Last week, we celebrated 231 businesses and properties at our fourth annual Champions banquet commending their commitment to and implementation of transportation amenities. 2017 was a great year both for our clients and for Arlington County. We saw the end of SafeTrack with an uptick in improved on-time service, we gathered more than 1,000 walkers for National Walking Day in April, and launched our first ever Our Shared Street Pop-Up in August, featuring various Arlington County Commuter Services programs.
The best part of 2017, was that our Champions were there for all of it and continued to provide new amenities and transportation programs to their employees, residents, and tenants. In this past year alone, because of Champions:
- 396 new transportation programs were implemented
- 13 Champions installed new facilities to support active commuters
- Three new companies received Bicycle Friendly Business designations from the League of American Bicyclists (with one company improving their level)
However, the highlight of the banquet wasn’t about the past, but rather the future of transportation.
Sabrina Sussman’s Future Forecast
Similar to previous years, Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) invited a keynote to our banquet; however, this year, we decided to pull in a dynamic speaker to shed light on the future of transportation and what that could mean for businesses and properties in Arlington County. Enter Sabrina Sussman of Zipcar. Formerly working as a policy advisor for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sabrina brought a wealth of knowledge for what it means to think outside of the box—or rather, car.
Mobility is all about choice
One of our favorite metaphors that Sabrina shared is that mobility and our transportation options should be more like Chipotle—where we can pick from a menu of options to create what we like. With more options, we as a community are able to make more conscious decisions about how we move around the County and surrounding neighborhoods.
In reference to Champions, Sabrina states, “The strength of this program is the diversity of the program.” Just as no two Chipotle burritos are the same, no two Champions journeys are identical either. To further illustrate her point, she shared a slide from our friends in Toronto that showed their perspective on transportation choices highlighting over 35 options with the thought that we need all possibilities or else our system collapses.
While we don’t want to spill trade secrets that were reserved only for our Champions, we do want to share that in order for transportation to work for everyone, you can’t underestimate the crazy idea. From the idea that curb space could be used for more than just parking a car, to the revelation that someday your Zipcar may pick you up—the future is coming and that means exciting opportunities for our Champions.
Sharing the Journey
Undoubtedly, one of everyone’s favorite moments of the banquet was our video reveal, featuring three Champions from both the clients’ perspective and also the individual commuter who is impacted at an employer or property. Get ready to feel the feels.
Ready to Enroll
Sabrina challenged the businesses and properties present to add a new mobility “ingredient” to their unique Chipotle order before next year’s banquet. ATP hopes this inspires you to start Champions 2018 with a renewed interest in providing unique programs that impact employees, residents, and tenants. We’re looking forward to hearing what ingredient helps complete your order, whether it’s carshare, bikeshare, transit, or vanpool.
If you are ready to schedule your kick-off meeting, leave a message and we’ll get started yesterday because yes—we’re excited too!
Photo Credit: Reema Desai/ReemaDesai.com for Arlington Transportation Partners