AAAHCT Helps Riders Stop Smoking During National Volunteer Week April 21-27, 2013

April 21-27, 2013 is National Volunteer Week.

AAAHCT Logo

As a part of their “Living Healthy on the Eastside” campaign, volunteer members of the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas (AAAHCT) are on a mission to help Austinites stop smoking.

This week they’ll be hitting the streets, along with our MetroAmbassadors, walking and talking with riders at Capital Metro bus stops in East Austin and handing out free smoking cessation information brochures.

Want to know more about the Alliance or their Living Healthy campaign? Check out their blog http://www.atxeastsidehealthnet.blogspot.com/ or follow them on Twitter @AAAHCT

They’d also like to hear from you:

What’s your status?

  1. I will never start smoking.
  2. I do smoke, but have made up my mind  to quit.
  3. I have quit and there is no turning back.
  4. I am encouraging someone I love to quit.

To respond TEXT atxnotobacco with a space and then your response (1, 2, 3 or 4) to 84444 (text charges may apply).  For example, if you’ve never smoked, text the phrase “atxnotobacco 1” as your message to the number 84444.

Did you know that all Capital Metro facilities, bus stops, stations and properties are 100% smoke free?

The passenger boarding areas of Capital Metro transit centers, train stations and Park & Rides are tobacco-free. Please observe the signs that designate these areas as tobacco-free.

In addition, Capital Metro proactively discourages tobacco use within 15 feet of every bus stop for the health and safety of all riders waiting for the bus. Kindly do not use tobacco within 15 feet of your bus stop.

Capital Metro enacted tobacco-free policies at its facilities because it believes that ensuring a healthy work and traveling environment is key to providing quality, state-of-the-art transit services.

For more information on Capital Metro’s tobacco polices (including FAQs and free smoking cessation resources) visit our website at http://www.capmetro.org/rules/.

Want AAAHCT’s brochure? You can download and print your own copy here for free:

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Capital Metro Named one of Central Texas’ Healthiest Employers

Capital Metro was recognized at an ABJ event in March for our employee wellness initiatives. From L to R: Wellness Program Manager Tim Kelly, Humana Market Practice Leader Tom Silliman, Capital Metro Risk Manager Mike Nyren, and Capital Metro Chief of Staff Gerardo Castillo.
Capital Metro was recognized at an ABJ event in March for our employee wellness initiatives. From L to R: Wellness Program Manager Tim Kelly, Humana Market Practice Leader Tom Silliman, Capital Metro Risk Manager Mike Nyren, and Capital Metro Chief of Staff Gerardo Castillo.

Capital Metro remains one of Central Texas’ healthiest employers. Our employee wellness initiatives were recognized in March at an event hosted by the Austin Business Journal and sponsored by Central Health, Humana, RunTex and the Mayor’s Health & Fitness Council.

You’ve heard us talk before about our award-winning wellness program. The program began in 2003 and has been successful in curbing the escalating healthcare costs all companies have faced over time. In fact, for every dollar invested in our wellness program, Capital Metro gets a return on investment of about $2.43 in healthcare savings and a reduction in employee absenteeism.

Some of the elements of the program include four 24-hour onsite wellness centers, free personal training, free nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian  onsite weight loss and tobacco-cessation classes, healthy cafeteria, and a bike loan program, just to name a few. Our Wellness team maintains a public facebook page, and it’s a great resource for healthy recipes, exercises and inspiration. Check it out.

In January, Capital Metro completed its move to becoming 100% tobacco free. Also new: Capital Metro now extends its nutrition counseling and workout classes to employees’ household members, too.

If all of this sounds great to you, perhaps you’d like to join the Capital Metro team? Check out our job board for administrative jobs at Capital Metro. If you’re interested in working for one of our service providers as a bus operator or mechanic, Check out the “Jobs with our Contractors” section on the Contact Us webpage.

Tobacco Policy Survey

Capital Metro wants you to give us feedback and your thoughts on whether or not we should make the boarding areas of transit facilities including MetroRail stations, transit centers, and park & rides tobacco free. We are taking public comment through this survey.  The survey will be available June 28 through July 11. It takes about two minutes to complete.

 The results of the survey will be given to the Board of Directors at their July 26 meeting when they consider adopting the policy.

Continue reading “Tobacco Policy Survey”

Texas! Bringing Healthy Back

Capital Metro’s healthy cafeteria is featured in a new video campaign from the Texas Department of State Health Services about preventing obesity. Here’s the excerpt that highlights Capital Metro.


Capital Metro was selected for the video because of our award-winning workplace wellness program that is fostering healthy lifestyles among our employees. Fox 7 News aired a story about our wellness program in June.

The Texas! Bringing Healthy Back video is part of a new obesity prevention campaign sponsored by the Texas Department of State Health Services. According to the Texas! Bringing Healthy Back Web site, one in three Texans is obese.

Incidentally, riding public transportation can be a part of a healthy routine, since it generally goes hand in hand with walking and bicycling (and makes you feel good about saving money and the environment).

Ride More, Weigh Less

Well it’s not quite as easy as the title implies. But a study by the University of Tennessee Obesity Research Center examined the relationship between obesity and using active transportation (defined as walking, cycling or using public transit) in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Researchers found that countries where people use active transportation more often tend to have lower rates of obesity. Of all the countries studied, the United States had the lowest level of active transportation use (12%) and the highest rate of obesity (23.9%).

No surprise there, right? But the University says the results make a good case to help justify the need for more active transportation infrastructure in the United States.

The study appears in the November edition of the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. The Statesman ran this AP story about it today.