Conquer the Cold 2019

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bus at snowy stop in a2

Thursday, February 21

The Polar Vortex Didn’t Stop Commuters from Conquering the Cold

ANN ARBOR, MI –  The getDowntown Program, along with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide), is pleased to announce the results from this year’s Conquer the Cold Challenge held during the month of January. Over 500 commuters logged nearly 12,000 alternative commutes. In total, commuters avoided driving over 55,000 miles during the month-long event by walking, biking, carpooling, riding the bus, and telecommuting, running and skiing.
The Conquer the Cold campaign is designed to educate and encourage commuters to travel to work using alternative modes of transportation during the winter months. Through education, outreach, and different fun challenges, the campaign aims to help commuters get over the potential barriers of alternative commuting in colder weather. The goal is to show that it isn’t as difficult to get to work without driving as it may seem.
Individuals logged their commutes on the getDowntown challenge website and earned badges based on the number of logged commutes, earning them prizes. Participants also had the chance to enter weekly challenges to earn even more great prizes. Despite the polar vortex during the last week of the challenge, a 23% increase in bike commutes over 2018’s challenge was logged during the month. In addition, the challenge saw an increase of 135% of logged telecommutes, likely attributed to the Polar Vortex.
“We are particularly pleased with the fact that more people were able to find a non-motorized trip to meet their workday obligations,” said Chris Simmons, Program Director for the getDowntown Program. “I am especially pleased with the dedication of the challenge participants during the vortex.”
The getDowntown program announced the challenge winners on Wednesday, February 6. The winners and the prizes they received are:

  • Bivouac $250 gift card - Ken at UM-Library
  • Bivouac $250 gift card - Courtney at DTE
  • Footprints $50 gift card - Marina at Michigan Medicine
  • REI $25 gift card - Eileen at City of Ann Arbor
  • $50 Gas card - Matt at Michigan Medicine
  • Ellipse Smart Bike Lock - Adam at Duo Security
  • Fly6 Rear Facing Bike Camera and 100 Lumen Light - Alex at Atwell, LLC