Commuter Services

Outreach program of I-494 Corridor Commission

September Prize Drawing - Verilux CleanWave UV-C Portable Sanitizing Wand

Work from home, bike, walk, or use any other non-drive alone mode of transportation to work at least one day by September 30 for a chance to win a Verilux CleanWave UV-C Portable Sanitizing Wand.

Click here to participate.

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2020 Commuter Challenge Winners

Prize: Electric Bike

Michelle McCarville - Best Buy – Richfield

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, I was able to telework a few days a month, and I’m lucky enough to have transitioned to teleworking full time until we’re all able to be back in the office. I’ve reduced the wear and tear on my car, saved money on gas, and been able to be more flexible in my work hours so I can interact with my offsite counterparts when it’s most convenient for them. I also love being able to have the windows open while I work so I can enjoy the summer breeze and see what’s going on in the neighborhood.”

Prize winner Photo

Prize: $500 Visa Gift Card

Kevin Kelley - Skywater Technology – Bloomington

“Since the pandemic came upon us, I have teleworked for the most part. I am eager to return to the office when it is safe.

My home is in Shoreview and my workplace is about 23 miles south, near the Mall of America. There are not many transit options for me, but there is one option I really like. My wife works at HCMC in downtown Minneapolis. I’ve often enjoyed carpooling to work with her, then taking the Blue Line LRT from U.S. Bank Stadium (next door to HCMC) to the Mall of America. From there, it is a fairly easy half-mile walk to my workplace.

Though not as convenient as driving, it gives my wife and I a chance to spend time together, and sometimes even have a dinner date downtown.”

Prize winner Photo

Commuter of the Month

Taylor Drees
Guidewire Software - Telework

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May Commuter of the Month Taylor Drees was teleworking once or twice per month prior to Minnesota’s Stay at Home order going into effect. These days – like many commuters – she finds that working from home fulltime has its benefits.

Drees has been working from home since early March when her employer, Guidewire Software in Edina, enacted a telework policy due to COVID-19. Before that, she was typically making her 20- to 35-minute commute across I-494 by driving alone most days. She has saved both time and money over the past two months.

“I am saving a large amount of money not having to buy gas,” she said. “Typically, a tank would last less than a week. I’ve put gas in my car once since March 6.

“Additionally, instead of being gone from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., I am spending time with my family, getting to enjoy the outdoors, working out at home and getting more house projects done. From feeling like I’m constantly on the run, the slower pace of life has been a blessing.”

At the same time, Drees feels like she gets more work done in her home office. She appreciates getting back the time she would have ordinarily spent driving to and from work. The lack of a commute also means she’s able to get more sleep, which translates to greater productivity and wellbeing.

“I believe the extra productivity stems from how much more time you have added into your day while working from home,” she said. Noticing that she tended to “get in a slump” while sitting for an extended period of time, Drees finds she has become more intentional with her movements. She purchased a yoga ball chair to have better posture and takes short runs with her dog or does jumping jacks for a quick energy boost.

And though she misses the face-to-face interaction with her coworkers, Drees appreciates the full impact teleworking provides not only to her own productivity, but the environment as a whole.

“It’s great to have the ability to work from home not only to prove we can be just as efficient (if not more) than in the office, but also give the environment a much needed break from the fiveday commute. The change of pace is wonderful and definitely allows for a good reset. I love how much everyone is coming together despite the circumstances given,” Drees said.

Commuter Services has telework resources available to anyone interested in learning more. Commuter Services is happy to talk with your company about teleworking options and any other sustainable commute initiatives. Contact Kate Meredith, Director of Outreach at or by calling 612-750-4494.

Past Commuters of the Month
February 2020 Commuter of the Month
December 2019 Commuter of the Month

2020 Events

  • January - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode (Prize: Electric Snow Shovel)
  • February - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode (Prize: Portable Bluetooth Speaker)
    Heart Health Month
  • March - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode (Prize: Choice of $100 Starbucks or Caribou Coffee Gift Card)
  • April - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode (Prize: $100 Target Gift Card)
    Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22
    Get on Board Day is April 16
  • May - Commuter Challenge
  • June - Commuter Challenge
    Dump The Pump Day is on Thursday, June 18
  • July - Commuter Challenge
  • August - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode (Prize: Blaux Wearable AC+ Personal Air Conditioner and Purifier)
  • September - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode
    World Car Free Day is Tuesday, September 22
    National Bike to Work Week is Sept 21-27. National Bike to Work Day is Tuesday, Sept 22
  • October - Carpool to Work Month
  • November Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode
  • December - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode

**Additional events will be added throughout the year