Local employers win state Commute Smart awards

The Bellingham Business Journal

Governor Chris Gregoire recently recognized the employers and communities across the state who contribute to traffic reduction by supporting commute trip reduction programs.

Approximately 530,000 people are employed at worksites in Washington that participate in commute trip reduction programs. This translates to 62 million fewer vehicle miles traveled annually and saves three million gallons of fuel and 27,490 metric tons of greenhouse gases. There are 28,000 fewer vehicles on the road every weekday ― that’s enough vehicles to stretch single file from Olympia to Everett.

Gregoire recognized the efforts of these employers and communities April 13, announcing the winners of the 2010 Governor’s Commute Smart Awards at a ceremony hosted at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.

“Our state’s commute trip reduction program is a great example of what can happen when public and private organizations work together to promote transportation choices other than just driving alone,” Gregoire said.  “The award winners this year have achieved meaningful and measurable results in reducing drive-alone commutes on our busiest roads.”

This year’s awards recognize 46 recipients in eleven categories. Locally, Whatcom Council of Governments received a Commute Smart Community Award for the Smart Trips program. Village Books and PeaceHealth were recognized as Commute Smart Employer Champions. Employees were also commended for their efforts. Amy Jones from Boundary Bay Brewery, and Julie Ward from Whatcom Educational Credit Union were among employees across the state to win an award.

For every $1 the state invests in these programs, businesses invest an additional $18, maximizing commute trip reduction programs for everyone in the state.

Established in 1998, the governor’s Commute Smart Awards were developed to recognize extraordinary efforts by commute trip reduction worksites in Washington. Governor Gregoire signed the Commute Trip Reduction Efficiency Act in 2006 to focus the program on congested highway corridors and increase planning coordination among local, regional and state levels.

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