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Way 2 GO MAINE Commuter Challenge Results in Cost Savings, Health Benefits, and Reduced Pollution

Released: 11/02/2018

 
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 Challenge. This fun, free event encourages Mainers to try commuting to work in a “green” fashion, including walking, taking the bus or train, biking, carpooling and telecommuting rather than driving alone. Participants were rewarded during the month with free prizes and their green commutes were highlighted through photos and stories as a way to encourage competition. The Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge is also an opportunity to celebrate those who already use green commutes.

During the Challenge, commuters take a green trip; record it and then their business gets points in 2 races for the Most Greener Trips and the Most New GO MAINE Members. There is also the 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 second year of the event, run by GO MAINE, a program of the Maine Turnpike Authority and the MaineDOT, whose mission it is to promote healthy, economical and eco-friendly ways to get to work. This year GO MAINE also awarded a prize to a “Rock Star Rookie”, for an employer competing for the first time with an abundance of enthusiasm.

Rebecca Grover, GO MAINE Coordinator said, “Way 2 GO MAINE is 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:
Greener Trips
                XXL Organization- Maine Medical Center/MaineHealth
                XL Organization- Tyler Technologies
                Large Organization- Maine College of Art
                Medium Organization-Gulf of Maine Research Institute
                Small Organization- ESRI
 
New GO MAINE Members
                XXL Organization- University of New England
                XL Organization- Tyler Technologies
                Large Organization- Maine College of Art
                Medium Organization- Gulf of Maine Research Institute
                Small Organization- ESRI
 
Most Team Spirit- Greater Portland Council of Governments
Rock Star Rookie- Diversified Communications
 
A new winner this year was Maine Medical Center/MaineHealth. Chris Chop, Maine Medical Center’s Commuter Choice Program Manager, said, “We loved Way 2 GO Maine because it used friendly competition as a way to generate interest in alternative commuting. It also was a great way to build camaraderie among our employees.”

“For the winning employer in each category, GO MAINE is making a donation in their name to the Maine Environmental Education Association. So employers are doing good twice, by participating in Way 2 GO and also by winning.” Grover said.

17,629 greener trips were taken across the state during Way 2 GO MAINE 3,382 Mainers participated and 388 new members signed up. This included 5,948 rideshare trips (this includes carpool and vanpool trips), 2,716 bike trips, 4,890 public transportation trips, and 3,632 walking trips. In all, Way 2 GO MAINE participants saved almost 11,000 gallons of gas, $137,000, and burned 654,000 calories.

 “We are thrilled to have so many returning and new businesses compete this year. Those numbers are amazing, just looking at the money savings alone for folks. And Maine is a big state. We’re excited to make it even bigger next year.” Grover said.

Challenge photos are available for use here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1l6LpdAhNCN6xTHXYm1ryPp01g_d_BCaC
For more information on this year’s event go to: https://www.gomaine.org/Programs/Way-2-GO-MAINE

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