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Don McDowell

All Star Coach March 2008
Employer: Spokane County

As the Quality Improvement Coordinator and ETC for 10 years, Don McDowell, Spokane County, is a huge advocate of commute alternatives. Unable to ride the bus any more because of a move and schedule change, Don still walks the talk by riding the bus and walking to offsite meetings, in addition to working a compressed work schedule.

With over 2,000 employees and only 737 parking spots, Don takes every opportunity to promote commute alternatives to employees. Starting with new hire orientation, other CTR program elements include a guaranteed ride home program, preferential and free parking for vanpools and carpools, bike racks, lockers and showers. Bus riders, carpoolers and vanpools receive a $33 monthly subsidy and bikers and walkers receive a $50 gift card of their choice by bicycling or walking 3x a week for 4 months. Prize drawings held each month also encourages employees to give it a try.

Recently implementing the Smart Card for all County employees, ridership jumped from 140 to 310 bus riders. One of his biggest challenges Don faces is helping employees overcome their fears. Known for going the extra mile, Don will ride the bus with employees for the first time. His 30 member committee is also a key to Don’s success. Way to Go Don!