Seattle Children’s places a lot of emphasis on encouraging employees to find alternative ways to commute, rather than driving alone. We are committed to reducing traffic in the neighborhood around the hospital campus; we want to be good stewards of our environment by reducing vehicle emissions; and we want to use our resources to care for patients – not create more parking spaces.

Throughout the year, Children’s “Star Commuter” program recognizes employees who demonstrate diligence and creativity in using transportation alternatives. We share their stories with staff to encourage people to think about how alternative commuting could work for them. Now, we’d like to share their stories with you!

Elizabeth “Tizzy” Bennett’s transportation modes to and from work include busing, walking, biking, occasionally driving and her most fun alternate commute… cross-country skiing.

This 29-year Seattle Children’s employee was named a Star Commuter based on her stellar – and sometimes unorthodox – alternate commuting habits.

“Being in the car does not help me unwind,” says Tizzy, director of Guest Services, Partnerships and Advocacy. “It is not relaxing to me.”

Tizzy started alternate commuting about eight years ago, primarily by bus. From time to time, she also bikes to work or walks the full four-mile trek each way from her northeast Seattle home to the hospital. On a few different occasions when snow has blanketed our city — making driving to work impossible – Tizzy strapped on her cross-country skis and hit the slopes… of the neighborhoods, that is. She says these instances were her most memorable and fun commutes.

 Tizzy’s commute got even better this October when the King County Metro Route 65 added a stop just two blocks from Children’s main hospital campus. It runs more frequently during peak commute times, and the convenient location makes alternate commuting a breeze for Tizzy.

“One of the things I love about being a bus commuter is I get some exercise walking to and from the bus stop,” she says. “I start my morning being outside and getting a little exercise and I end my day with a little exercise. Tying commute and exercise together is great.”

“Riding the bus has a lower impact on the environment; I free up a parking space; and I get a little exercise,” Tizzy continues. “So, it’s good for the environment, good for the hospital and good for me.”