Thursday November 5, 2020
CAC honors 2020 ACT award recipients
The Central Texas Clean Air Coalition (CAC) on Wednesday recognized City of Austin’s Transportation Demand Management Program and Travis County Judge, Samuel Biscoe, with its 2020 Air Central Texas awards for making significant contributions to improving the region’s air quality.
Austin’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program received the 2020 Air Central Texas Outstanding Organization Award for its commitment to decreasing the drive alone rate within Austin to reduce the impact of transportation emissions on regional air quality. In 2020, the TDM program’s public-facing Smart Trips Austin initiative expanded services city-wide to serve all Austinites by providing transportation information and personalized support in planning sustainable trips. Additionally, Smart Trips Austin launched a TDM resource website, GetThereATX.com. The site provides residents, employers, schools, and visitors with information about using sustainable modes of transportation to travel throughout Austin. For its own staff, the TDM program promotes the initiative, Commute Connections. In 2020, the program piloted the deployment of an electric bicycle (e-bike) fleet that allows employees to bike for mid-day trips instead of driving. The e-bikes have averaged 100 miles per month since the launch, and the pilot program inspired other Austin city departments to create their own e-bike fleet for employees. When the COVID-19 shut-downs occurred, the TDM program loaned the e-bikes to essential city workers who were still required to commute to work but had lost their sustainable commute option. The TDM Program demonstrates a continued and long-lasting commitment to improve environmental outcomes in the region.
Travis County Judge Samuel Biscoe received the 2020 Bill Gill Central Texas Air Quality Leadership Award for his long and distinguished record of leadership and advocacy for protecting Central Texas’ air quality as a county judge and former CAC chair. Biscoe played a key role in ensuring that Travis County supported the region’s air quality plans in order to maintain attainment of federal air quality standards. When the region came close to violating the federal air quality standards for ozone in 2009, Travis County, under Biscoe’s leadership, developed “The Big Push” to educate the community and ensure the county used the most effective measures to change daily activities contributing to high ozone days. Biscoe served as a served as CAC representative for more than 10 years in order to support the regional effort toward the improvement of air quality.
The Air Central Texas Awards celebrate the activities by organizations and individuals that have made significant contributions to the region’s air quality and inspire future actions to support the Clean Air Coalition’s ongoing regional air quality planning efforts.