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All-Weather Cyclist Honored at Choice Connections Awards

Mar 29, 2018

Awards given to SnoCo commuters, businesses that choose smart transportation options

Mukilteo, Wash. – Bad weather doesn’t stop Bob Stiles from biking and bussing from Edmonds to Seattle every day – not even snow. Equally dedicated, Poulsbo resident Paul Grasser walks onto the ferry and buses to Premera in Mountlake Terrace, saving time and inspiring others to do the same.

For their decades-long commitment to choosing better options for their commute, Stiles and Grasser were honored at the 21st Annual Choice Connections Awards today in Mukilteo.

The Community Transit event honor commuters and companies in Snohomish County and Bothell that work to reduce traffic congestion and encourage smart transportation choices such as riding the bus, sharing a ride, bicycling or walking.

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, and the Curb the Congestion program promotes transportation options to residents and employees on Snohomish County’s most congested corridors. In 2017, these programs removed 338,047 drive-alone trips from our roads and prevented 7.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the air we breathe.

For their smart transportation choices, Community Transit honored this year’s winners:

• Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year – Bob Stiles
• Smart Commuter of the Year – Paul Grasser

Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year,
Bob StilesBob Stiles, 2017 Curb the Congestion Champion

About 20 years ago, Bob Stiles decided to stop using his car for his daily commute. He began riding a bike from his Edmonds home to a bus that would take him into Seattle. It worked so well for him that he began using his bike and a bus to get around on his own time.

"I never drive,” Stiles said. “Snow? I push my bike through the snow.”

In 2017, Stiles saved 6,672 drive-alone miles, more than $1,500 and prevented 3,766 pounds of CO2 from entering the air we breathe.

VIDEO: Bob Stiles’ commute story:

Smart Commuter of the Year, Paul GrasserPaul Grasser, 2017 Smart Commuter of the Year

Paul Grasser of Poulsbo reduces his commute-related stress by combining teleworking with transportation via ferry, bus and walking to get to his job at Premera in Mountlake Terrace.

“On the boat ride, I have time to visit with friends, or read or work a little bit,” Grasser said, explaining why he enjoys the ferry. And by walking onto the ferry instead of driving, he also saves time and money.

Grasser has been doing this for more than 21 years, and he’s proud of the example he is setting for his environmentally conscious daughter. In 2017, he saved 6,158 drive-alone miles, more than $1,500 and prevented 4,031 pounds of CO2 from entering our air.

VIDEO: Paul Grasser’s commute story:  

Community Transit also honored companies in Snohomish County and Bothell that work to reduce traffic congestion and encourage smart transportation choices.

Worksite Champions of the Year

  • Engagement & Participation Champion of the Year – Travis Industries in Mukilteo

In 2017, Travis’ program participation grew by 5 percent.

  • Special Events & Promotions Champion of the Year – Alder BioPharmaceuticals in Bothell

In 2017, Alder BioPharmaceuticals built a covered biking facility, encouraging more than 30 percent of their employees to bike to work during May Bike Month.

  • Benefits & Incentives Champion of the Year – Panasonic in Bothell

Panasonic employees who don’t drive alone to work receive subsidies that increase as participation increases.

  • Innovation & Revitalization Champion of the Year – Alderwood Water and Wastewater District in Lynnwood

In 2017, Alderwood Water and Wastewater District purchased bicycles for employees to use to travel between its two locations.

  • CTR Business Champion of the Year – Seattle Genetics in Bothell

In 2017, Seattle Genetics instituted a shuttle service between their campus and the Canyon Park Park & Ride.

To learn more about Choice Connections programs, including Smart Commuter Rewards and Curb the Congestion, please visit

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field coming in 2019.