Traverse City celebrates Smart Commute Week

Smart commuting saves money, builds muscle and reduces your carbon footprint.

Traverse City area residents are gearing up to bike, walk, bus or share their way to work. The Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails, a nonprofit aimed at encouraging the use of a network of recreational trails, organizes the annual Smart Commute every first week of June. The week is marked by events that promote biking, walking, using public transit or carpooling. To further entice participation, smart commuters are offered free breakfasts sponsored by local businesses as well as invitations to participate in events. In addition, participants can elect to compete in the Smart Commute Week Challenge, a friendly competition where teams acquire points for smart commuting and participating in organized events.

Smart commuting is associated with several health, financial and environmental benefits. Michigan State University Extension, along with research MI Smart Commute, detail the benefits of smart commuting.


  • Children who ride a bike two or more times a week are less likely to be overweight.
  • Overweight adolescents who participate in bicycling 3 to 4 days per week are 85 percent  more likely to become normal-weight adults.
  • Physical activity is associated with improved mood, reduction of chronic disease risk, and increased muscle strength.


  • The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308 — 2.25 percent that of the yearly cost of an average car ($13,646).
  • Carpooling saves an average household over $5,000 on automobile expenses per year.


  • Each year, public transportation saves 1,500 million gallons in auto fuel consumption  — 150 times the 10 million gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  • Compared with private vehicles, public transportation produces, on average, per passenger mile, 95 percent less carbon monoxide, 92 percent fewer volatile organic compounds, 45 percent less carbon dioxide and 48 percent less nitrogen oxide.

Consider participating in Smart Commute Week. For further details, visit TART.

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