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Grand Rapids Sets New Record for 2017 Active Commute Week Participation

Active Commute Week

More Greater Grand Rapids employers and individuals than ever before have signed up to participate in the sixth annual Active Commute Week that begins Monday, June 12 and continues through Friday, June 16, The Rapid and the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition (GGRBC) announced today.

Whether it’s cruising on a bicycle or hopping on the bus, The Rapid is urging riders to give active commuting a try for this weeklong challenge, which offers individual participants and teams to earn points for using active transportation, including bicycling, walking, riding The Rapid, carpooling, running, long-boarding or inline skating.

“We congratulate all of the participants and volunteers who have helped make our 2017 Active Commute Week one of the most successful events we’ve enjoyed to date,” said Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid.

“One of our priorities is to raise awareness about the health, economic and environmental benefits of active travel,” Varga said. “Grand Rapids is a more vibrant community when we have a strong, connected network of transportation options.”

Currently, a new record of at least 44 employers and 380 individuals have enrolled to participate in Greater Grand Rapids’ 2017 Commute Week. At least 230 of the individuals who have registered are first-time participants. The organization list includes The Rapid, Steelcase, Grand Valley State University, Kent District Library, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Mobile GR and the City of Grand Rapids, and many more.

“The Grand Rapids Public Museum is thrilled to participate in Active Commute Week again in 2017,” said Kate Moore, VP of Marketing and PR. “The Museum is excited to take part in a community event that promotes an active lifestyle and sustainability to our visitors, employees and the community at large.”

The Metro Health System and the City’s Mobile GR are entering teams for the first time in Active Commute Week.

“Metro Health – University of Michigan Health is proud to support programs that are rooted in wellness,” said Michael Faas, chief executive officer of Metro Health. “Through our hospital, outpatient centers, and community clinic, we are proud to serve as a resource to the community and support programs like Active Commute Week which emphasize a healthy lifestyle and good stewardship of our environment.”

“This year, City workers are competing as a large organization; bring it on KDL! We’ll also be working (during the Challenge),” says Amanda Moore, a Mobile GR and Parking Services analyst. “For people unable to commit to the full work commute, we’re encouraging them to active commute to meetings or errands using the DASH, a free shuttle service that conveniently gets people around the downtown area.”

The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition’s (GGRBC) Active Commute Week is the city’s version of National Bike to Work Week, which is part of National Bike Month that is recognized annually during May across the United States. GGRBC, The Rapid and city leaders rescheduled the event in Grand Rapids to June last year for the first time, and the hope that warmer weather would increase participation produced record-setting results.

In 2016, 35 businesses and organizations registered for the event, setting new records for participation. The 314 individuals who logged at least one commute through an online tracking system administered by The Rapid also set a new enrollment record last year. In addition, the more than 17,000 travel miles logged by the individual commuters set a new Active Commute Week standard. In all, 1,935 active commutes were logged during the weeklong event last year.

“Active transportation is perfect for any age, fitness level, commute length or occupation,” says Amy Duggan, GGRBC board member and chair of the Active Commute Week committee.

“That’s why we’re happy to promote an event that improves our quality of life in Grand Rapids as well as to help build a more respectful culture between bicyclists, motorists and active commuters,” Duggan says.

It’s fast, easy and free to register by completing the individual form. Please note the organization when signing up if applicable. Participants will be notified by The Rapid when their account is ready. Participants can track active transportation trips on the West Michigan RideShare site.

The deadline for logging trips is at 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 16, so results can be tabulated. Participants also have the opportunity to log their intended evening trips by noon Friday as well.

There’s more to this week than simply logging trips. Don’t miss these awesome Active Commute Week events:

Bicycle Fever presentation at The Pyramid Scheme: June 14, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Join Grand Rapids Public Library‘s Colleen Alles as she discusses the culture and climate of Furniture City’s obsession with bicycles at the turn of the 19th Century. View historic, one-of-a-kind primary documents such as photographs, publications, and newspaper articles. This event is free and open to the public.

Bike to Work Day Pit Stops: June 16, 7 a.m. – 9a.m.

Make your morning bike commute more enjoyable by visiting pit stops all over town welcoming featuring refreshments and giveaways. Check out the list of pit stops to visit for your Friday commute. Leave early enough and visit them all!

Handlebar Happy Hour: June 16, 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Long Road Distillers
Meet up with other active commuters to wrap up West Michigan’s sixth annual Active Commute Week! Door prizes will be up for grabs and Active Commute Week Challenge and Pit Stop winners will be announced.

If the reward of physical fitness and a chance to get out and enjoy the spring weather doesn’t have you sold, we hope we can sweeten the deal with some awesome prizes. Individuals and employer teams will be awarded for their active commutes based on who logs the highest number of total trips and the highest number of total miles for walking, cycling, riding the bus and carpooling. Prizes include $100 Meijer gift cards, bus passes, bike helmets and more!

Register here as an individual or employer and starting planning your commutes now.

The 2017 list of participating organizations includes:

—  Trinity United Methodist Church
—  Calvin College
—  Williams & Works
—  mLive
—  St. Thomas Church
—  Fulton Street Farmers Market
—  Kent County Parks Foundation
—  Balance First Fitness
—  Advantage Benefits Group
—  Mobile GR and Parking Services
—  Moosejaw Mountaineering
—  The Rapid
—  Catalyst Partners
—  Local First
—  Founders Brewing Co.
—  Long Road Distillers
—  Meijer
—  The Pyramid Scheme
—  BOXBoom Creative
Rapid Wheelmen
Grand Rapids Bicycle Co
Steelcase
Grand Valley State University
—  Priority Health
—  Metro Health University of Michigan Health Hospital
—  Kent District Library
—  Boston Square Community Bikes / Oakdale Neighbors
—  Disability Advocates of Kent County
—  GR Center for Community Transformation
—  Grand Rapids Community Foundation
—  Velocity USA INC
—  Brewery Vivant
—  Custer
—  Tower Pinkster
—  OST
—  Grand Rapids Public Museum
—  Rockford Construction
—  Spectrum Health
—  The Mitten Brewing Company
—  Great Lakes Coca-Cola
—  Health Plan Advocate
—  Thinkbox Creative
—  Carpe Diem GR
—  West Michigan Environmental Action Council

 

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.