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B2B Commuter Challenge Update

July 30 2015

vitalDuring our recent B2B Commuter Challenge, 282 employees in twelve Seacoast companies changed the way they commute to work. Challenge participants competed for awards and the honor of having the smartest, greenest commuting workforce.

The competition encouraged commuters to carpool, ride the bus, bicycle, walk, or telecommute instead of driving alone to work – a major factor in air pollution, traffic congestion, and stress. Competing employers were Calypso Communications, City of Portsmouth, City of Rochester, COAST, Heinemann Publishing, LTC Partners, Papa Wheelies, Pease Development Authority, Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside, Strafford Regional Planning Commission, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Vital Design.

The 282 participants logged 1169 sustainable trips totaling 25,300 miles during the two week Challenge from June 8 – 19th. The most frequent sustainable mode was carpooling (37%), followed by walking (24%), teleworking (17%), bicycling (16%), and transit (5%).

Responses from a post-Challenge survey indicate that participates will continue to commute smart. Their motivation included saving money on gas and reducing vehicle wear and tear (62%), increasing well-being and happiness (59%), improving physical health and fitness (57%), and helping the environment (57%). Before the Challenge, 40% of the participants had not used a sustainable mode, after the Challenge, only 5% reported they would not continue to use a sustainable mode.

Strafford Regional Planning won the “Most Sustainable Trips” award, based on a per capita calculation (total number of employees divided by total number of trips). Team Co-Captain Shayna Sylvia remarked, “We had a great time competing…it challenged staff to explore a variety of sustainable ways to get to work. It also showed us how fun and easy commuting can be.”

Vital Design won the “Most Social Media Engagement” and “Most Team Spirit” awards. “We were really excited that this Challenge included carpooling and multimodal options”, reported Team Vital. “Since a handful of Vitalians live too far away to reasonably walk or bike to work, this gave us ALL the flexibility to participate. Thanks so much to CommuteSMARTseacoast for organizing this amazing event! We feel that our lives have been bettered because of it!”

LTC Partners received an honorable mention for the highest number of total miles, trips, and employee participation. The Pease Development Authority received an honorable mention for the most improved team.

“We were thrilled to have such an enthusiastic response from Seacoast area commuters,” commented Anne Rugg, Manager of commuteSMARTseacoast. She added, “Judging from the all of the positive posts and interaction on social media, folks were having a lot of fun commuting smart!”

Challenge sponsors included the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside, Chinburg Properties, Whole Foods Market, City of Portsmouth, Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, and SABR (Seacoast Area Bike Riders). Prize sponsors included Block 6 Restaurant at 3S Artspace, C&J Bus Lines, Ceres Bakery, dh Ostrander Goldsmith, EMS, the Music Hall, Papa Wheelies, Port City Coffee, River Run Bookstore, and Trader Joe’s.