MARKET: City of Alexandria
DURATION: 2013 - 2015
COMPONENTS: Strategic Planning, Creative Development (Digital, Collateral), Public Relations, Partnerships, Outreach


City of Alexandria Commuter Challenge

The City of Alexandria’s Local Motion program was created to help employers in the City of Alexandria enable their employees to get to work as quickly, easily and sustainably as possible.
The Commuter Challenge began in order to promote the use of alternative transportation, while encouraging teamwork, in order to win a grand prize.


The Challenge

Each spring, the City of Alexandria hosts an annual Commuter Challenge event in the format of a competition amongst employers. The Challenge encourages employees in the City of Alexandria to use alternative transportation and teleworking to commute to work. However, the event grew slowly over its first four years, and was limited to a small number of employers.

The Idea

Build a culture around the City of Alexandria’s Commuter Challenge to promote it as a City initiative, and not just a promotional tool for public transit. By establishing a sense of community around the challenge, employers would see participation as a way to fully engage with their fellow businesses and the city itself, therefore increasing participation.

We have a big population of employees who already take the metro and the bus and carpool, so I thought it would be a great way to get everyone engaged and kind of build team and morale.
— Winoka Clements, Watermark Retirement Communities


The Solution

To take the 2015 Commuter Challenge to the next level, we changed the focus of the Challenge from just promoting Public Transit to promoting the overall culture in Alexandria. To do so, we took a number of initiatives including reaching out to the City’s Mayor for support, soliciting prizes from local vendors and increasing the online presence of the event through various forms of social media, video and e-mail campaigns. These efforts resulted in a huge increase in participation throughout the City of Alexandria.

Our theme for 2015 is ‘make health a habit’ for our employees and so with the Commuter Challenge whether its walking to work or walking even to the bus stop or to the Metro it could be another alternative way for them to incorporate health into their daily life which we’re really excited about.
— Valerie Johnson, Catholic Charities USA