The 2013 Good To Go Commuter Challenge has wrapped up with some great results, thanks to you. The Challenge is a friendly competition between individuals, teams and workplaces. During the week-long challenge, participants track and report their sustainable commutes online; anything counts except driving alone.
A record number of Good To Go miles were posted by Bloomington-Normal commuters during the week-long, 4th annual Commuter Challenge. The final mileage total exceeded last year’s numbers by nearly 15,000 miles, with nearly 50,000 miles logged (or almost enough to circle the globe twice).
Good To Go™ is a year round community project from WGLT public radio and ISU Sustainability focused on healthy living and sustainable 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.
709 people participated in the challenge. Despite participation numbers practically matching those of last year, this year’s participants exceeded the mileage, greenhouse gas impact, and calorie totals from a year ago. Almost 50,000 sustainable miles were accumulated and 20.9 tons of carbon emissions were avoided. Because some participants chose active modes like biking and walking, 290,000 calories were burned during the Challenge. Bicycling was the most popular alternative transportation choice, followed by carpooling and walking. Participants also logged over 100 commutes with Connect Transit.
Although many 2013 competitors participated in the Challenge before; numerous community members participated for the first time. If trends continue, many of these new participants will continue to commute sustainably year-round. A survey of 2011 and 2012 Good To Go participants conducted earlier this year found that 40% of participants increased their use of alternative transportation year-round following Challenge participation, and 15% ceased driving alone to work altogether.
Awards will be given to businesses and organizations based on percentage of employee/member participation in the Challenge. New winners in their respective divisions were ISU College of Arts and Sciences Administrative Office and New Covenant Community Church. Illinois State University Advancement and Conference Services, Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Vitesse Cycle Shop and COUNTRY Financial were repeat winners.
Last year four area churches, Northside Church of Christ, Calvary United Methodist, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal, and Mennonite Church of Normal, organized a friendly competition among the faith community. Those four churches participated again this year and two other churches, New Covenant Community and First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)-Bloomington also got in on the action. New participants New Covenant Community edged out the competition and also won their respective division.
Vitesse Cycle Shop, O’Brien Mitsubishi and The Friends of the Constitution Trail are Good To Go sponsors. Good To Go also partnered with Carl’s Ice Cream, providing gift cards for free ice cream cones to those signing up for the Challenge. Connect Transit also partnered with Good To Go to provide a Free Ride Day on the last day of the Challenge along with free ride cards to anyone signing up.
Also special thanks to the Downtown Bloomington Association Farmers’ Market for hosting our Good To Go kick off event May 4th. The Good To Go area is really like a mini-sustainable transportation expo with a Connect Transit bus display, free and secure bike parking, EV test rides, and an EV charging station demonstration. Everyone who signed up on May 4th also got a coupon for $2 off anything at the market, thanks to the Farmers’ Market and more than 33 participants used the coupon!
For the second consecutive year, the Normal Public Library can claim the winner of the $200 Visa gift card, awarded at random. Peggy Peters is a regular bike commuter and says she can get to work quicker on a bike than driving. Thanks for participating Peggy, thanks to everyone!
Sponsors and Partners:
Vitesse Cycle Shop — Good To Go Sponsor
O’Brien Mitsubishi — Good To Go Sponsor
The Friends of the Constitution Trail — Commuter Challenge Sponsor
Connect Transit — Good To Go Commuter Challenge Partner
Carl’s Ice Cream — Good To Go Commuter Challenge Partner
DBA Farmers’ Market — Good To Go Commuter Challenge Partner
Plug-In Vehicle Solutions — Good To Go Commuter Challenge Partner.
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center
Bloomington Cycle and Fitness
Bloomington School District 87
Calvary United Methodist Church
Ecology Action Center
First Christian Church Bloomington (Disciples of Christ)
Friends of the Constitution Trail
Heartland Community College
Home Sweet Home Ministries
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
ISU College of Arts and Sciences Administrative Office
ISU Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development
ISU Student Health Services
ISU University Advancement and Conference Services
McLean County Government Employees
Mennonite Church of Normal
New Covenant Community Church
Uptown Normal Marriott and Conference Center
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
Pekin Community High School
Town of Normal
Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington-Normal
Vitesse Cycle Shop