Tag Archives: Children’s Hospital

September Golden Transfer, continued

There’s another deserving co-recipient of Cari’s award: her employer, Children’s Hospital. Thanks to some incredibly creative and hardworking Commute Services employees (and, I assume, a strong commitment from management), Children’s is a leader in encouraging (and facilitating) its employees’ alternative commutes.

Children’s was the very first Transit Now partner and worked with Metro to increase the frequency of the 75 and 25, two routes that serve the campus. (It’s the frequent service of the 75 that makes Cari’s bus commute possible.) The hospital also runs a shuttle, called the Green Line, which transports employees to and from downtown (simplifying some bus commutes) and to and from Children’s satellite clinics (eliminating the need to drive for work-related daytime travel). Last month, the good folks in Commute Services launched Children’s InMotion.

As I mentioned yesterday, I met Cari at the “Car-free with Kids” event the hospital hosted, which was open to employees and patient families and aimed at helping parents explore options for getting around with their children. (I found this event especially impressive, since alternative commuting is often seen as the province of young, single types–not for people with precious cargo to transport, or daycare drop-offs and clarinet lessons to facilitate.)

All these efforts are paying off. Even before the InMotion launch, almost 65% of Children’s employees were using alternative commutes.

“Children’s staff has really embraced the health, community and financial benefits of leaving the car at home,” says Matt Bullen, a car-free parent who also happens to be a member of the hospital’s Commute Services staff. “We understand that, in a sense, Children’s ability to grow responsibly depends on us all.”


September Golden Transfer

Golden TransferThis month’s Golden Transfer goes to Cari A.: nurse, mom, and alternative commuter extraordinaire. I met Cari back in August (and she would have won the GT in August, had I managed to post the entry on the 31st), at a “Car-Free with Kids” event hosted by her employer, Children’s Hospital. Cari was one of the event panelists, so I got to hear firsthand how she buses to work with her two children, four-year old Ava and one-year old Grayson.

Ava and Grayson, who attend the Children’s on-site daycare and must commute along with their mom, deserve to share equally in this illustrious award. Ava, like most four-year olds, is obsessed with buses, and her repeated requests to ride eventually motivated Cari to try (and like!) leaving the car at home. Grayson, despite occasional attempts to, as his mom puts it, “lick the pole,” is a well-behaved bus passenger, who brightens the commutes of more than a few fellow riders with his squeezable cheeks (see below).

Cari and her kids live in Bothell and ride the 75 from a Children’s park & ride in Lake City to the hospital’s main campus in Laurelhurst. The 75 runs every eight minutes during peak hours, which means they don’t have to adhere to a strict schedule. And as for the actual bus time? The coolness factor (driver! bell! lift!) keeps Ava entertained for the 12-minute ride; snacks and toys keep Grayson in check.

Says our winner, “It’s not as difficult as you might think. It’s actually harder to get organized to go to the zoo for half a day than it is to ride the bus with my kids.” (Source: Children’s Hospital internal website [article author: Alison Link])

Cari, Ava, and Grayson wait for the 75 (Photo credit: Children's Hospital)
Our three winners, waiting for their ride home

Thanks, Cari, for showing us (and your children) that getting around–even for a busy, working mom–doesn’t always mean hopping in the car. After all, “a bus is like a massive, pimping SUV with 4000 horse power and lots of 45 inch wheels.” And you never have to fill up the tank.