Tacoma organizations, individuals receive Governor's Commute Smart Awards

Two decades of saving commuters money, curbing air pollution, conserving fuel and easing traffic congestion were celebrated Tuesday at the 2011 Governor’s Commute Smart Awards.

Locally, this year’s award recipients include Todd Badham and Nicole Mulhausen, employee transportation coordinators (ETC) at the University of Puget Sound, who received the Commute Smart ETC Leadership Award for their creative initiative that sprouted a sustainable transportation culture at the university. Among other achievements, they worked with Zipcar to bring car sharing to their campus in Tacoma; Gordon Thomas Honeywell of Tacoma received the Employer Champion Award for Voluntary Employers; and Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community received the Employer Champion Award for Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law-Affected Employers.

The Governor’s Chief of Staff Marty Loesch and state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond joined award winners to celebrate 20 years of smart commuting through workplace programs. Today the programs support more than 810,000 commuters across the state, empowering them reduce their driving by 170 million vehicle miles annually, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). “This year’s winners are great examples of what can happen when public and private organizations work together to offer commuters better choices that protect the air we breathe,” Loesch told award recipients during the awards ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. “You have shown dedication and delivered real results that support our economy, communities and the environment by reducing drive-alone commutes on our busiest roadways.”

The Commute Smart Awards recognize innovation and dedication by communities, businesses, agencies and workplace transportation coordinators as they promote ride-sharing and other alternatives to driving alone. Passed by the state Legislature in 1991, the CTR Law calls on employers to encourage their workers to choose transportation options that reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

More details and the list of winners are online at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Transit/PT_Features.htm#CSA .