What the Way 2 GO MAINE Commuter Challenge Is
The Way 2 GO MAINE Commuter Challenge runs October 1-31, 2018
and is a campaign
that creates 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
- 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.
- Driving an Electric Vehicle (sorry, no): Electric cars sometimes come up as a question. While electric passenger vehicles do help clear the air of emissions and we definitely recommend carpooling for electric vehicle owners (a win-win!), driving alone in an electric vehicle 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). 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 Columbus/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 let us know the total number of employees at your workplace via this quick form. This is important data 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 Categories: We have organizations categorized by Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large and XXL to keep competition more equitable: Small (0-25 employees), Medium (26-100 employees), Large (101-500), Extra-Large (501-1000), XXL (1001 and up). Thanks to continuing to collect more workplace employee data from you all, we are fine-tuning the percentage-of-participation algorithm!
- Internal Workplace Teams or Different Worksite Locations - hopefully next year: we weren't able to code for different business locations or campuses for the leaderboard this time around but are hoping to accomplish this for next year!
The Leaderboard, Races & Prize Questions
- People can sign up and participate at any time during October 1-31 - so no worries if your sign-ups trickle in!
- Results for greener trips, new GO MAINE members, and "team spirit" 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, 2018 (yes, that's September 1 to help get people signed up ahead of time) through October 31, 2018. 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:
- 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 at 10am on October 9th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. The grand prize winner will be selected and notified at 10am on November 1st. 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.
- 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 the Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) which is committed to building healthy, resilient, sustainable communities in Maine.
- Way 2 GO MAINE gifts/swag are also awarded to participants throughout the challenge. Sign up to be a Point Person at your workplace 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