Commuter Services

Outreach program of I-494 Corridor Commission

Take the Commuter Challenge

Commuter Services is excited to launch its 2020 Commuter Challenge! Celebrate your sustainable commute in whatever form it comes these days – telework, bike, walk, or any other non-drive alone method – before July 31, 2020. Participants are automatically entered to win a $500 Visa gift card or an electric bicycle!

Click here to participate.

Commuter Challenge Image

Commuter of the Month

Taylor Drees
Guidewire Software - Telework

commuter of the month image

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 kate@494corridor.org or by calling 612-750-4494.

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

February Prize Winner!

Prize: Bluetooth Speaker

Michelle Weed - Cushman & Wakefield, Bloomington

“Telecommuting has been a great option, especially given today’s circumstances. I am lucky enough to be able to get my home office set up pretty similar to my in office setting which provides a seamless transition to working from home. The pro is I actually feel like I get more work done via telecommuting because of less face to face interactions with co-workers. But that is also a con…I miss seeing my co-workers and chit-chatting with them.”

Prize winner Photo

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
  • September - Monthly Incentive to Try a Sustainable Commute Mode
    (Richfield) Open Streets at Penn Fest is Sunday, September 20 from 1-5 p.m.
    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
    (Edina) Open Streets on 50th Date TBD
  • 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