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Eugene Business Commute Challenge Wraps Up

By Paris Jackson

EUGENE, Ore. — All week we’ve introduced you to four local businesses and their employees, who’ve reduced their carbon foot print at least once this week, if not more. National Bike Day wraps up the Business Commute Challenge, and here’s a recap of the week-long event.

It wasn’t the kind of bright and sunny celebration weather you’d imagine to end the week long Business Commute Challenge. But it’s the Pacific Northwest — the weather isn’t always predictable.

“If you can do it this week, you can do it any week,” said Lauren Ice, with Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide.

“It’s not that hard, and once you start doing it, it’s not a big deal. That’s how I get to work. If it’s raining today, oh well,” said Glenn Gillis, also with E-LAW.

Dozens of bikers gathered at the DeFazio Footbridge in Eugene Friday morning to grab a quick bite and a hot cup of coffee.

It was also a reunion. We spotted the winner of KEZI’s Drive Less Family Challenge: Kim Schroeder and her son Everett.

“Its been fun,” said Kim Schroeder, winner of the Drive Less Family Challenge. “We have been carpooling this week. We rode the bus and we biked today.”

Schroeder is among more than over 2,100 Lane County folks who carpooled, biked, bused, walked, and telecommutted to work.

“We’ve certainly seen that the weather has affected things this week,” added Paul Adkins, Business Commute Challenge Event Coordinator. “Our numbers for mileage aren’t maybe as high as they’ve been since they’re not doubled.”

Despite that, participation numbers jumped this year.

“With any luck, people will fall in love with that and start doing it a couple more times a week — not just during these big commute challenges, but (also) part of their daily lives,” believes Katura Reynolds.

Across I-5, at the Riverbank Path in Springfield, more commuters were having a breakfast party. But were people really driving less?

“This week there’s been a lot more people on the bus than the other weeks that I’ve been on the bus,” said Schroeder.

That’s an indication that some people are thinking about the larger picture: our Earth.

“I think the success of the program and the event has been really great,” concluded Adkins.

The winners of the Business Commute Challenge will be announced on May 27, on KEZI 9 News at 5.

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