For Immediate Release
Date: June 18, 2015
The trusty bicycle held on to its title as the fastest commute downtown during the eighth annual Dump the Pump Challenge on Thursday.
Savannah Bicycle Campaign member Jen Colestock pedaled across the City Hall finish line at 8:18 a.m., 22 minutes after departing the 12 Oaks Shopping Center south of DeRenne Avenue. She was followed 2 minutes later by Parrish Herron of the Savannah Mobility and Parking Services Department. Herron drove his fire engine red Dodge Charger RT. Thirty seconds later, Chatham Area Transit Analyst Enoch Dumas crossed the line after riding comfortably in the Abercorn 14 bus to downtown.
“We all know that alternative forms of transportation such as cycling and mass transit save you money and are better for the environment, but what this shows is they can often save you time, too,” said Alderwoman Mary Ellen Sprague.
Sprague presented the coveted Dump the Pump medal to Colestock – her third straight victory – then listed a number of benefits of bike riding and transit, including:
- Families downsizing to one car can save them an average of $9,569 per year
- Public transportation reduces foreign dependence on oil by 4.2 billion gallons per year, and reduces carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually
- Public transportation is a necessity for those who cannot afford a car, or who may be too old, young or disabled to operate one.
- Cycling helps you sleep better, look younger, get smarter, have better sex and live longer.
- Cycling reduces congestion, eases parking demands, increases air quality and decreases noise pollution.
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. “Cycling is the best part of my day.”
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 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."