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Commuter Choice Award Winners

Community Choice Award winners

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Building Owner/Management Company:

Opus Group - Nic on Fifth

The Nic on Fifth is the first luxury high-rise apartment building to achieve LEED Silver Certification in downtown Minneapolis. It is a truly transit oriented design with an integrated light rail transit hub at lobby level and over 95 bus routes adjacent to the site. Onsite amenities include a secure tenant bicycle parking, a tenant ride share program and lower than normal private parking stall counts. In 2017 they collaborated with Metro Transit to convert a sidewalk in front of the building into a light-rail station platform, creating a covered pedestrian walkway to move transit passengers seamlessly into the skyway system.

Commuter Benefits Coordinators:

Tim Bruzek and Ericka Palmer, Sleep Number

Tim and Ericka worked together to create a smooth transition for nearly 1,000 Sleep Number employees when the company relocated from Plymouth to downtown Minneapolis. They connected employees, who were accustomed to a suburban corporate campus and anxious about the move, with resources like Move Minneapolis and regional transit providers so they understood their new commute options. Additionally, Tim and Ericka were instrumental in getting Metropass and preferential carpool parking to employees.


Thrivent Financial

Thrivent Financial believes they have the responsibility to be good stewards of resources - not just their clients', but also our shared natural resources. In 2017, the company made plans to build a new corporate center in downtown Minneapolis, which would eliminate employee parking lots during construction. In partnership with Move Minneapolis and with financial support from Hennepin County's Green Partners environmental education program, they've embarked on an ambitious education and promotion campaign to reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting among employees. Over the course of last year, they hosted six commuter education events, including a bus how-to-ride presentation and a light-rail field trip, and increased their Metropass subsidy, leading to a 21% increase program participation.

Government Entity:

City of St. Paul

City staff collaborated with St. Paul Smart Trips-Transit for Livable Communities to redesign the city's online transportation information. The project integrated transit and biking information into pages formerly dedicated to parking and added real-time parking availability information during large events, making travel decisions easier for visitors and residents. Launched just in time for Winter Carnival and the Super Bowl, the new transportation webpages contributed to the site receiving more than 12,000 visitors within the first 48 hours of it being live.

Commuter Champion:

Sean Hayford Oleary

Sean has been leading the charge for better bicycle facilities in Richfield for several years. As the founding member of Richfield Bike Advocates, he was a regular fixture at city transportation commission meetings, eventually earning an appointment to the commission. He played a critical role during the planning phase of the 66th Street reconstruction, facilitating productive discussions between the Transportation Commission, city staff, and the cycling community. This resulted in the plans going from one mile of protected bike lane to 2.5 miles, which will make the 66th Street bike lane the longest of its kind in Hennepin County.

Honorable mention:

Anne Schultz, Richfield Chamber of Commerce President


Native American Community Clinic

The Native American Community Clinic holds an important position at the nexus of health, income, and transportation for the Twin Cities Native community. In 2017 they responded to Metro Transit's call for community partners to help register qualifying low-income residents for the Transit Assistance Program (TAP). In four months they have connected more than 70 members of the Native American community to the program, removing transportation barriers, and helping them get where they need to go.

Honorable mention:

Ravoux Hi-Rise Resident Council, University of St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership