What the Way 2 GO MAINE Commuter Challenge Is
The Way 2 GO MAINE Commuter Challenge runs October 1-31, 2019
and is a friendly competition between workplaces across the state to see how many employees can walk, bike, carpool or vanpool, take the bus or train, or telecommute to work.
It’s a fun and cost-free event that:
- Builds staff morale & teamwork
- Improves employee health & social connection
- Engages & rewards employees for commuting another way
- Shows workplace citizenship & connection with local communities
There will be prizes and raffles each week for those recording their green commutes
. And employers will compete for the top prizes of Most Green Trips, Most New GO MAINERS, and
the highly sought–after Most Team Spirit Award
Who Can Participate
WHat Does (and Does Not) Qualify as a Greener Commute for the Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge
- Way 2 GO MAINE is open to any individual traveling to work in Maine who is affiliated with a participating organization, as viewed on the leaderboard. If your organization is not listed under Find Organization on the Leaderboard (live starting October 1, 2019) - or you want to be sure ahead of time that you'll be listed - please register your workplace here. And encourage friends and family to regiser their workplaces!
- How Employers Can Participate: Participating is easy. Register your workplace here. All you need to do is:
- Send a few emails during the campaign to encourage employees to participate. (GO MAINE provides the language and images each week, so you can just cut and paste and send. Posters are also available.)
- Use this simple online request form to order Challenge swag items for your participating employees and provide a spot for employees to pick them up (pens, stickers, hats, backpacks, etc.)
- Encourage your employees and co-workers share their Commuter Profile via this online form. This helps inspire others to commute another way and helps us celebrate active GO MAINERS!
- How Individuals From Participating Employers Can Participate: Make sure your workplace is registered and then simply sign up at www.gomaine.org and start recording your green commute (or just continue to log your daily trips if you are already a GO MAINE member). Just make sure to your GO MAINE profile and see that your workplace is specified so that your results are counted! As a GO MAINE member you can also search for carpool partners, learn about the Emergency Ride Home benefit and earn year-round GO MAINE rewards, like discounts at local businesses. Start recruiting your fellow employees (and we'd love for you to sign up to be a Point Person!), buy that bus pass, put together that carpool, tune up your bike, lace up those shoes and get your creative juices flowing! Plus, we'd love to know more about YOUR commute! If you haven't already filled out your Commuter Profile, please take up to 5 minutes to quickly share your commute with us, via this online form. This helps inspire others to commute another way and helps us celebrate you and other active GO MAINERS!
- Transportation Tuesdays! Another fun way to participate is having your workplace host GO MAINE during the month of October. GO MAINE will come to your workplace to celebrate your employees who are commuting green and to spread the word about how others can save money, reduce stress, make sustainable choices and have fun - all while getting to work! Want us to greet your employees with goodies when they arrive in the morning? Want us to hang in the break room and answer questions? Want us to do a quick Lunch and Learn? We can do that! Have other ideas? Let’s talk! There are 5 Tuesdays in October but they’ll fill up quickly! (Of course we might be able to do a Transportation Thursday or two as well.) To reserve or for more info, contact Rebecca, GO MAINE Coordinator, email@example.com or (207) 482-8122.
- Walking, bicycling, taking the bus or train, carpooling or vanpooling and telecommuting are the standard greener commute options.
- Driving Part Way (yes!): If a co-worker has driven part way to work and then walked/biked/bused/trained/carpooled from there, that definitely counts! They just log the non-drive-alone portion of their trip to work.
- Carpooling with Another Adult/Driver from Your Household (yes!): If someone carpooled with another adult and/or driver (e.g. a teen driver) who is also a member of their household, that also definitely counts. One less car on the road!
- Rollerblading & Skateboarding (yes!): If co-workers use an alternate commuting mode like skateboarding or rollerblading to work - they can log their commute under either walk or bike. Whichever they prefer!
- Telecommuting (yes - but check out this note): if you would normally commute to work and are able to work from home or somewhere nearby, this qualifies as telecommuting for the Challenge. If you always work from home, then you can log your greener trips out to meetings or other work events, like biking across town to a team meeting.
- Commuting Outside Maine (check these details to see): the Challenge is open to all folks who are commuting to and/or from the State of Maine. So if you live in Dover, NH but work in Westbrook, ME, that works! Likewise if you live in Kittery and work in Dover, your trips definitely count. Similarly, if you're traveling to Philadelphia for a work trip by bus or train, feel free to log the trips for the day you leave Maine and the day you return. However, if you're going to be in Australia this month (even if you're walking and taking the bus - which is great!) or if you live and work in New York but for an office that's based in Maine and you bike most days (also awesome!) - unfortunately we can't count those trips as part of the Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge.
- Driving an Electric Vehicle or Very Low Emission Vehicle Such as a Scooter or Motorcycle (sorry, no): Electric cars, scooters and motorcycles sometimes come up as a question. Electric passenger vehicles and ultra low emission vehicles do help with improved air quality and less natural resources extraction. And we definitely recommend carpooling (or cycle-pooling) for these vehicle owners (a win-win!). However, driving alone in an electric vehicle or via scooter or motorcycle still adds to things like traffic congestion, wear & tear on road infrastructure, the demand for more road widening/expansion, and the demand for parking (meaning: having to provide land for parking that could have other productive uses instead - even though scooters and motorcycles require smaller parking spaces, it's true!) So GO MAINE works overall to support a decrease in drive-alone trips in Maine, through walking, bicycling, carpooling and vanpooling, taking the bus or train, and telecommuting.
