Metro Transit and the region’s Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs) honored corporations, building owners, government entities, organizations and individuals who have worked to promote commuting alternatives to driving to work alone during Wednesday's Commuter Choice Awards.
The annual program held at the St. Anthony Main Event Centre in Minneapols also recognized six individuals with the 2013 Metro Vanpool Legacy Awards.
"You are an example to the rest of the world," said keynote speaker Sven Sungaard, KARE-TV meteorologist. "You are showing what can be done in urban areas to reduce a major contributor of carbon dioxide: transportation."
Sungaard called all 38 nominees "commuter champions" for their efforts to reduce congestion and greenhouse gases and for their initiatives that promote taking the bus or train, walking, bicycling, vanpooling, carpooling or teleworking."That's something we can all get behind," he said.
The winners were:
Building Owner/Management Company
Cushman Wakefield NorthMarq, Bloomington: The company held a bike tune-up event for tenants in its five Bloomington buildings prior to Twin Cities Bike/Walk to Work Day and bought five bicycles for tenants who participated in this year's Commuter Challenge.
Quality Bicycle Products, Bloomington: The firm partnered with HealthPartners found that from 2009-2011 its healthcare costs were lower for employees who biked to work. The firm is now consulting with other employers on their commuter programs and advocating for improving biking infrastructure.
City of Edina and the National Park Service-Mississippi National River & Recreation Area shared the award. Edina was lauded for placing bike racks at more than 50 popular businesses and for improvements to sidewalks and bike-related facilities. The park service was hailed for bringing Nice Ride Minnesota, the popular bike sharing program, to the Mississippi River and to Minneapolis parks.
Shawn Carriere, Target Corporate Real Estate: She helped develop a state-of-the-art bike facility at Target's downtown Minneapolis corporate headquarters and setting up free bike tune-up seminars.
Transit for Livable Communities: The organization won for its six-year effort to bring 75 miles of bikeways and sidewalk improvements to cities throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. It'also provide money for the launch of Nice Ride Minnesota and helped with outreach efforts to promote bike/walk options and make people aware of them.
Long time vanpool organizers also received awards: Steve Dzurak, Linda Habel, Michelle Rosinger, Jane Snyder, Chad Van Dyke and Kathryn Voeltz. All have been active in vanpooling for 10 years or longer as a volunteer driver and coordinator.