Yamaha Encourages Employees to Eco-Commute
TOKYO, June 9, 2005 - Yamaha Motor Co., the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer, has introduced an eco-commute program for its employees.
Yamaha has been actively involved in the ecological account bookkeeping movement for many years. It noticed that huge fuel costs for commuting were being shouldered by its employees and initiated a study of how to reduce these costs.
In January 2005, Yamaha Motor began issuing a monthly allowance of 1,000 yen (about U.S. $9.71) to employees who walk and/or ride a bicycle more than 2 km [a day] in the course of their commute to work. An allowance was also instituted for employees who use public transport Park & Ride services. The frequency of company commuter bus services was also increased.
Introduction of the new system has encouraged 60 more commuters to walk part of the way to work. The new allowances apparently led to this favorable reception, and employees who have started commuting either on foot or by bicycle have reported that they also enjoy various benefits from the switch, such as the fresh air and freedom from stressful traffic congestion.
In December 2004, Yamaha Motor started giving financial assistance to its commuting employees who purchased Yamaha motorcycles or rented electric-powered 'Passol' scooters for the purpose of eco-commuting, and offered free lessons for obtaining motorcycle licenses. In February this year it opened a "Return Riders School" for beginners as well as drivers who have not ridden a motorcycle for a long time. An additional lesson series is planned in April as a way of further promoting eco-friendly commutation.
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