PORTLAND Maine- In celebration of National Rideshare Month, commuters from workplaces across Maine competed to take the most green commutes to work, for the WAY 2 GO MAINE Business Vs Business Challenge. This fun, free event encourages Mainers to try commuting to work in a “green” fashion, including walking, taking the bus or train, biking, car or van pooling and telecommuting rather than driving alone. The Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge is also an opportunity to celebrate those who already use green commutes.
There are 3 races as part of Way 2 GO MAINE.
- Most New GO MAINERs, the prize goes to the employers who sign up the most people for GOMAINE.
- Most Green Trips, where businesses compete to get the most folks to take green commute.
- Most Team Spirit race, determined by the fun and creative ways businesses show off their commutes and enthusiasm on social media.
An online leaderboard was updated daily and showed all the races so participants could track how they were doing.
This is the third year of the event, run by GO MAINE, a program of the Maine Turnpike Authority and the MaineDOT, whose mission it is to support healthy, economical and eco-friendly ways to get to work. Rebecca Grover, GO MAINE Coordinator said, “Way 2 GO MAINE is a way to make your commute, that is often pretty dull, expensive and stressful, into something fun and different. It is also a chance for GO MAINE to spread the word about all the options we offer for commuters: our year-round rewards program for commuters, our online carpool matching service and our Emergency Ride Home benefit.”
This year’s winners are:
XXL Organization- Maine Medical Center/MaineHealth (Winner in 2018)
XL Organization- Tyler Technologies (Winner in 2018)
Large Organization- CIEE
Medium Organization-Gulf of Maine Research Institute (Winner in 2018)
Small Organization- VETRO FiberMap
New GO MAINE Members
XXL Organization- University of New England
XL Organization- Bowdoin College
Large Organization- Bangor Savings Bank
Medium Organization- Coastal Enterprises
Small Organization- VETRO FiberMap
Most Team Spirit- University of New England
New to Way 2 GO MAINE this year was Bangor Savings Bank. “GO MAINE was great to work with, they made it easy for us and for our employees to participate in the challenge. Employees here at Bangor Savings Bank were interested in and excited about this opportunity,” according to Kate Rush, Director of Community Relations at Bangor Savings Bank.
“For the winning employer in each category, GO MAINE is making a donation in their name to the Maine Cancer Foundations Access to Care Program, providing transportation for Mainers to get to their cancer treatments. So, employers are doing good twice, by participating in Way 2 GO and also by winning.” Grover said.
During the challenge the participating commuters made over 17,000 green commute trips, saved almost $130,000, burned 740,000 calories and saved over 10,000 gallons of gas. In October participating employers also signed up 626 new members of GO MAINE. How participants commuted was split at about 25% each for carpooling, walking and using transit. Bike commutes made up 17%, vanpool trips 6% and 3% of the participants telecommuted.
“We are thrilled to have folks from other parts of the state participate this year, we want to make sure it is truly a statewide event. It’s great to see that some employers in Brunswick and Bangor did so well in the races.” Grover said.
Challenge photos are available for use here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nFdiKSOQUNrbaav1hKd-nKAFhwlDgQVG?usp=sharing
For more information on this year’s event go to: https://www.gomaine.org/Programs/Way-2-GO-MAINE