Snohomish County, Wash. – The volatility of gas prices has no effect on Eric Blanchet’s commute. The Monroe resident travels 58 miles a day by longboard, skateboard and bus to his job at Microsoft. For his commitment to alternative commuting, he was named the Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year at the 19th Annual Choice Connections Awards yesterday.
The Community Transit-sponsored event was established to celebrate the champions of smart transportation choices and employer transportation programs throughout Snohomish County and the City of Bothell.
Community Transit receives funding to promote smart transportation options through innovative programs. The Choice Connections program helps employers reduce single-occupant vehicle trips to their worksites. The Curb the Congestion program promotes transportation options to residents and employees on six of Snohomish County’s most congested corridors. In 2015, these programs eliminated 538,696 drive-alone trips on our roads, and 5.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air we breathe.
For their smart transportation choices, Community Transit honored 2015’s winners:
• Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year – Eric Blanchet
• Smart Commuter of the Year – Samantha Brown, Cascadia College
• Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Year – Dena Searcy, Comcast Lynnwood
• Employer of the Year – The City of Edmonds
Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year, Eric Blanchet
Blanchet not only walks the talk about alternative commuting, he also spends his lunchtime and breaks at Microsoft teaching coworkers how to ride a longboard. The longboard is a longer, more stable cousin to the skateboard, and is often used for longer distance travel. For seven years, Blanchet has been committed to choosing a healthy commute not only for himself, but the environment as well.
Smart Commuter of the Year, Samantha Brown, Cascadia College
Brown shares her talents in Human Resources as Cascadia’s Manager of Professional Development. She is a walking, breathing human resource herself as she advocates for smart commutes to more than 450 full-time and part-time faculty and staff at the college campus in Bothell. Brown has chosen to walk, carpool, bus or bike to work for more than 20 years.
Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Year, Dena Searcy, Comcast Lynnwood
Searcy is committed to making her worksite transportation program a success. Her diligent efforts to train and educate employees at Comcast Lynnwood about their transportation options has made a huge impact. Searcy registered 111 employees in the company’s transportation program, far surpassing the original goal of 65. Her efforts helped prevent more than 7,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution during the third quarter of 2015 alone.
Employer of the Year, The City of Edmonds
The City of Edmonds is a shining example of a worksite transportation program. The city sponsors a successful Bike to Work Day commute station, and had outstanding participation in the Bike Month Challenge last year. The City of Edmonds worked hard to surpass its established worksite goals, and in the second quarter of 2015 saved more than 800 gallons of gasoline and prevented 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
In 2015, Community Transit began recognizing Employee Transportation Coordinator Champions who achieved a premier level of commute trip reduction activities at their workplaces. These champions were honored at the awards ceremony:
Employee Transportation Coordinator Champions – Gold Level
· Jason Hampton – Puget Sound Energy, Bothell
· Danielle Jacobs – Puget Sound Energy, Bothell
· Marko Liias – The City of Mukilteo
Employee Transportation Coordinator Champions – Silver Level
· Camron Fichtner – Synrad, Mukilteo
· Phyllis Gillman – Vertafore, Bothell
· Jeanne Killgore – The Everett Clinic Smokey Point
· Mike Manderscheid – SNC Lavalin, Bothell
· Pamela Michie – Ranstad US, Bothell
· Shelly Morgan – Edmonds School District
· Karen Westling – Swedish Edmonds
· Woody Whitaker – Allstate, Bothell
To learn more about Choice Connections programs, including Smart Commuter Rewards and Curb the Congestion, please visit www.communitytransit.org/choiceconnections.
Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and paratransit service, vanpool and ridesharing options. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-RIDE or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org. You can also read our blog at www.communitytransit.blogspot.com, visit our Facebook page, follow us @MyCommTrans on Twitter or see us on YouTube.