OLYMPIA — Two decades of saving commuters money, curbing air pollution, conserving fuel and easing traffic congestion was celebrated today at the 2011 Governor’s Commute Smart Awards.
Among the recipients of this year’s awards, Todd Badham and Nicole Mulhausen, employee transportation coordinators (ETC) at the University of Puget Sound received the Commute Smart ETC Leadership Award for their creative initiative that sprouted a sustainable transportation culture at the university. Among other achievements, they worked with Zipcar to bring car sharing to their campus in Tacoma.
The Governor’s Chief of Staff Marty Loesch and Public Transportation Division Director Brian Lagerberg of the Washington State Department of Transportation joined award winners to celebrate 20 years of smart commuting through workplace programs. Today the programs support more than 810,000 commuters across the state, empowering them reduce their driving by 170 million vehicle miles annually.
“This year’s winners are great examples of what can happen when public and private organizations work together to offer commuters better choices that protect the air we breathe,” Loesch told award recipients during the awards ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. “You have shown dedication and delivered real results that support our economy, communities and the environment by reducing drive-alone commutes on our busiest roadways.”
The Commute Smart Awards recognize innovation and dedication by communities, businesses, agencies and workplace transportation coordinators as they promote ridesharing and other alternatives to driving alone.
The awards tout the benefits of commute trip reduction – like better traffic flow and cleaner air – that make winners of everyone in Washington. For every taxpayer dollar that goes to these programs, businesses invest $18.
Passed by the state Legislature in 1991, the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law calls on employers to encourage their workers to choose transportation options that reduce the number of vehicles on the road. For two decades, CTR has proven an effective tool that eases congestion and helps our transportation system operate more efficiently. By encouraging people to ride the bus, vanpool, carpool, walk, bike, work at home or compress their work week, CTR makes transportation better for everyone in the state.
Vehicle emissions account for nearly half the greenhouse gas (GHG) released in our state. By driving 154 million fewer vehicle miles since 2007, CTR participants have prevented about 69,000 metric tons of GHG from entering the atmosphere each year. That's the weight of eight Space Needles.
More details and the list of winners are posted online at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Transit/PT_Features.htm#CSA.