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Alternative Commute - A Challenge

Alex Francis and Ben Fisher, BergerABAM engineers, chose to commute to work via bike for the challenge.

How do you get to work? Do you take the same route every day? The month of May was National Alternative Commute/Bike Month, a time to celebrate alternative commuting methods. Depending on the agency, the intention of the month may vary. For some, it may be to promote bike safety, multimodal transportation planning, health and wellness improvements, or the negative environmental impact of single car use. These initiatives create opportunities to connect people with the benefits of changing their commuting habits and introducing a more active way of getting to the office, which can provide multiple benefits like improving health, participating in clean transportation, or exploring the local community.

As a regular bike commuter, Melissa Uland of BergerABAM’s Vancouver, Washington, office talks about what inspires her to ride her bike to work. “I love riding and I love an adventure. It’s hard to explain if you don’t commute by bike, but every day is a little different—whether it be the sun, the moon, the fog, the wind, or the rain. In the mornings, I do a lot of creative thinking and problem solving. In the afternoons, I get the opportunity to relax and unwind.”

This year BergerABAM created a spin on bike month. Coined the Alternative Commuter Challenge, BergerABAM’s Sustainability Committee organized an initiative to inspire employees to take an alternative mode of transportation to and from work. A competition was created to sweeten the deal, including prize incentives. Participants tracked the number of miles walked, biked, carpooled, or taken on public transit. At the end of each week, the number of miles were tracked and converted into points. Each week a random participant was drawn and won a prize.

Overall, BergerABAM’s Alternative Commuter Challenge created healthy team bonding and competition. Employees participated throughout BergerABAM’s office locations from Federal Way, Seattle, and Vancouver, Washington; Portland, Oregon; to San Diego, California.