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Congratulations, 2017 Commuter Choice Award Winners!

From creating a campaign designed to make streets safer for pedestrians to revamping a college’s transportation policy to put sustainable transportation at the forefront, the Twin Cities community has been busy improving commuter mobility in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. In recognition of this hard work, Metro Transit hosts the Commuter Choice Awards each year to acknowledge the community members and organizations working to make these projects possible.

This year’s Commuter Choice Awards were held on Wednesday, April 26 at 514 Event Studio in Minneapolis. Nominees gathered to celebrate the winners and learn about unique approaches being taken to redefine commuter mobility. There were six different award categories: Building Management/Owner, Commuter Benefits Coordinator, Employer, Government Entity, Individual/Commuter Champion, and Organization. These categories recognize the extraordinary kinds of work being done to support sustainable transportation across various sectors.

Move Minnesota worked closely with the 2017 Employer of the Year:

Augsburg College won the Employer category for their work promoting multimodal transportation options among their faculty, staff, and students. After a major construction project created a loss of parking spaces, Augsburg’s Transportation Task Force re-evaluated its policies. A new transportation plan supports and encourages sustainable transportation and also supports Augsburg’s mission and commitments to environmental stewardship and as an urban institution. The holistic approach to encouraging sustainable transportation includes further subsidizing bus passes for faculty, staff, and students; enhancing car sharing and carpooling programs; discounting Nice Ride memberships; boosting parking prices for commuters who drive alone; and establishing an incentive “combo pack” that allows people to alternate between driving and commuting by transit. Recognizing that uncertainty about changing long-standing habits that would threaten the success of the program, Augsburg also created a transportation section of its website to foster awareness and support of the plan. Augsburg partnered with Move Minnesota (formerly Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips) to familiarize faculty and staff with different forms of transportation. During the summer of 2016, several hands-on events taught Augsburg staff about the bus and light rail, Nice Ride bike share, and other options.

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorees of the 2017 Commuter Choice Awards listed below–and thank you for your leadership! To learn more about the other winners of this year’s awards, read Metro Transit’s recap of the event.

2017 Commuter Choice Award Winners

Winner: Augsburg College
Honorable Mention: Minnesota Literacy Council
Honorable Mention: Mall of America

Building Management/Owner
Winner: Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Inc
Honorable Mention: Bulter Square/McGough Facility Management

Commuter Benefits Coordinator
Winner: Brian Nelson
Honorable Mention: Samantha McKeough

Individual/Commuter Champion
Winner: Marc Berg
Honorable Mention: Beth Reissenweber
Honorable Mention: Nick Wright

Government Entity
Winner: Stop for Me

Winner: Minnesota Orchestra
Honorable Mention: Minnesota Life College