Research Triangle Park, NC (June 15, 2020) – Triangle commuters who excelled at reducing their carbon footprints over the past five years will be among those recognized this month during an online event sponsored by GoTriangle’s Employer Services Department and the Best Workplaces for Commuters.
Those who chose not to drive alone in their cars and lowered their potential greenhouse-gas emissions by 10 tons will receive gold medals. Reductions of 5 tons will earn silver and of 2 tons bronze.
The virtual event, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on June 25, will include a welcome from Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and a keynote address from Lindsay Gavin of The Center for Advanced Hindsight, which uses insights into human behavior to help organizations and individuals increase financial well-being or health outcomes.
Anyone interested in participating in the event can sign up at gotriangle.org/rsvp. Log-in information will be sent separately.
“Hearing the insight on behavior from the Center for Advanced Hindsight should really help anyone trying to create even more useful commuting programs that allow employers to focus on their people and the planet as well as profits,” says Eric Bergstraesser, GoTriangle’s chief operating officer. “Our Employer Services Department can work with a business, school or agency to develop or improve plans whether it wants to show workers how to combine a commute with a bike ride or expand their social circles with a carpool or learn to use transit. We also can help businesses establish a telework program, especially useful now during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Also at the June 25 event, Best Workplaces for Commuters will announce the entities that have earned inclusion on the elite list of employers for 2019 and recognize companies that are celebrating milestone anniversaries. Best Workplaces for Commuters recognizes members based on whether they offer outstanding commuter benefits, such as free or low-cost bus passes, vanpool fares and strong telework programs. With 25 member companies in the Triangle, Best Workplaces for Commuters is dramatically improving the way people get to and from work.
For determining its medal winners, GoTriangle was able to calculate how many fewer emissions commuters produced because of the Share the Ride NC website. Those who sign up at Share the Ride NC can track their smart commutes – walking, bicycling, carpooling, vanpooling, teleworking or using transit to get to work – and find out how much money they save and how much carbon they don’t produce by not driving alone.
During 2019, Triangle commuters who were signed up at STRNC saved nearly a million pounds of greenhouse gases, the highest yearly savings recorded since the Transportation Demand Management program began tracking it. The TDM program, part of the Employer Services Department, is funded with grants from the NC Department of Transportation and also helps employers and universities offer smart alternatives to drive-alone commuting.
The ultimate TDM goal is to reduce the rate of growth in the number of miles that commuters drive alone in their vehicles. In 1999, the Ambient Air Quality Improvement Act set a 25 percent reduction goal by July 1, 2009. North Carolina surpassed the goal by reducing the growth by 25.2 percent.
154% over goal in 2019
Since 2009, the Triangle region TDM program, which includes GoTriangle and multiple university and government partners, has exceeded the yearly target set by the N.C. General Assembly by an average of more than 110 percent. In 2019, the target for reducing growth in Vehicle Miles Traveled was 27.7 percent and the Triangle saw a reduction of 70.3 percent, more than 154 percent over the goal.
In 2019, more than 100,000 trips were logged on Share the Ride NC, and commuters tracked more than a million miles of biking, taking the bus, carpooling, vanpooling or walking to work.
Commuters can download the new Share the Ride NC app and get started tracking their own trips and monitoring gas and monetary savings today. Triangle residents also can earn points for GoTriangle’s GoPerks program and enter chances to win gift cards to local businesses.
“We could not reward commuters for choosing options besides driving alone if not for our sponsors,” says Shelly Parker, TDM manager at GoTriangle. “Even during the pandemic, we have had their support so we can continue to encourage employees to choose a sustainable commute. During the past three months, that has included making sure employers have access to the telework program guidance and sample policies we provide.”
Find out more at gotriangle.org/awards-recognition