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Community Transit Commuter who gave up car and lost 40 pounds honored at Choice Connections Awards

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2016 Curb Champion of the Year Jessica Bentem with Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. Photo courtesy of Community Transit.
2016 Curb Champion of the Year Jessica Bentem with Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. Photo courtesy of Community Transit.

From a Community Transit News Release.

Awards given to SnoCo commuters, businesses that choose smart transportation options

Walking to the bus stop has led to much more than saving on gas but a healthier lifestyle for Everett’s Jessica Bentem.

A challenge with her boyfriend on who could do the most walking and save the most on fuel led to the loss of 40 pounds after leaving her car at home.

Meanwhile, Seattle resident Chris Snow has never owned a car and is committed to riding her bike or taking the bus to work at Swedish Medical Center in Edmonds.

For their commitment to choosing smart trips, Bentem and Snow were honored at the 20h Annual Choice Connections Awards on March 30th in Mukilteo.

The Community Transit event honors commuters and companies throughout Snohomish County and the city of Bothell that work to reduce traffic congestion and encourage transportation choices such as riding the bus, sharing a ride, bicycling or walking.

Community Transit receives funding to promote smart transportation options through innovative transportation programs.

Choice Connections helps employers develop transportation programs at their worksites. The Curb the Congestion program promotes transportation options to residents and employees on seven of Snohomish County’s most congested corridors.

In 2016, these programs prevented 645,306 drive-alone trips on our roads, and 12.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air we breathe.

For their smart transportation choices, Community Transit honored this year’s winners:

  • Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year – Jessica Bentem
  • Smart Commuter of the Year – Chris Snow

Curb the Congestion Champion of the Year, Jessica Bentem

Jessica Bentem of Everett is dedicated to walking and riding the bus every single day, for both her commute to work and personal trips. Two years ago she made the switch by leaving her car at home to focus on a healthier and more active commute to work. Thanks to her dedication she’s lost more than 40 pounds and loves feeling less stressed at work. Bentem has saved more than $700 and prevented more than 415 trips from our congested roads in 2016 alone.

Smart Commuter of the Year, Chris Snow

Chris Snow of Seattle is an Emergency Department Technician at Swedish Medical Center in Edmonds. For more than 25 years she’s been dedicated to reducing air pollution and eliminating traffic congestion by riding her bike and public transportation exclusively. In fact, she’s never owned a car and loves the stress relief that comes with choosing an active transportation option for her commute. Snow logged more than 48 trips by bike and bus in the third quarter last year and was chosen from more than 50 other people nominated.

Community Transit also honored companies in Snohomish County and Bothell that work to reduce traffic congestion and encourage smart transportation choices.

2016 Smart Commuter of the Year Chris Snow with Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. Photo courtesy of Community Transit.

Worksite Champions of the Year

Engagement & Participation Champion of the Year – Allstate Insurance in Bothell

  • In 2016, Allstate’s transportation program participation grew by an impressive 26 percent, and Allstate makes it a priority to offer each of its employee’s practical solutions to driving to work alone by meeting with each new hire to talk about their commute options.

Special Events & Promotions Champion of the Year – Crane Aerospace in Lynnwood

  • Crane was the top participant in the Choice Connections monthly worksite campaigns in 2016, and had a 40 percent increase in program participants.

Incentives Champion of the Year – Philips Healthcare in Bothell

  • Philips offers outstanding worksite benefits including an ORCA Passport program, onsite dry cleaning and catering, all which make it more convenient for its employees to choose smart transportation options.

Innovation & Revitalization Champion of the Year – University of Washington Bothell

  • In 2016, UW Bothell added electric vehicle charging stations, three bike repair stations and expanded its offering of U-Cars that people can use to get around campus.  

CTR Business Champion of the Year – Monroe Correctional Complex.

  • Monroe Correctional Complex increased employee smart trips by 23 percent in 2016 and achieved an impressive 75 percent response rate in their Commute Trip Reduction survey.

To learn more about Choice Connections programs, including Smart Commuter Rewards and Curb the Congestion, please visit www.communitytransit.org/choiceconnections.

Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County.

The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field coming in 2019.

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