The Way to Go Awards for outstanding commitment to commute alternatives by an organization is called the Pinnacle Award. As the name implies, the employers who receive this award each year have gone far beyond the minimum requirements to demonstrate a firm understanding of the true benefits of trip reduction activities -- cleaner air, healthier employees, reduced traffic and an overall enhancement of the quality of life in Spokane County. In addition to a well-rounded CTR program, the selection of a Pinnacle Award winner is made after consideration of management support, ETC commitment and participation, continued enhancement of the worksite's CTR program and demonstrating an innovative approach to trip reduction strategies. They are Spokane County's true CTR champions.

The Pinnacle Award goes to a worksite who has been in the program since 1993. With nearly 2,000 employees, this very large state agency’s program was really turned around when a new ETC took over a couple years ago. Shortly after being designated, this ETC was required to start preparing for their 2015 survey. She was instrumental in getting management on board to ensure a successful survey. The results were amazing. They had made significant progress by reducing their drive alone by 9.4% and their VMT by 8% from their previous survey.

This worksite offers fully subsidized transit passes, offers monthly, quarterly and annual incentive prizes and provides a guaranteed ride home program. They also offer teleworking and compressed work schedules. Recently, covered bike racks were installed as well as two bike fix it stations for their bicyclists. Each month an employee is recognized as their STAR commuter and their story is posted on their website.

This dedicated ETC has a 26-mile one-way commute and walks her talk by riding the bus as often as her schedule allows. She began requiring all employees taking advantage of their bus pass program to register in their CTR program. That allowed her to manage the program better as well as track participation. She’s also revamping their parking program, looking at ways to make the most of their space and increase the rates for their premium parking areas. Proceeds from parking charges help to provide a budget to subsidize the CTR program.

This worksite also has a well-established CTR committee that assists the ETC in planning and the promotion of the CTR program. Recently they have been partnering with the Sustainability Committee to be a voice for the CTR program to increase commute alternative use.

We are pleased to honor Eastern Washington University with a 2016 Pinnacle Award.