A bakery that boasts of being St. Paul’s only carbon-free carb delivery and a YMCA that rewards members for working out on the way to their workouts were recognized as area mobility leaders this week.
Metro Transit and Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs) celebrated their efforts, along with several others, at the annual Commuter Choice Awards. The awards were presented on Tuesday, May 7, at the University of Minnesota.
Brake Bread, based on St. Paul’s West Seventh Street, was named Organization of the Year. The Midway YMCA, on University Avenue, received an honorable mention in the same category.
Formed in 2014, Brake Bread makes as many as 80 deliveries a day using an electric-assist bike with a trailer attachment. In 2018, they eliminated an estimated 11,000 car trips by relying on bike delivery. Brake Bread also supports customers who bike to its store by participating in the Bicycle Benefits program.
Leaders at the YMCA Midway and YMCA Blaisdell, its sister branch, instituted the Clean Commuter Club in 2018 to encourage members to walk, bike or take transit to the gyms. Members who do not drive to the gym are rewarded with guest passes and other perks.
Metro Transit works with TMOs like Move Minneapolis and Move Minnesota to encourage the use of transit and other alternatives to driving alone. The Commuter Choice Awards were introduced more than a decade ago to celebrate government entities, building owners and individuals who support sustainable transportation.
Nominations are reviewed by transportation and human resources professionals, public officials and advocates. Others recognized at this year's Commuter Choice Awards were:
Employer: Quality Bicycle Products
Quality Bicycle Products of Bloomington offers many benefits to encourage sustainable commuting, including contributions to Health Savings Accounts and credits for bike parts, accessories and apparel. “HealthPartners estimates that Quality Bicycle Products saves $170,000 per year in health care costs by investing $45,000 in incentives,” the company said.
Employer Honorable Mentions: SPS Commerce, University of St. Thomas
Commuter Benefits Coordinator: Heather Galvin, Kari Scanlon
When Rally Health relocated, Heather Galvin worked with Metro Transit to enroll the company in the Metropass program. Kari Scanlon, director of human resources for Touchstone MH, also worked with Metro Transit to join the Metropass program.
Commuter Champion: Katie Peters
When I Work accountant Katie Peters has coordinated outreach events with Move Minneapolis, organized the company’s Metropass participation and helped lead World Car-Free Day activities. When I Work is in the Ford Building, just east of Target Field Station.
Commuter Champion Honorable Mention: Dana DeMaster
Government Entity: Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board
Board staff responded to the opening of the METRO Green Line and other Capitol-area investments by prioritizing transportation management in an updated comprehensive plan. The plan will serve as a reference for developers and property owners seeking board approval.