Bloomington-Normal commuters accumulated an impressive number of sustainable miles during the week-long, 3rd annual Commuter Challenge: 34,000 miles (or enough to circle the earth almost one and quarter times).
Good To Go™ is a year round community project from WGLT public radio and ISU Sustainability focused 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.
743 people participated in the challenge. Almost 34,000 sustainable miles were accumulated. 14.5 tons of carbon were curbed. Because some participants chose modes like biking, 406,000 calories were burned during the Challenge.
Some people participate because they’re already commuting sustainably. More and more are participating and changing past commuting practices. During the Challenge, 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.
Participation from businesses and organizations 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 highest participation percentages. In 2-10 member category, the Gudeman family of Normal won with 100% participation. Trish Gudeman says her family of seven, manages without a car year round.
More families, businesses and organizations are embracing the Challenge. The Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center participated for the first time this year and nearly 30% of their employees participated. First time participants Country Financial generated almost a third of the miles accumulated in the whole challenge
Four Bloomington-Normal Churches engaged in a little friendly competition during the Challenge and two ended up in a tie with 11.5% participating: Northside Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington Normal. The Mennonite Church of Normal and Calvary United Methodist Church also had strong showings.
So…there are a number of winners: your wallet, a couple of churches, the community’s air quality, and businesses and organizations. However, there’s only one winner of the $200 Visa gift card. Congratulations to Good To Go Ambassador and Normal Public Library Technical Services Cataloger, Kathy Packard. She commutes much of the year on a bike and may buy more gear with the gift card to extend her rides into the winter and wet weather.
Vitesse Cycle Shop and The Friends of the Constitution Trail are Good To Go sponsors. Good To Go also partnered with Carl’s Ice Cream, providing a lot of free cones to those signing up for the Challenge. B-NPTS also provided free bus rides on the last day of the Challenge and free ride cards to anyone signing up.
Advocate Bromenn Medical Center
Bloomington Cycle & Fitness
Bloomington Normal Water Reclamation District
Bloomington School District 87
Calvary United Methodist Church
City of Bloomington
Common Action Free School
Ecology Action Center
EntrÃ© Computer Solutions
Friends of the Constitution Trail
Heartland Bank and Trust Company
Heartland Community College
Illinois Central College
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
McLean County Government Employees
McLean County MissFits
McLean County Unit District #5
Mennonite Church of Normal
Northside Church of Christ
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
Thomas Metcalf School
Town of Normal
Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington Normal
Vitesse Cycle Shop
YWCA McLean County
Mike McCurdy is WGLT Program Director and co-coordinates the community sustainable transportation project, Good To Go.