The first statewide Oregon DriveLessChallenge kicks off next week, with the goal of reducing vehicle miles traveled by a half-million during a 12-day stretch from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1.
The Challenge — open to individuals age 18 and older who live and/or work in the state — is being spearheaded by the Oregon Department of Transportation as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage alternative transportation to reduce congestion.
“We’re pleased to launch this effort, in conjunction with our partners around the state, aimed at connecting Oregonians with the many different transportation options available — options that can help save money, improve community health and preserve our high quality of life in Oregon,” said ODOT Director Matt Garrett.
Individuals can help reduce vehicle miles traveled in many ways. Instead of driving to work alone, try carpooling, vanpooling, walking, riding a bike, or taking public transit. Or take a different mode of transportation, instead of driving alone, to run errands, go to lunch, or visit a friend. Each of these qualifies as one trip in which you helped reduce vehicle miles traveled.
To participate in the challenge, register at the website, http://www.drivelessconnect.com/challenge and then log in your carpool, vanpool, telework, bus, rail, walk, bike, and skate trips. Participants will have several ways to win a variety of prizes, thanks to sponsors Wells Fargo and Bike Friday, and the more times you log in trips, the greater your chances are of winning a prize.
Anyone interested in participating can request informational mode kits that include a free travel tool that makes using transportation options more comfortable, safe and fun (while supplies last); examples include a free pedometer or leg strap for cycling.
Local transportation options providers are offering assistance in finding carpools or vanpools, navigating bus schedules and routes, determining bike routes and answering challenge-related questions. To find your local transportation options providers, visit http://drivelessconnect.com/local-support.
ODOT provides support for transportation options providers that cover about 97 percent of the state. More details about the Oregon DriveLessChallenge can be found at www.DriveLessConnect.com/challenge.