2 downtown Tacoma employers earn Governor's Commute Smart Awards

Two downtown Tacoma employers were named recipients of this year’s Governor’s Commute Smart Awards.

University of Washington Tacoma Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) Jennifer Burley received an award for keeping employees and students thinking about and using alternative modes of transportation. Burley was instrumental in bringing Zipcar’s car-sharing program to the downtown Tacoma campus, and developed a system that ties the University U-PASS transit pass renewal with class registration.

Franciscan Health System lead ETC Trudy Sprinkle and Co-ETC Carissa Carnahan received awards for hosting informational booths to attract new carpoolers and bus riders. They also wrote articles that shared commuting experiences of current riders. Employees receive monthly subsidies, chances to win prizes, quarterly postcards with tips and reminders, and birthday cards.

In total, 22 companies received awards for their work promoting transportation leadership in the workplace through innovations and initiatives to encourage workers to drive less often and adjust their commutes in ways that support communities, strengthen the state’s economy and help ease the stress of transportation on the environment.

“You are making our entire transportation system work better, and you are reducing the burden that traffic congestion puts on our environment, economy and communities,” Keith Cotton, demand management programs manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation, told the honorees during an awards ceremony at the state Legislative Building in Olympia.

Each year the Governor’s Commute Smart Awards recognizes communities, businesses, agencies and workplace transportation coordinators for their creative efforts to promote ride-sharing and other alternatives to driving alone, such as bicycling and teleworking. Their work aims to improve traffic flow, strengthen the economy by empowering more than 570,000 commuters across the state to drive 160 million fewer vehicle miles annually, save eight million gallons of fuel, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 71,500 metric tons.

More details and the complete list of winners is available online here.

Keith Cotton (left), demand management programs manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Ted Horobiowski (right), Commute Trip Reduction board vice chair, presented the Governor's Commute Smart Award for Commute Smart Employer Leadership to University of Washington Tacoma employee transportation coordinator Jennifer Burley. (PHOTO COURTESY WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION)