March 27, 2012

Valley Metro’s ‘Rideshare Week’ reduces trips, pollution

Commuters who pitched in to help reduce travel during Phoenix-based Valley Metro’s 2012 Rideshare Week, held from Feb. 26 to March 3, saved 213,139 miles from being traveled and more than four tons of pollution from being emitted into the air. Traveling just 48.7 miles creates one pound of pollution and contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and the creation of particulate matter.

Twenty-nine employers in the Valley competed in the "Try 1 in 5" Rideshare Week Employer Challenge as a way to rally the highest percentage of participation among organizations. In addition, their efforts were measured in miles of travel saved, which clearly demonstrates the impact on trip reduction and air quality efforts. Employers encouraged their employees to carpool, vanpool, ride transit, bike, walk or telework at least one day out of the five to show that even a small but consistent effort can make a big difference.

“The bottom line is that everyone in the Valley is a winner when commuters reduce trips,” said Dawn Coomer, Valley Metro transportation demand manager. “Trip reduction has a direct impact on air quality and traffic congestion year round.”

Winning companies were selected based on having the highest percentage of participation out of a total number of employees. In the small employer category, 50 to 500 employees, WorldatWork saved 4,801 drive-alone miles with 46.4% employee participation. In the medium employer category, 501 to 1,000 employees, Desert Mountain Club saved 52,784 drive-alone miles with 23.6% employee participation. In the large employer category, 1,000-plus employees, SRP saved 43,440 drive-alone miles with 7.7% employee participation.

The winning organizations will receive special recognition at the Clean Air Campaign Awards luncheon held this fall. All employers participating in the challenge are part of the Maricopa County Trip Reduction Program.

In addition, there were randomly selected individual commuters who won prizes for making their pledge to Try 1 in 5 during the week receiving prizes such as an Arizona Cardinals autographed football and brunch for two at the Wrigley Mansion. Commuters who registered on www.ShareTheRide.com and tracked their trips were eligible for the donated prizes.

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