For Immediate Release
Date: June 19, 2014
The trusty bicycle held on to its title as the fastest commute downtown during the seventh annual Dump the Pump Challenge on Thursday.
Savannah Bicycle Campaign member Jen Colestock pedaled across the City Hall finish line around 8:20 a.m., about 20 minutes after departing the 12 Oaks Shopping Center south of DeRenne Avenue. She was followed a few minutes later by Chatham Area Transit Chief Development Officer Ramond Robinson, who rode the Abercorn 14 bus to Ellis Square, where he hopped on a CAT Bike Share bicycle and coasted across the finish line. City Public Information Director Bret Bell drove his personal car to third place, about 8 minutes behind the winner.
“This goes to show that driving is not always the fastest commute, and it’s never the cheapest,” said Mayor Edna Jackson, who placed the coveted Challenge medal around Colestock’s neck. “Not everyone lives in a place where they can dump the pump. But those who do should give it a try.”
The competitors had to follow all traffic laws and take the most direct route available. The bus rider got off at the nearest bus stop to City Hall, while the car competitor drove down Abercorn and Drayton streets, then parked at the Whitaker Street Garage and walked the block to the City Hall finish line.
The cyclist, meanwhile, could ride directly to the finish line, where a City bike rack is located – one of more than 150 bike racks added to downtown Savannah over the past five years.
“I know I spent less, polluted less, and had the most fun in today’s competition,” Colestock said. “Savannah is laid out beautifully for cycling.”
The City of Savannah, CAT and the Savannah Bicycle Campaign have organized Savannah’s Dump the Pump Challenge since 2008 as part of National Dump the Pump Day. Dump the Pump is a national event organized by the American Public Transportation Association that promotes alternative forms of commuting that are cheaper and cleaner for the environment. The latest APTA report showed that a two-person household that downsizes to one car can save on average $10,174 per year.
"The Dump the Pump commuter challenge is a fun way to encourage Savannahians to explore their transportation options and remind them that traveling by car isn't always the fastest way to go,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. “Bicycling and transit are viable alternatives for many people and we hope this event will increase interest in affordable and healthy transportation."