OGDEN -- Alan Phister had an Old West answer to the challenge of Alternative Transportation Week at Autoliv's Ogden plant: He rode his horse to work Wednesday.
Phister, a supervisor for launch quality engineering, said he wanted to find a different way to commute to work each day this week, so he saddled up Gunner, his son's half-quarter, half-thoroughbred, and trotted in from his home in West Haven.
"I got quite a few stares," he said. "I think people were wondering why that guy on a horse was going down Pennsylvania Avenue.
"When I got the memo, I decided I wanted to do something different, so I asked if I could ride my horse to work, and they said yes. I set up a little corral in the back and will ride him home after work."
Phister wasn't alone observing Alternative Transportation Week at the office. Dozens of the nearly 1,600 employees have chosen to ride bikes, carpool and take the bus to work this week.
"We are always trying to improve on things here at Autoliv," said Wade Page, environmental management systems coordinator. "Obviously, gas prices are high. Our parking lot is filled to the brim. We thought it would be a good idea to encourage people to take a few days finding other ways to get to work."
Page, who lives 10 miles from work by car, chose the bus, so his typical 10-minute commute turned into a 45-minute journey.
"That's OK, though. While I was waiting for the bus, I noticed a lot of cars with just one occupant," he said. "I think we can all think of different ways of transportation. We shouldn't wait for an emergency, like even higher gas prices, to happen before we think of different options."
Kathy Whitehead, manager of communications at Autoliv, said the company is always looking for ways to reduce the impact on the environment. The company is ISO 14001 certified, meaning it does its part in reducing harmful effects on the environment. In addition, the company is involved in several recycling programs.
"We want to make a difference," Whitehead said. "This is something that is extremely important to us. We want to be a benchmark in sustainability."
According to doughroller.net, alternative ways to commute include walking, running, riding a bike, rollerblading, riding a scooter, skateboarding and longboarding.
Phister plans to finish out the week commuting without a car.
"Tomorrow I'm riding my bike, and Friday I'll ride my motorcycle," he said. "I think this has been a great idea. It's given us an opportunity to get to work in more creative ways."