INDIANAPOLIS – Oct. 1 marks day one of a new challenge for people who typically drive themselves to work. Commuter Connect is encouraging people to find an alternative mode of transportation at least once a week for a month as part of the Commuter Challenge.
“Commuter Challenge is an opportunity for us to reward people for doing the right things like taking the bus, biking or walking to work in the month of October,” said Andrew McGee, manager of Commuter Connect.
People who register online can track their trips. Anytime they do something other than driving alone in their cars to get to work, they’ll be entered to win weekly drawings and a grand prize of a $500 gift card or an iPad.
McGee said it’s about encouraging people to learn more about their transportation options. Commuter Connect can put drivers in touch with other people who are interested in carpooling, vanpooling or biking together to work.
“The more people that drive alone, the more vehicles on the road, and that creates emissions from those vehicles and worse air quality for the city,” said McGee.
Indy Express Bus rider Lesley Farner said parking her car in Fishers and taking the bus downtown saves money and gives her a chance to relax on the way to work.
“I have a four-year-old at home, so it’s kinda nice to have a little bit of quiet time on the bus,” said Farner. She also said she saves money by not paying the $16 a day in the parking garage near her office.
People who ride find alternative modes of transportation at least three times a week can also become eligible for Commuter Connect’s Emergency Ride Home program. Commuter Connect will pay for a cab home for its public transit riders, carpoolers, vanpoolers, walkers and bikers five times a year if that person has an emergency during the day and has to get back home.
Farner said she used the service once. Knowing it’s available helps ease the fear many people have about being without their own car during the workday.