Press Release: More than 900 companies, organizations and 6,000 employees biked to work throughout Chicagoland for the annual Bike Commuter Challenge
Active Transportation Alliance is pleased to announce the winners from last month’s Bike Commuter Challenge, which highlights how easy and popular bike commuting has become in Chicagoland.
This year’s competition saw unprecedented levels of participation and engagement with more than 900 Chicagoland companies and 6,000 employees tracking bike commute trips, calories burned and CO2 saved during the Bike Commuter Challenge, June 13-20.
Teams competed in categories based on their staff size and type of business. The winners will be celebrated at a private party hosted by Active Trans at DIRTT Environmental Solutions this evening.
A recent Active Trans report shows that in the city of Chicago alone, bike commuting more than tripled from 2000 to 2012 and people are taking 125,000 bike trips per day for running errands, commuting and other utilitarian purposes.
While Active Trans ranks winners in the Bike Commuter Challenge are based on the percentage of employees who biked to work during the Challenge, the new website also tracked other valuable data:
- 15 percent of participants had never ridden to work before
- More than 40 percent of participants were female
- More than 150,000 trips were logged
- More than 150,000 miles were reported
- More than 148,000 pounds of CO2 saved
- More than 7,400,000 calories burned
Competing workplaces tracked participation based on the number of employees who took at least one partial or complete trip to work by bike during the week of June 13-20, 2014.
When the dust finally settled, there were some new winners, as well as past champions returning to prominence.
Orbitz, the Field Museum and The Museum and the School of the Art Institute were all back on the top step (For Profit, Non Profit/NGO and Education, respectively, 500+) again this year-with Groupon and Rotary International very close behind. New winner US Environmental Protection Agency claimed the Public Agency 500+ spot this year.
And while the competition was fierce in the 100-499 category, with the top three finishers each garnering more than 40 percent participation, the Center for Neighborhood Technology (Non Profit/NGO) again remained supreme for the 10th consecutive year, with a 73.5% percent ridership rate. Winners Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (Public Agency) and Upshot (For Profit) weren’t far behind with participation rates of 53.3 and 46.3, respectively.
Most competitive was the Business/nonprofit 5-24 employee division, with 7 teams notching more than 60 percent participation, including four teams at an astounding 100 percent.
Jerome McDonnell – team leader and host of WBEZ’s Worldview – featured long time Challengers Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Working Bikes, Old Town School of Folk Music and the Center for Neighborhood Technology on his program during the Challenge week.
“The enthusiasm Chicagoland bike commuters demonstrated in the Bike Commuter Challenge shows how much the demand for safe and accessible cycling has grown,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Chicagoland’s workforce is definitely excited about biking to work.”
The annual Bike Commuter Challenge competition is part of a week-long biking celebration hosted by the municipalities around the region and Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit.
The competition is free and open to any Chicagoland business, school, organization or company. Other events during the week included morning and evening celebrations in Chicago and suburban communities.
The Bike Commuter Challenge winners are:
Bike Related Business
<5: Warren Cycling & Scott Padiak & Associates
5-24: REI – Northbrook
25-99: REI – Lincoln Park
<5: Northwestern Medicine – Hospital Campus & Hive Chicago Learning Network
5-24: University of Chicago Flow Lab
25-99: eSpark Learning
100-499: Old Town School of Folk Music
500+: The Museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
<5: Nancy Veloo Photography, Wargaski Violins, Tzer0, Data Everywhere, Nolan Collaborative, GrandBox & Pines of Edgewater
5-24: moss::, Sam Schwartz Engineering & Cyclone Energy Group
25-99: Studio Gang Architects
100-499: Upshot Marketing
5-24: Plant Chicago
25-99: Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
100-499: Center for Neighborhood Technology + Elevate Energy
500+: Field Museum
<5: State Rep. Elaine Nekritz District Office
5-24: Alderman Deb Mell, 33rd Ward Office
25-99: CTA Planning
100-499: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
500+: US Environmental Protection Agency
The Bike Commuter Challenge is sponsored by WXRT, Revolution Brewing, Portland Design Works, Clif Bar, Dark Matter Coffee, SRAM, Village Cycle Center, The Chainlink and the City of Chicago.