Commuters drove alone less; took transit, carpooled, walked, biked for a week

Burnsville-based Minnesota Valley Transit Authority challenged residents to drive alone less, and they delivered. Participants in the MVTA’s Commuter Challenge found new ways to get to work and around town, while saving money and helping the environment.

During the week of April 22-28 challenge participants walked, biked, carpooled, telecommuted, took public transit and any other of method of travel that wasn’t a single-occupancy vehicle. The program highlighted the benefits and ease of active and sustainable transportation. Through their commutes, Minnesotans saved time stuck in traffic and money on gas. They also helped reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, MVTA said in a press release.

Response to the Commuter Challenge was overwhelmingly positive, according to MVTA officials. A few examples of the feedback received:

“Riding the bus makes for a quaint start and end to your work day. Instead of dealing with the stress of traffic and precious time, you can sit back and relax!”

“I love to take the bus! I get to catch up on podcasts and audiobooks and, especially when the weather is bad, I can avoid rush hour traffic. When the weather is nice, I get to spend a little more time outside than I would have otherwise.”

“Taking the bus from Prior Lake to Minneapolis, is the only way to avoid all the construction/traffic nightmares. The buses are in great shape and very comfortable. I am so thankful I have this commuting option! I couldn’t imagine being one of the hundreds of drivers we pass by each day on the bus.”

“I’m always attempting to take alternative forms of transportation to decrease my carbon footprint. Taking the bus is not only a great way to help the environment, but it saves me money and allows me to read, work, or just relax! It’s also efficient because the bus can take the shoulder so it can also be faster. This challenge reminded me that I’m doing a good thing for the environment which is easy to forget when you get into a routine!”

By participating residents were eligible for prizes based on the number of trips they logged, including VIP packages at Canterbury Park and gift cards at Michael’s Cycles, Valley Bike & Ski and Refit Athletic.

“We are very excited about the results and the participation of our first commuter challenge. It only takes only takes a few small changes to have a lasting impact on our environment and our community,” said Richard Crawford, MVTA’s public information manager. “We heard from many new and longtime MVTA riders about how easy it was to participate and the benefits of finding new ways to travel. For many, we hope driving alone less will become part of their daily routine. We are excited to make this an annual event and grow the participation. I also want to extend our gratitude to our generous corporate sponsors.”

MVTA is the public transportation agency for Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan and Rosemount in Dakota County; and Savage, Prior Lake and Shakopee in Scott County.

For more information, visit: https://www.mvta.com/ or call 952-882-7500.

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