Manitobans own Commuter Challenge!! The 2014 Commuter Challenge was again one of the most successful ever, with participation by over 7,000 individuals at over 280 workplaces across the province. Winnipeg and Thompson won Gold in their respective population categories by logging the highest rate of participation among comparable cities in the nation-wide competition. Manitoba achieved the highest percent participation among all the provinces. It is the eleventh time that Winnipeg has finished on top in our population category.
Less emphasis was placed on prizes for workplaces and more on prizes for individual participants. A total of 59 prizes were either donated or purchased, including a $500 Via Rail travel voucher, a night at the Fairmont Winnipeg, a 6 month gym membership to GoodLife Fitness, a new bike from Natural Cycle, passes to the YM-YWCA in Winnipeg and Brandon, Folk Festival passes, cycling gear from Olympia, walking gear from Stride Ahead Sports, Yoga classes from Moksha and Yoga North, monthly bus passes from Winnipeg Transit, gift cards from Frogbox, Peg City Car Co-op casual membership, bike rack from the Downtown Biz, and gift certificates from Mountain Equipment Co-op, Deseo Bistro, Degrees Diner, Saucers Café, McNally Robinson and Soup Bee.
The 2014 event registered 70 schools for the Clean Air Day Walk and more than 280 workplaces for the June 1 to 7 Challenge. There were approximately 7,041 workplace participants and an estimated 12,400 school participants including students, staff, parents and community members for a total of about 19,400 participants. Volunteers included 120+ at workplaces and 330 at schools. This year, we succeeded in producing 800,000 green kilometers tracked, which has resulted in 100 tonnes of CO2 avoided.
The annual Commuter Challenge is proving to be the highest-profile sustainable transportation event in Winnipeg. Again in 2014, the Challenge continued to attract thousands of participants across Manitoba and win favourable media attention. It is a positive event that promotes physical health for individuals and also builds workplace and community spirit. Green Action Centre follows up participating workplaces through a survey, offering support for climate-friendly travel year-round. With new workplaces registering and new commuters participating every year, the Commuter Challenge remains a uniquely valuable community environmental event.
THANK YOU! To sponsors, prize donors, partners, volunteers at workplaces and schools, and Manitoba commuters everywhere who took the 2014 Commuter Challenge! Congratulations and thank you!