Thursday, September 30, 2010

Much Ado About Smart Trips

Tomorrow marks the end of our 2010 Commuter Challenge. Be sure to log your September commutes by noon, Friday October 8 to be eligible for prizes. See where your company ranks in the employer standings at

On Saturday, October 2, Smart Trips and KAT will team up to host a stop on the KnoxVenture Race to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of East Tennessee. The stop will be at the new Knoxville Transit Station. For more information about the race go to,

Also on Oct 2nd, the 10th anniversary Neighborhood Bike Ride will kick off at 10 a.m. Details available here,

Finally, congratulations to the Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program! At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5, Mayor Haslam will accept Knoxville's Bicycle Friendly Community award at a ceremony along the Third Creek Greenway in Tyson Park. Everyone is invited to attend! For more information about the award and what it means for Knoxville read the press release,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eason Architecture Leads Commuter Challenge

With only 8 days remaining in Smart Trips 2010 Commuter Challenge, Elizabeth Eason Architecture leads the overall competition and its group of 1 to 25 employees with 80 percent of the firm’s employees choosing green alternatives such as bicycling, walking, carpooling and taking transit to commute to work.

Other category leaders include Knox County Government in the 3,000 plus employees group; TVA in the 1,000 to 2,999 employees group; Kimberly Clark in the 500 to 999 employees group; 21st Mortgage and Travelers Insurance are currently tied in the 100 to 499 employees group; and the Metropolitan Planning Commission in the 26 to 99 employees group.

Those participating in the Challenge have removed more than 300,000 pounds of CO2 from the air so far – nearly 86,000 pounds in August alone.

The latest results show that there was significant growth in bicycle trips during the month of August at ORNL, TVA, the City of Knoxville, SAIC, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Knox County CAC and Maryville College. And transit use was up at some locations by as much as 300%!

ORNL had a gain of 2 percentage points in their overall standings. SAIC, UT and TVA had 1 percent gains. Way to go for it!

The company with the highest overall participation level will win a tasty Tomato Head pizza and Magpies cupcake party. Category winners will be recognized with certificates and Magpies cupcake parties.

Individuals who have made at least one green commute each week during the Challenge, 22 days or more, will have the opportunity to win Magellan GPS devices, Panasonic Blu-Ray Players and a $500 gift certificate to hhgregg courtesy of Smart Trips and hhgregg.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So hop on the bus, Gus

Two articles in the August 16 edition of Passenger Transport magazine ( specifically address the benefits of public transportation.

The first focuses on health benefits and summarizes a survey conducted on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) which found that living near quality transit improves health and can even extend lifespan! The full report entitled, Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits, is available at

The second takes a look at the financial benefits of choosing transit and refers to APTA’s Transit Savings Report, released monthly, which indicates that individuals, on average, save $9,381 annually and $782 monthly by choosing transit over driving alone.

What are some other benefits of riding the bus?

 US reliance on foreign oil could be cut by more than 40% if just one in ten Americans used public transportation regularly.

 The National Safety Council estimates that riding the bus is more than 170 times safer than automobile travel.

 For every passenger mile traveled, public transportation is twice as fuel
efficient as private automobiles.

 Fully one quarter of those 75 and over do not drive; public transportation
is a lifeline for older adults.