History of Smart Commute
Our Smart Commute Program started out as Smart Commute Week. In the early years it was titled Bike to Work Week and was sponsored by the Cherry Capital Cycling Club’s Transportation Alternatives committee. The first one was held in May, 1995. A core group of dedicated commuters huddled under a small tent set up between Brick Wheels and McLain Cycle. That first year the entire week was so cold and rainy that hot oatmeal was the big hit at daily breakfasts. The next year we decided to change the week to the first week of June to fit our northern Michigan climate.
Over the next few years we served breakfasts at F&M Park. We saw participation grow and enjoyed students stopping by as they walked to Oak Park. A few years later we reached out to restaurants to sponsor breakfasts in order to cover a wider area. In 2001, TART Trails began managing the event and the Commuter Cup Challenge was added.
Smart Commute Week has grown ever since with increasing numbers of sponsors, partners and participants. Many individuals and organizations have taken a role in developing this event over the years. Now it serves as the culminating celebration of the year round Smart Commute TC program. Our vibrant community has long embraced active and healthy lifestyles through alternative transportation and are proud to host the longest running event of its kind in Michigan. Smart Commuting is a tradition that folks here continue to improve upon to make our community the place we all want to live.