By Paris Jackson
EUGENE, Ore. — LTD buses were probably more packed than usual Wednesday as dozens of Business Commute Challenge participants hopped on to reduce road and highway congestion.
“The bus is so easy. I mean LTD is just a great service — they got good information out there. You can easily find how to get to where you’re going,” said Eric Gunderson.
Eric Gunderson is a partner at Pivot Architecture in downtown Eugene. He normally drives to work, but decided to switch things up Wednesday morning.
“Today I took the bus. The past two days I’ve ridden my bicycle, but since we do a lot of work with buses I wanted to kind of try different things this week,” said Gunderson.
That thinking has sparked an increased interest in the business commute challenge. This year, the challenge involves more than 100 businesses and over 2,000 individuals.
“I drive to the park and ride that’s in River Road or at Valley River and I take the bus to work every morning,” said Theresa Maurer, Pivot Architecture Interior Designer.
Maurer’s commitment is one reason why Pivot had 100 percent employee participation in the challenge last year, and they’re close to that mark this year.
“I think there’s a couple people out of town and as soon as we get them back in the office we’re going to make sure that they’re walking, riding their bike, or on the bus,” said Gunderson.
Wednesday marks the half-way point of the business commute challenge. While some businesses are first-timers, other say it’s now a way of life.
“Almost everyone is using alternate transportation and it’s just kind of a daily life for us here,” said Maurer.
It was a party for all the folks who are busing, biking and walking to work for the Business Commute Challenge Wednesday morning.
Organizers said throughout the 2 hour event at the LTD Bus Station in downtown Eugene, about 70 people showed up to get fresh bagels and a cup of joe.
Event coordinators said they’re glad to see some many people excited about choosing alternative modes of transportation.
“The participation is really up. We’re at double or right close to double, where we’ve been before. Last year we doubled to ge to where we were last year, so it exponential growth,” said Paul Adkins, Business Commute Challenge Event Coordinator.
On Friday morning starting at seven there will be two more breakfast parties. One in Eugene at the DeFazio Foot Bridge and another in Springfield on the north bank of the river path near Aspen Street.
There’s still time to get involved in the challenge. To get connected or find more resources click here.