The SmartCommute Challenge wrapped up on June 1st, and with 8,630 participants saving over 1 million commuter miles, Triangle residents that took the challenge can be proud to say they contributed to something wonderful.
Driving alone has high costs, both obvious and hidden. For the driver, there are the obvious costs of gas, auto maintenance and insurance, but also the hidden costs of stress and less exercise. For the community, there are the monetary costs of our roadway infrastructure, but also the costs of increased local air pollution, high CO2 emissions, and dependence on foreign oil. For each one of us, driving alone every day can undermine our own quality of daily life. Added together, our driving habits threaten to decrease the Triangle’s quality of life. But there is a solution – Smart Commuting!
This year’s SmartCommute Challenge, coordinated by GoTriangle and SmartCommute@rtp, encouraged people to try a commute alternative —teleworking, carpooling, vanpooling, taking the bus, biking or walking— at least once between April 1 and June 1, 2011. The Challenge was open to employees and college students who live, work, or attend school in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties. Participants were eligible to win prizes – this year, the SmartCommute Challenge is giving away over $10,000 in prizes! And once again, we made a big difference! When we followed up with participants after the Challenge ended, 96% reported following through on their pledges, and two-thirds of those were willing to continue SmartCommuting at least once a week! Thank you to all of the sponsors and participating employers who made the 2011 Challenge possible, and thanks to everyone who took the challenge this year!
Finally, here are some quick stats to show just how much of difference our SmartCommuters made.
- Miles Saved: 1,132,054.8 – The equivalent of about 5 trips to the moon
- Gallons of Gasoline Saved: 50,313.5 – Enough to fill 1,006 bathtubs
- Pounds CO2 Saved: 1,006,271 – The weight of 335 female hippos
- Pounds of nitrogen oxide air pollutants (NOX) saved: 2,768.6 – The average weight of 15 adult Americans
- Pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOC) saved: 3,315.8 – The weight of 121 gold bars
Great job, Triangle! We’ll be celebrating our success, recognizing our photo and video contest winners, and honoring some very special commuters at the Golden Modes on July 8th. RSVP for the event here.
And remember, even though the SmartCommute Challenge is over, it’s never too late to try a smart commute. RTP employees should visit www.SmartCommute.org for more information on ways to get started.