Covering Ground – Stories from Emmet Smart Commute: Emily Hughes

EMILY HUGHES

 

 

Name: Emily Hughes
Age (optional): 31
Transportation Mode: Carpool & Bike
Commute Length (roundtrip): 12 miles
Avg. Weekly Smart Commutes: Summer – everyday; winter 2-3 days a week
SCE Participant for How Many Years: 3

 

 

 

In a few sentences, please explain what motivates you to participate in the Smart Commute Emmet program.

“Smart Commuting is a way of life. The program encourages a behavior that my family and I love to do anyway. Once a commuter gets into a rhythm, it is hard to change it. We are now in the rhythm of biking when we don’t have our daughter with us, and carpooling all together when we do. It feels good to be kind to our bodies and the planet through smart commuting.”

Please describe one of your average daily commutes. What and who do you see along the way? What routes, trails or streets do you use? Is it rigorous or relaxed?

 “When carpooling, I get an extra 30 minutes with my partner and daughter each day – a wonderful way to connect before and after the work day. In the winter, I carpool with a colleague who lives down the road.

“When biking, I get to enjoy the scenic route through Harbor Springs and down Beach Drive. I check on migrating birds in the Bay, see how high the Lake is, and say hello to families returning to their homes in Wequetonsing and along Beach Drive.” 

How does the commute affect your day?

“The commute often dictates the productivity and positivity of the day. Biking invigorates me and inspires great ideas to begin work with.”

Smart commuters have a variety of reasons why they participate. What are yours?

“Health of body … health of community … health of planet”

Has participation in Smart Commute Emmet spurred you to ride or walk more outside the home-to-work commute? If so, what has that entailed?

“Yes! Rather than driving the few minutes to town, I often walk or bike now. Little trips are now seen as opportunities to move and exercise, rather than gas up and drive.”

What is your advice to those considering joining the Smart Commute Emmet program?

“Do it! Consider how your life can be positively changed by smart commuting and then begin the creative process of imagining how to get there. Do you have colleagues nearby to carpool with? Is your route bikable/walkable? What gear do you need to comfortably be exposed to the elements and stay safe? Those questions will get you well on your way to a great change in your daily rhythm!”

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