Smart Commute

Click here for 2016 Smart Commute Week schedule of events and challenge registration

Smart Commute TC

Smart Commute TC is a program that promotes the use of alternative forms of transportation. We collaborate with local businesses, governments and non-profit organizations to develop multi-modal infrastructure for active and healthy lifestyles. Collectively we strive to educate the community through workshops and special events and encourage smart commuting year round.

Smart Commute Week

Smart Commute Week is an annual celebration held during the first full week of June. The week consists of events promoting cycling, walking, taking the bus and carpooling. Free daily breakfasts are hosted at various locations around town for smart commuters. Every year community members challenge each other to a friendly competition known as the Smart Commute Challenge. Register your team and rack up points to win prizes with every smart commute trip you make.

 Smart Commute Week Challenge

The Challenge is a fun and friendly competition among local smart commuters that occurs during Smart Commute Week every year. It is open to the public and totally free to participate. Here’s how it works:

1.) Form a Team. Rally your family, friends, classmates and co-workers…or compete solo. No team size restrictions. No age restrictions. Experts and beginners…all are encouraged to join in the fun. Any individual who might normally drive a single passenger vehicle to and from their destination, but instead uses an alternative form of transportation is qualified to participate.

2.) Assign a Team Captain. Team captains will need to register their team online and are responsible for keeping track of their team points and logging scores online daily. Team captains are invited to a luncheon where they’ll receive challenge information and materials to help motivate and guide their team.

3.) Get Points. Ride your bike, walk, take the bus, carpool. Turn in scores daily to team captains. Go to daily breakfasts and other sponsored events to rack up even more points. Share your smart commute stories on Facebook #SmartCommuteTC. Be present at the final awards ceremony breakfast to claim prizes.

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4.) Have Fun and Happy Smart Commuting!

History of Smart Commute TC

Our Smart Commute Program started out as Smart Commute Week. In the early years it was titled Bike to Work Week and was sponsored by the Cherry Capital Cycling Club’s Transportation Alternatives committee. The first one was held in May, 1995. A core group of dedicated commuters huddled under a small tent set up between Brick Wheels and McLain Cycle. That first year the entire week was so cold and rainy that hot oatmeal was the big hit at daily breakfasts. The next year we decided to change the week to the first week of June to fit our northern Michigan climate.

Over the next few years we served breakfasts at F&M Park. We saw participation grow and enjoyed students stopping by as they walked to Oak Park. A few years later we reached out to restaurants to sponsor breakfasts in order to cover a wider area. In 2001, TART Trails began managing the event and the Commuter Cup Challenge was added.

Smart Commute Week has grown ever since with increasing numbers of sponsors, partners and participants. Many individuals and organizations have taken a role in developing this event over the years. Now it serves as the culminating celebration of the year round Smart Commute TC program. Our vibrant community has long embraced active and healthy lifestyles through alternative transportation and are proud to host the longest running event of its kind in Michigan. Smart Commuting is a tradition that folks here continue to improve upon to make our community the place we all want to live.

Smart Commute TC Resources

Bay Area Transportation Authority
Benzie Bus
Networks Northwest
Norte! Youth Cycling
Downtown Traverse City Bicycle Parking
Shape Up North

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