- Note about Logging Trips on Holidays: The GO MAINE trip recording system is set up not to record reoccuring trips if they fall on common U.S. holidays, with the assumption that most people will not be working those days. However, many of us do work holidays, so the system has a way to handle that. To remove a holiday or add a day off to your calendar, simply Sign In, go to Trips>Trip Calendar, select the holiday date you would like to make sure you get credit for commuting and choose Remove Holiday. So, for example, if you bike to work every Monday and have set that up as a reoccurring trip in your GO MAINE account - just go to the Trip Calendar and select Indigenous Peoples' Day and choose Remove Holiday. Similarly you can do the opposite for holidays or days off that are not on the calendar but that you have observed. Just Sign In, go to Trips>Trip Calendar, select the date you took off from your regular commute and choose: Mark as Day Off or Observe Holiday.
Your Workplace Size
- The Number of People at Your Workplace: With new organizations signing up every day with GO MAINE (yay!) there is some lag time in placing workplaces in the proper size category. If you haven’t done so already, please register your workplace here. This important data on number of employees helps GO MAINE continue to improve the accuracy and fairness of the Most Green Trips and Most New GO MAINE Members races for the Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge.
- Workplace Size: Thanks to you registering your workplace as a participating organization we are fine-tuning the percentage-of-participation algorithm to ensure an even playing field between small and large companies and organizations!
- Internal Workplace Teams or Different Worksite Locations - hopefully next year: we weren't able to code for different business locations or campuses for this year but hoping for the next round!
The Leaderboard, Races & Prize Questions
- People can sign up at any time and can log (and backlog) any trips between October 1-31 - so no worries if your sign-ups trickle in!
- Results for the Most Greener Trips, Most New GO MAINE Members, and Most Team Spirit races are tallied up for each organization and updated overnight for each day of the month - and displayed on the leaderboard on the GO MAINE site (leaderboard goes live October 1).
- Greener trips are determined by counting the trips recorded by GO MAINERS during the period.
- New members are determined by counting the new GO MAINE members who signed up to join the program during the period of September 1, 2019 (yes, that's September 1 to help get people signed up ahead of time) through October 31, 2019. If you're worried why you're organization isn't showing up much under the New Member race on the leaderboard, it's likely because your workplace already has a lot of GO MAINE members - which is great! You'll have the advantage under the Greener Trips race - just encourage your co-workers to log those greener commutes they've make between October 1-31.
- "Team spirit" is updated weekly through GO MAINE staff's review of social media postings with #Way2GOMAINE and other promotional efforts undertaken by each organization, using a points system for number and quality of postings.
- Winners & Prizes:
- Weekly Prize Drawings:
- Each week there will be a prize drawing, drawn randomly from all those individuals who have recorded trips during that week. Weekly winners will be selected and notified via email. Winners will have 24 hours to respond and accept their prize, after which time a new winner will be selected. All winners agree to allow GO MAINE to use their photo and likeness (name, home town, and organization) for promotional purposes only. Minimum prize value of $100 each week. There will be a grand prize awarded at the end of the event.
- Also each week, there will be a prize drawing based on your type of commute! Week 1 there will be a prize drawing for bicycle commuters - so anyone who bikes to or from work at least one time that week will be entered to win a bicycle commute-related prize (e.g. a gift certificate to a bike shop). Week 2 there will be a drawing for bus and train riders. Week 2 for walking commuters and Week 4 for carpool and vanpool riders.
- Winners of the Leaderboard Races (Most Greener Trips, Most New GO MAINE Members, Most Team Spirit): At the conclusion of the event, winning organizations for each of the Leaderboard race and size categories will receive a framed photograph and certificate for the participating team and will have a donation given in the organization's name to a Maine non-profit that benefits transportation and/or the environment. For 2019 this is the Maine Cancer Foundation Access to Transportation Program, helping folks with transportation to their cancer treatments.
- Way 2 GO MAINE promotional items and swag are also awarded to participants throughout the challenge. Sign up to be a Point Person at your workplace to get access to the online request form, to make sure your participants receive their swag.
- Syncing with Strava: For those syncing their Strava data to track their trips: if not all commutes are showing up it may be because the start and end of your trip is fairly close to the same location (by Strava's standards, not ours!) To make sure your commutes count, you can manually start and end your commute trips in your Strava app.
- Syncing with Uber/Lyft: Maine does not currently have UberPool or Lyft Line services to enable carpooling with other Uber or Lyft riders - thus there is no option to sync with these via the GO MAINE trip logging system.
After Way 2 GO MAINE…
Still Have QUestions About the Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge - Or Want to Talk Through ANY Possibilities?
We love to be in touch! Please reach out to the Way 2 GO MAINE Team:
- Rebecca Grover, GO MAINE Program Coordinator - via email or phone: (207) 482-8122
- Sarah Cushman, Consultant to GO MAINE for the Way 2 GO MAINE Challenge - via email or phone: (207) 200-1910