EVERETT — Community Transit announced the winners of the 16th annual Smart Commuter Awards, which honor individuals and businesses in Snohomish County and Bothell that adhere to the goals of the state’s Commute Trip Reduction law.
Community Transit works with businesses that have 100 or more employees to develop alternatives to driving alone. These Commute Trip Reduction efforts are funded by the state, Snohomish County and nine local cities.
The awards are selected by a group of employee transportation coordinators representing participating companies who volunteer on a peer advisory board. The awards were presented April 16 by Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor and Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Director Bob Drewel.
Employer of the Year
There’s a valid business case for Commute Trip Reduction, which help employees arrive at work with less stress, reduce employers’ need for expensive parking infrastructure, and increase the mobility of goods and services on our roads. In 2012, there were four Employer of the Quarter winners from which the Employer of the Year was chosen: Boeing ATS, Crane Aerospace &Electronics, CMC ICOS Biologics and Leviton Voice and Data.
Winner Crane Aerospace is located along the 164th Street corridor in unincorporated Snohomish County and utilizes the Curb the Congestion program that encourages drivers along 164th Street to use commute alternatives. Crane’s management strongly supported the work of their employee transportation coordinator in promoting Curb the Congestion, which resulted in 2,117 employee trips taken off of 164th Street in 2012.
Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Year
The Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Year is given to the employee who has demonstrated superior commitment to his or her worksite’s employee transportation program. Companies designate coordinators to meet Commute Trip Reduction law goals and coordinate transportation messages to other employees, often in addition to their regular job duties. Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Quarter winners were Mike Manderschied, SNC Lavalin Constructors; Kelly Davis, Seattle Genetics; Susie Kush, Philips Healthcare; and David Kemp, Brooks Sports.
Kemp, the winner for 2012, recognized the importance of providing incentives for employees participating in trip reduction activities, which is why he launched the Commute Happy campaign at Brooks Sports in Bothell. Commute Happy uses RideshareOnline.com to track employees’ shared trips and overall progress. In the three months prior to Commute Happy, Brooks employees logged 80 trips that reduced 2,145 pounds of carbon dioxide. After Commute Happy launched, Brooks’ employees shared trips jumped to 4,900 with a reduction of more than 41,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Smart Commuter of the Year
Smart Commuters are identified through their participation in Community Transit’s Smart Commuter Rewards program, which encourages individuals to choose a commute alternative instead of driving alone to work. These commuters track their progress each month and those who commit to using a commute alternative 48 days per quarter are eligible to become a Smart Commuter of the Quarter.
The quarterly winners are honored with their pictures on buses, posters all over Snohomish County and a $250 gift card. The four Smart Commuter of the Quarter winners from which the Smart Commuter of the Year was chosen are Sarah Daoust. Edmonds Family Medicine; Chandru Narayan, Crane Aerospace &Electronics; Bob Keller, Esterline Korry Electronics; and Astrella Norell, Brooks Sports.
Norell, the 2012 winner, is an apparel and product developer for Brooks Sports in Bothell and her schedule keeps her running. She commutes by bus but also adds a water taxi ride on some days to volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. A former solo driver, Norell has done more than change her commute; she decided four years ago to live without a car. She lives in an urban village where there are many services available to her and uses the money she saves on gas, insurance and car loans to travel.
Each year, employee transportation coordinators survey their workforce about commute habits and those results are measured against baseline surveys conducted in 2007 to see how each business has progressed. In Snohomish County and Bothell, 50 percent of participating worksites reduced single-occupant commuting or vehicle miles traveled.
Fourteen worksites reached their Commute Trip Reduction goal of reducing solo trips to the worksite by 10 percent and/or vehicle miles traveled by 13 percent:
- Amgen reduced vehicle miles traveled by 14 percent.
- Tetra Tech EC reduced solo trips by 23.9 percent and vehicle miles traveled by 31.5 percent.
- AT&T Building 5 reduced solo trips by 10.5 percent.
- AT&T Buildings 7 &8 reduced solo trips by 19.7 percent and vehicle miles traveled by 26.9 percent.
- Seattle Genetics reduced vehicle miles traveled by 19.5 percent.
- Cascadia Community College reduced solo trips by 11.6 percent.
- UMR reduced solo trips by 19.9 percent and vehicle miles traveled by 25.6 percent.
- SNC Lavalin Constructors reduced vehicle miles traveled by 19.7 percent.
- University of Washington-Bothell reduced solo trips by 10.3 percent and vehicle miles traveled by 15.1 percent.
- City of Edmonds reduced vehicle miles traveled by 46.4 percent.
- Cascade Valley Hospital reduced vehicle miles traveled by 14.2 percent.
- Senior Operations AMT Division reduced vehicle miles traveled by 23.2 percent.
- Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. reduced vehicle miles traveled by 14.6 percent.
- City of Mukilteo reduced vehicle miles traveled by 30 percent.