SMART Reporting Record Participation in the 2012 Commuter Challenge

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SMART is reporting record participation in the 8th Annual Commuter Challenge, a cooperative event this month hosted by members of the Transportation Choices Consortium to coax more commuters to leave the car at home and take alternate transportation to work or school.

The latest hybrid buses to join SMART's fleet.

Changing how you get around—even if it’s just a few trips a week—is an easy way to save money, reduce your impact on the environment, reduce stress, and get some extra exercise into your day.

SMART is reporting record participation in the 8th Annual Commuter Challenge, a cooperative event this month hosted by members of the Transportation Choices Consortium to coax more commuters to leave the car at home and take alternate transportation to work or school. In the first week of the month-long promotion, 628 Metro Detroiters had signed up for the 2012 Detroit Commuter Challenge—more than triple the overall participation in years’ prior. Just in the last week, an additional 100 people have signed up.

New this year is the Business-to-Business Competition, a friendly battle among local employers for the coveted “Most Green” title. At this time of this release, Compuware Corporation was leading the Commuter Challenge with 68 percent of registered employees commuting green, followed by Blue Cross, Blue Shield.

“We’ve ratcheted up the promotions this year, particularly among Detroit’s most progressive employers,” said John Hertel, general manager of SMART. “We are grateful for the enthusiastic corporate support, and expect even greater success as our other partners gain traction and new commuters begin sharing their positive experiences.”

The average round-trip commute of Commuter Challenge 2012 participants is 50 miles. The current 628 registered participants together will save nearly 50,000 miles of personal drive time for every one week of SMART or other alternate transportation.

“Metro Detroiters are more interested today than ever before in learning new ways of getting to work or school, especially given gas prices and increased support and flexibility of employers,” Hertel said. “Changing how you get around—even if it’s just a few trips a week—is an easy way to save money, reduce your impact on the environment, reduce stress, and get some extra exercise into your day.”

2012 Commuter Challenge participants can win prizes for taking the bus or other alternate transportation during the month, including Tigers tickets, hotel accommodations, gift cards to popular eateries, DIA passes and more. Learn more at facebook.com/detroitcommuterchallenge.

Commuter Challenge 2012 is sponsored by the Transportation Choices consortium, which includes Compuware Corporation, Detroit Bikes!/Detroit Synergy, Detroit Department of Transportation, Detroit Transportation Corporation, League of Michigan Bicyclists, Michigan Department of Transportation, MichiVan, Commuter Vanpools/VPSI Inc., Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, Transportation Riders United and SMART.

Serving since 1967, SMART is southeast Michigan’s only regional public transportation provider, offering convenient, reliable and safe transportation for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties. SMART’s Fixed-Route and small bus services connect people to employment and educational institutions, medical appointments and shopping centers. SMART is supported by federal and state funding, local contributions through a transit property tax millage from opt-in communities and bus fares. For routes and fare information, visit smartbus.org.

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Lori Bahnmueller
The Berline Group, Inc.
(248) 593-7372
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Beth Gibbons
SMART
(313) 223-2112
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