Commuter Challenge numbers increase
Participants in the third annual Good To Go Commuter Challenge tallied 34,000 sustainable travel miles during the weeklong event, May 12 through May 18. More than 700 people took part in the challenge, part of Good To Go, a year-round community project from WGLT public radio and ISU Sustainability focusing on healthy living and alternative transportation.
The Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition between individuals, teams, and workplaces to find alternatives to driving alone. The challenge is the initiative’s primary annual event. The 34,000 sustainable miles accumulated by participants—enough to circle the globe almost one and a quarter times—helped to curb 14.5 tons of carbon. Some participants chose transportation modes such as biking, resulting in 406,000 calories being burned during the challenge.
“Some people participate because they’re already commuting sustainably. More and more are participating and changing past commuting practices,” said organizer and WGLT Program Director Mike McCurdy. “For instance, we heard from Matt Anderson, who decided to ride his bike to work during the week, and he let us know that Good To Go inspired him to keep at it.”
Bicycling was the most popular alternative transportation choice, followed by carpooling and walking. Choosing a Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System bus increased 150 percent. Participation from businesses and organizations also increased. Vitesse Cycle Shop, Illinois State University Advancement and Conference Services, The Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, and COUNTRY Financial won their employee categories with the highest participation percentages. In the 2–10 member category, the Gudeman family of Normal won with 100 percent participation. Trish Gudeman said her family of seven manages without a car year-round.
“I’m really happy more businesses and organizations are embracing the challenge,” said McCurdy. “The Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center registered for the first time this year and nearly 30 percent of their employees participated. First-time participant COUNTRY Financial generated almost a third of the miles accumulated in the whole challenge.”
Four churches competed in the challenge with Northside Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal tied with 11.5 percent participation. The Mennonite Church of Normal and Calvary United Methodist Church also had strong showings.
Vitesse Cycle Shop and The Friends of the Constitution Trail are Good To Go sponsors. For more information, contact Mike McCurdy at (309) 438-2394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.