Press Release - Commuter Challenge 2017

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Published: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 6:37 PM

More Than 2,400 People Competed in Commuter Challenge

ANN ARBOR, MI –  The getDowntown program is excited to announce that more than 2,400 competed in this year’s Commuter Challenge held during the month of May. Of the over 2,400, more than 500 were new commuters that work across 280 organizations. These commuters logged nearly 38,000 alternative commutes by walking, biking, taking the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting and even kayaking to work.

The Commuter Challenge encourages commuters to travel to work using alternative modes of transportation. The goal of the challenge is to entice people that may not otherwise use alternative modes of transportation to use it at least once during this competition. By doing so, they may be more inclined to continue after the competition is complete.

The organizations that had the most commutes and won prizes are:

  • Extra-Small Organizations with 2-10 employees: Alert Watch
  • Small Organizations with 11-20 employees: Atomic Object
  • Medium Organizations with 21-50 employees: Lakeside Software
  • Large Organizations with 51-100 employees: SmithGroupJJR
  • Very Large Organizations with 101-500 employees: ITHAKA/JSTOR
  • Extra Large Organizations with 501+ employees: Zingerman’s Community of Businesses

We know everyone is also curious to know who won in the much talked about Howard vs. Greg Competition. It was a tough rivalry, but in the end, Howard Lazarus, the Ann Arbor City Administrator came out on top with 28 alternative commutes. Greg Dill, the Washtenaw County Administrator was a strong competitor with 16 alternative commutes. The Ann Arbor City employees ended the competition with 2,087 alternative commutes and the Washtenaw County employees had 1,448 commutes. Howard Lazarus will be presented with a trophy for being the winner of the first ever Howard vs. Greg competition.

“Having Howard and Greg compete against each other really brought the Commuter Challenge to another level,” Chris Simmons, Director of the getDowntown Program said. “They showed their commitment to alternative transportation and we think that they definitely influenced others to do the same.”

For all of the organization and individual rankings, visit and sign in or create an account.

The getDowntown program would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s challenge, making it one of the most enthusiastic Commuter Challenges to date.  A special thanks to all of the sponsors: Ann Arbor SPARK, Proquest, LimnoTech, DTE Energy, Main Street Area Association, Notion, Nutshell, Sight Machine, Wright Wealth Management, and the lead sponsor of the competition, Google.

“Without the support of our sponsors, we wouldn’t have had such a successful Challenge,” Kelly Schwartz, Commuter Services Specialist with the getDowntown program said. “We appreciate all of the sponsors and other community organizations that made such generous donations.” 

To check out our Thank You video complete with photos from the competition, visit:

The Commuter Challenge is organized by getDowntown Program, a partnership of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide), the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Ann Arbor. This year’s Commuter Challenge Sustainability Superstar Sponsor is Google. For up to date information on this and other benefits of commuting by alternative modes of transportation, visit