On a recent trip to France.
GO Redmond Program Administrator
Every day 100,000 commuters enter the city of Redmond, WA (pop. 60,560), a vibrant exurb 16 miles northeast of Seattle, to do their jobs at companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, and crane-maker Terex. (Microsoft’s HQ alone employs 40,000 people.) The city has the highest daytime population surge in the country, and all those people driving individually would produce mass gridlock.
The city of Redmond developed a rider incentive program called “Go Redmond” that connects employers and employees with commuting options. Residents who opt to carpool, vanpool, ride the bus, bike, or walk along the city’s 56 miles of scenic regional trails become eligible for prizes.
The program’s online platform allows users to schedule and log trips, create matches for carpooling and vanpooling, see how many pounds of CO2 they’ve avoided creating, or learn how much money they’ve saved. The more trips riders log via Go Redmond, the more they can win.
Go Redmond’s core incentive is a monthly drawing to win a gift card from such companies as REI and VISA. Rewards also include subsidized incentives like month-long regional bus passes to get riders to try mass transit; gas-cards for carpooling; and lights and reflective bands for bikers and walkers. Special promotions also drive participation, such as urging riders to donate their trips to charity, which can take the form of bus passes for nonprofits.
Currently 25,000 commuters are signed up for Go Redmond, and that number is growing by a few hundred each month, aided by local companies with more than 100 employees, which are required by state law to reduce their single-occupancy-vehicle rates.
Born in Brookwood, CA, grew up in Redmond. Left for 10 years and returned to a city made more cosmopolitan by Microsoft and others. Bachelors in political science and sociology from Western Washington University in Bellingham (’05). Masters in urban and regional planning from Portland State (’09). While studying, worked for its Institute of Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation. Lives on the east side of the region with her husband, a video game artist, and their 15-month-old daughter. Enjoys tending her organic vegetable garden, which backs up to the greenbelt path she walks along to get to work every day. The greenbelt also attracts an abundance of wildlife including deer, rabbits, and raccoons, who also enjoy spending time in her garden.
Didn’t learn how to ride a bike until she was a freshman in college but today helps others learn as adults through Go Redmond adult cycling classes, launched this year.