Join us for the Commuter Challenge February 19-23

Plan Hillsborough staff members are ready to give their cars a break! Along with the Tampa Downtown Partnership, we invite you to join us in our second annual Commuter Challenge week, and leave the car at home to try another mode of transportation during the week of February 19th through February 23rd. You can participate by trying different way of getting around for a trip, a day, or the week, and share your experience with us on social media using the hashtag #CommuterChallenge18. We can’t wait to see your photos!

Last March, inspired by a similar effort at Tindale Oliver, Plan Hillsborough staff participated in an inaugural Commuter Challenge, holding a friendly competition where they left cars at home to try other modes of transportation to and from work and meetings. By the end of the week, a total of 223 trips were recorded in which staff walked, used transit, biked, carpooled, or used some other mode of transportation other than riding alone in a car. Through the Challenge, staff had an opportunity to try different transportation options available in the community, which helped inform their planning work and understanding of transportation choices.

This year, we are partnering with the Tampa Downtown Partnership and inviting others to join us and give our community’s cars some time off. In addition to the Challenge being a great opportunity to “literally walk the walk” when it comes to planning and transportation options, participants will also gain an opportunity to help air quality, avoid traffic, burn calories and save money.

We look forward to seeing how you give your car a break – be sure to share your travel with us at #CommuterChallenge18!

Commuter Stories

Riding PSTA allows me ample time to review work ahead of time and set my work day before it begins. My commute interestingly enough is about the same amount of time that it would take me to travel by car. Not only am I saving time, because I don’t have to deal with the hassle of finding parking once I’m in downtown, but the money I save is significant. My bus pass is supplied to me at a discounted rate through the County’s subsidy program, which also saves me a great deal of money. My bus pass is a dual pass that allows me to travel in Pinellas County as well as Hillsborough County. So I am able to use HART to travel to church in Tampa during the week, which is really convenient and easy as well.

Yeneka Mills, Senior Planner


So far for the commuter challenge, I have focused on carpooling. I have a lot of meetings out of the office making it hard to ditch my car completely. So I have made sure to carpool to those meetings or to and from work when I am able to. Carpooling has been surprisingly productive; it can be like extra meeting time with a co-worker. We covered a lot of work topics in a 15-20 minute ride. It’s also been a lot of fun getting to know people in a different way outside of our normal office environment. Plus it’s a fun challenge finding good angles for carpool selfies.

Melissa Zornitta, Executive Director


For the commuter challenge I wanted to try and take a different mode of transport every day. I decided to start with the bus. As a car-free resident of Tampa I already make use of many forms of transportation, but my go-to option is the bus. Since the county subsidizes our bus passes I use it to commute to work, to get to doctor’s appointments or even to get to piano lessons. I’m lucky enough to have a bus stop across the street from my apartment and my morning commute only takes 10 minutes. The best part of my morning commute is getting to take in the view of the Bay and the river on the way to work. It helps get me in a Zen state to take on the day.

Tatiana Gonzalez, Senior Planner


On the last day of the commuter challenge I decided to ride my bike in to the office. It gave me the chance to take the Selmon Greenway and check out the new landscaping and pocket parks. A breath of fresh air!

Christopher English, Webmaster