart Trips promotes alternatives to driving alone such as bicycling, carpooling, taking transit,walking to work or even working from home. The program helps commuters find carpool partners or bike and transit buddies to help them get started. Nearly 1,000 commuters in the Knoxville area participate in Smart Trips and many of them work at businesses downtown.

This year, The Tomato Head on Market Square decided to encourage its employees to log their commutes with Smart Trips. Many of them already walk or bike to work, so Smart Trips is a natural fit. To inform them of the program,Tomato Head is putting information about the program into its employee manual and mentions it at staff meetings. They also put up posters with information about the program – provided by Smart Trips – in areas where their employeeswould see them. As a further enticement, Tomato Head will donate $500 to the charity of its employees’ choice in the fall – provided they join Smart Trips and log their commutes.

Tomato Head helps to promote Smart Trips in the community by being one of its Commuter Rewards gift card vendors. And also by putting a message on its receipts that informs patrons they can “Eat at Tomato Head for FREE” by being a Smart Trips participant. (Thanks Tomato Head!)

We’ll be checking in periodically to see how they’re doing. If you’re a business owner in downtown Knoxville concerned about how your employees get to work and where they’ll park, consider becoming a Smart Trips’ employer. It’s a FREE program. For more information, contact Smart Trips Outreach Coordinator, Sara Martin at 215-3234.
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