By RYAN NEWHOUSE
Each spring during Bike Walk Bus Week, organizers from Missoula In Motion host a friendly competition between Missoula businesses and organizations to see who among them is the most devoted to using sustainable transportation (biking, walking, riding the bus, carpooling). It’s called the “Commuter Challenge,” and winning businesses or organizations were recently crowned at a trophy presentation. And winners there were, in record numbers.
In all, 127 Missoula business and organizations competed in the Commuter Challenge, which breaks down into 1,050 individuals who logged more than 4,075 sustainable commutes. The participating businesses and organizations were divided into categories based on type and size, and then winners were chosen based on levels participation among their staff. Missoula In Motion makes it easy for participants to log their commutes, offering both paper or online logging options.
Prizes for individual members, based both on level of participation and random drawings, included MDA gift cards, Big Dipper ice cream (for perfect participation) and various commuter gear from REI-Missoula.
Competition was especially fierce among the smaller non-profits this year, with a five-way tie occurring because all the organizations had “Perfect, Perfect Participation” (100% of their employees commuted sustainably for 100% of their commutes that week).
Without further delay, the 2011 Commuter Challenge winners are:
Small – Climate Ride, Ecology Project International, homeWord, Wilderness Watch, Wildlands CPR
Medium – Missoula Housing Authority
Large – Partnership Health Center
Small – KettleHouse
Medium – Bernice’s Bakery
Large – Good Food Store
Small – University of Montana Spatial Analysis Lab
Medium – University of Montana Athletics Department
Small – Sunburst Sensors
Medium – REI-Missoula
Small – AEGIS Engineering
Medium – CTA Architects and Engineers
Large – Garlington, Lohn & Robinson
Small – Missoula County Public Works/Survey
Medium – Missoula County Public Library
Large – USDA Forest Service-Region 1/RMRS-Human Dimensions
Ryan Newhouse has pedaled through thousands of miles of Missoula’s streets and trails as a commuter, long-distance cyclist, recreationist and former city bicycling ambassador. Although he now works from home, he still uses two feet or two wheels to push or pull himself and his daughter around town. Back to “Bike It” home page or check out Ryan’s own blog.