Capital Metro is a healthy place to work

Capital Metro is inducted into the Mayor's Fitness Council. From Left: MetroAccess driver Raydell Loggins, Risk Manager Mike Nyren, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, HR Director Donna Simmons, Mayor's Fitness Council Vice-Chair Lou Earle, and Bus Operator Terry Walker.

At the Austin City Council meeting on June 10, Capital Metro was recognized for our comprehensive employee wellness program when we became a certified partner in the Mayor’s Fitness Council.

Being a member of the Mayor’s Fitness Council is a big deal. Certified partners must meet and adhere to four pillars of health: physical activity, nutrition, healthy weight and tobacco-free living. Capital Metro has demonstrated accomplishments in all areas.

Raydell Loggins, a MetroAccess driver, and Terry Walker, a bus operator, were in the contingent of Capital Metro staff who attended the city council meeting to accept the certification. Both women have improved their health by making use of  our wellness benefits, such as a 24-hour gym and personal trainers, a nutritionist, on-site personal trainers, health screenings, tobacco cessation resources, Weight Watchers groups, and workshops covering a variety of health topics.

Terry said, “With the help of Capital Metro’s wellness program I was able to lose weight and feel good about myself. I’ve also been smoke-free for 22 straight days.”

Capital Metro recently adopted a tobacco-free workplace policy, and the next step in our quest for wellness may be designating the boarding areas of both MetroRail platforms and park & rides as tobacco free. We’ll be conducting a customer survey about such a policy later this month.

From the company’s perspective, our wellness program not only makes us a rockin’ employer, but the program basically pays for itself through the decreased healthcare costs and absenteeism rates that have come as a result of having healthier employees. You can get in on the action, too–join the Capital Metro team. A healthy (pun intended) handful of available jobs are posted on our Web site.

Here’s HR Director Donna Simmons accepting the Mayor’s Fitness Council certification at the June 10 Austin City Council meeting.

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One thought on “Capital Metro is a healthy place to work

  1. Don Dickson

    I have mixed feelings about banning smoking at bus stops. First, in the interest of disclosure, I’m a 35-year smoker who has been smoke-free for a month now with the help of some prescription drugs that cost even more than cigarettes. (grin)

    As a smoker, I was always frustrated being treated like a second-class citizen, or worse.

    Now, as a non-smoker, I actually kinda like it when someone lights up near me at a bus stop. (grin)

    In an indoor environment it’s easier to say “you can’t smoke here.” At a bus stop you’re going to be dealing in gray areas. You can’t smoke here, but you can smoke over there, but when the bus approaches you’re going to be over here again. And the place where you CAN stand and smoke may well be upwind of the people whose sensitivities you’re trying to protect. When I was a smoker, I’d see one of those signs that says “No smoking within 15 feet of entrance” and I’d practically pace it off and be sure to blow smoke in the direction of the door, just as a form of passive-aggressive nonviolent civil disobedience.

    I’ll tell you what…I suspect that non-smokers would tell you that they are more sensitive to SITTING next to a smoker ON a bus than they are to sharing the same bus stop. If you’re a non-smoker standing at a bus stop and someone lights up near you, you can take a step backward or forward or downwind. You don’t have that option in your window seat, and no policy is going to change that.

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