Let’s Celebrate! Commute Trip Reduction Champions Gather Under “Rapid Change, Great Opportunity”

On June 5, together with Commute Seattle, we celebrated the efforts of employers participating in the city’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program during the fifth annual Champions Celebration breakfast. This CTR program awards ceremony honors employers who demonstrate high engagement and innovative tactics in their transportation programs for employees.

We recognized six platinum-level employers – Fred Hutchinson, Seattle Children’s, Swedish Medical Center, The Polyclinic, University of Washington, and Washington State Ferries – whose programs exemplified best practices  and  provide a wide range of commute tools and resources to employees.

This year’s event was themed “Rapid Change, Great Opportunity” to celebrate Seattle employers who have made significant investments in commuter benefits and programming during the Seattle Squeeze, a time of monumental transportation challenges to reduce single occupancy trips.

Ann Sutphin, SDOT’s Transportation Options team lead, chats with an event guest.
Ann Sutphin, SDOT’s Transportation Options team lead, chats with an event guest.
Attendees at this year’s CTR Champions breakfast network and share ideas before the event.
Attendees at this year’s CTR Champions breakfast network and share ideas before the event.
An Employee Transportation Coordinator talks to a representative from Commute Seattle. Thank you to Commute Seattle for its support in the City’s CTR program administration, and for organizing this event!
An Employee Transportation Coordinator talks to a representative from Commute Seattle. Thank you to Commute Seattle for its support in the City’s CTR program administration, and for organizing this event!

CTR Champions go above and beyond to reduce the number of drive-alone trips taken by their employees.

Commute Seattle’s Executive Director, Kevin Futhey, speaks with Employee Transportation Coordinators Melanie Truhn, Jennifer Poole, Jamie Cheney, and Robin Blacksmith as part of an employer showcase panel discussion.
Commute Seattle’s Executive Director, Kevin Futhey, speaks with Employee Transportation Coordinators Melanie Truhn, Jennifer Poole, Jamie Cheney, and Robin Blacksmith as part of an employer showcase panel discussion.

They create work environments and offer accompanying benefits that make it easier for their employees to reshape their commutes, such as joining an ORCA Business program, offering tax benefits and transit subsidies, providing employees telework or compressed work week options, and encouraging and facilitating walk and bike commutes. This year, we recognized 89 out of the nearly 300 CTR-affected employers in Seattle for their efforts to provide their employees with great transportation options.

“Rapid Change, Great Opportunity”: making the most of the #SeattleSqueeze.

Our Director, Sam Zimbabwe, giving the keynote address at the CTR Champions Breakfast on June 5.
Our Director, Sam Zimbabwe, giving the keynote address at the CTR Champions Breakfast on June 5.

As part of the Seattle Squeeze, 2019 has so far brought us a historic 3-week SR-99 closure; a new tunnel spanning the length of downtown; changing traffic patterns; and a major transit service change with buses ceasing operations in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel … and it’s only June!

With rapid change comes great opportunity. Seattle’s CTR companies have been leading the way to encourage informed and flexible travel choices that adapt to the ongoing changes in our transportation network. We recognize and appreciate this partnership and commitment, and we ask our employers to continue the great work.


There are so many different travel choices and ways to give employees flexibility to reduce the impact of drive-alone traffic and keep our transportation system running smoothly for everyone.


Sam Zimbabwe, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation

Your company could be a Champion next year – get in touch with Commute Seattle to learn more!

This year’s CTR Champions event was a full house! Attendees enjoyed breakfast at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Seattle.
This year’s CTR Champions event was a full house! Attendees enjoyed breakfast at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Seattle.

Seattle’s CTR program is a public-private partnership connecting large employers to resources and tools that support the use of commute options that keep businesses moving. The CTR law requires large employers (100+ employees who travel at peak hours) to mitigate the traffic impacts of their business by working to reduce driving while reporting their results each year.

Through education, advocacy, training, and consulting, Commute Seattle is helping create a transit-supportive business culture to ensure that commuters enjoy world-class commuter benefits and amenities. SDOT is proud to partner with the hard-working team at Commute Seattle, who engage with employers citywide to help them meet and exceed their CTR program goals. During the Seattle Squeeze, Commute Seattle continues to offer free consultations to businesses of any size. Learn more at commuteseattle.com!