BEND, Ore. - After two decades, Commute Options Week, formerly a week-long event in June, will become the Drive Less Challenge. The Drive Less Challenge will be part of a statewide event taking place for the last two weeks in October.
The Challenge offers an opportunity for all Central Oregonians to voluntarily use a sustainable mode of transportation to commute to and from work for the duration of the Challenge.
"Anyone and everyone can participate in the Drive Less Challenge," says Kim Curley, community outreach coordinator for Commute Options.
Participants need only create a free, online account with Drive Less Connect (www.drivelessconnect.com), the statewide rideshare database, and begin logging sustainable commutes.
Sustainable commutes include any trip that involves a sustainable mode of transportation, including walking, biking, taking the bus, teleworking, carpooling/vanpooling, and even using a longboard/skateboard.
Using Drive Less Connect is easy. "Once you're registered, simply choose your option, log your trip and get rewards," says Curley. As with past commuter challenges, participants will receive rewards donated by local businesses for logged trips during the Challenge duration."We challenge drivers in all of Central Oregon – from The Dalles to Klamath Falls – to choose travel options to earn rewards," says Curley.
Despite past success with Commute Options Week in June, the new Drive Less Challenge format will encourage more carpool, vanpool and transit participation.
"It was just too easy to encourage biking and walking in June. In fact, it was almost cheating," she says.
With the introduction of Drive Less Connect in fall of 2011, more statewide resources have become available to Commute Options. "Joining the statewide challenge is part of a movement towards a more cohesive program in the state," says Curley.
Other events that previously occurred during Commute Options Week will still take place, but will be dispersed throughout the year.
These include the Walk + Bike to School Month (May), National Bike to School Day (May 8), Text Later, Share the Road event (June 9 at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre in Bend), Walk + Bike Trainings (June 21 in Eugene), and National Walk to School Day (October 9).
About Commute Options
Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. Through active transportation choice, Commute Options encourages healthy individuals, a clean environment, and a strong economy. Commute Options represents transportation options in our community by educating citizens, businesses and government about the value of carpooling, vanpooling, walking, bicycling, teleworking and using public transportation. For more information, visit www.commuteoptions.org.