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.

Employee Spotlight: All About Randy

You see our bus drivers as the ones who take you from home to work or even downtown on a Friday night. But, our operators have so much more going on. We want to show you how great they are outside of work too!

So, meet Mr. Randy Rohr. Bus operator by day, fitness enthusiast and filmmaker by night. A renaissance man really, he’s been at Capital Metro for 26 years.

In March, the Austin Business Journal named Capital Metro as Central Texas’ healthiest employer. Randy is a prime example of our dedication to wellness. He was Capital Metro’s June Wellness Champion of the Month.

“My life is always full of changes and events. It is life. There isn’t one thing that happened to me, it was a bunch of little things: car accident, friends getting older, losing aunt and uncle, noticing that I need to get back into a healthier lifestyle. It was a gradual change back to the journey of healthy.”

Randy lives by the motto that you only have one life to live and you should live it fully. You see that passion for life when you look at the other things he’s accomplished. He has also produced a film, “Earth Day Every Day” earlier this year.

(Earth Day Every Day 2012 on Vimeo)

He was even been featured in the Westlake Picayune after his film was entered into a local film contest.

“Rohr’s film made it through several rounds of competition online and at screenings in Austin. It was one of two films chosen from among 78 entries from Austin. “Earth Day, Every Day” went up against 15 other films chosen from among hundreds from around the country. He credits his fans with getting him through the competition.”

Friends and even strangers have a lot to say about Randy, they left their thoughts on the Westlake Picayune article comment section:

  1. Kristin Rohr Bruce says:
    I’m very proud to say, “This is my brother!”. He’s inspired me in so many ways over the years. He loves life and lives it with no regrets, always eager and willing to help his loved ones and any stranger that he may meet.
  2. Rita Gonsalez Bush says:
    I have worked with Randy for over 20 years, and he is the same kind caring person as the day we met. He sees the good in people and always willing to lend a hand. He always spreads joy with his contagious laughter.
  3. William McLeod says:
    Like Rita, I have known Randy for close to 25 years. He is a very pleasant and agrreable young man. He doesn’t just treat the planet nice, he treats people that way too. Kudos to you Mr. Rohr.
  4. Will Goodin says:
    Unlike Rita and Kristin (above) I’ve never met Randy, but I think he’s pretty cool. This article reminded me to always keep in mind that every food server, bus driver, store clerk and switchboard operator I interact with is also person with a a whole other life and should be treated with respect.

We say: Randy is a rock star.

Ride CapMetro to the 2012 VIVA STREETS! Festival

VIVA STREETS!VIVA STREETS! is coming to Austin on Sunday, May 20,  from 10AM  – 3PM where you can enjoy 2 miles of car-free Austin streets that become your playground to bike, play, walk & roll as you please!

So join us there! We will have some of Capital Metro’s healthiest minds out there, ready to give you some great healthy tips about transit, wellness and how to safety mount your bike onto our buses while staying active in Austin.

It will be a fun Sunday for the whole family to enjoy at this FREE festival. So come out, meet us on 6th Street and spend the day playing in the street at VIVA STREET! as we celebrate Austin together.

Ride Capital Metro there on the #4 Bus Route that runs parallel to 6th Street. Or, you can also plan out your best route through our Capital Metro Trip Planner. See you there!

Fresh air

Ahh, take a deep breath and get a whiff of that tobacco-free air! It’s been almost a year since we kicked-off the first phase of our tobacco-free facilities policy, and the accolades are rolling in.

Risk Manager Mike Nyren accepts the Secondhand Smoke award

Last month Capital Metro Risk Manager Mike Nyren received the Secondhand Smoke Award at the 2011 Texas Teen Tobacco Summit & Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention Conference. The event is a joint  effort between The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas School Safety Center. The award recognizes Capital Metro “for tireless commitment and major contributions to the field of tobacco prevention and control and to the citizens of Texas. Through your diligence and hard work, Texas children, families and communities will be stronger, healthier and tobacco-free.” (See photos from the conference on Facebook.)

Here’s a refresher on how the policy works.  The bus and train passenger loading areas and other common gathering areas at the following Capital Metro-owned transit centers and park & rides are tobacco-free zones: Continue reading “Fresh air”

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”

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. Continue reading “Capital Metro is a healthy place to work”