The Oregon Department of Transportation's 12-day Drive Less Challenge, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting down on roadway congestion (see related AASHTO Journal story here), resulted in an elimination of 652,960 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions while saving 33,608 gallons of gas and $223,479.
The campaign, which ran from Oct. 21-Nov. 1, encouraged Oregon drivers to seek other forms of transportation for those 12 days, including walking, biking, taking public transportation, or carpooling. ODOT's goal was to eliminate 500,000 vehicle miles traveled by single drivers from the roadways. ODOT reports that thousands of participants cut more than 900,000 miles during that 12-day period, far exceeding its goals. Those vehicle miles were reduced in many ways, as participants logged 21,885 bike trips, 12,500 carpool occurrences, 9,902 bus rides, 2,561 light rail trips, 147 streetcar rides, 7,805 walking trips, 2,106 telework instances, and 990 vanpool trips.
"It's pretty amazing that we exceeded our goal in this first-time, statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge," said ODOT Director Matt Garrett in a statement. "The great public response demonstrates how we can collectively make a difference, even just over 12 days, in reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions and helping to keep Oregon moving."
ODOT has been looking for ways to combat greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing congestion on its roadways for citizens. The state as a wholehas announced a goal to reduce these emissions to levels 75 percent below those experienced in 1990 by 2050. The Drive Less Challenge was created to have an impact on those numbers while also creating more awareness for citizens of their transportation options and behaviors.
Anyone 18 years of age or older that lives and/or works in the state was eligible to participate in the challenge. Many participants won prizes, made possible through Wells Fargo and Bike Friday. The more trips a participant logged, the greater the chance of winning prizes, which included Visa cash cards, a $2,600 credit for a custom-built folding bike, annual transit passes, Apple gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets, Nike gift cards, and many others.
Additional information on the Oregon Drive Less Challenge is available here.