Montana State University

MSU's Western Transportation Institute spearheads commuter challenge

April 25, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN – Area businesses and employees are encouraged to enter teams in the annual May Commuter Challenge, a friendly competition to promote walking, biking, public transportation or carpooling for work commutes in the Gallatin Valley.

The challenge, sponsored by Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute, the Human Resource Development Council District IX and the Bozeman Area Bicycle Advisory Board, runs May 12-23.

Last year nearly 300 Bozeman-area employees logged more than 10,000 miles during the area’s annual May Commuter Challenge. The 50 teams logged 6,085 miles by bike, 391 miles by foot, 3,759 miles by carpool and 671 miles by bus. In 2012, 225 people on 28 teams participated.

This Challenge is intended to raise awareness of how commuters might replace drive–alone car trips with walking, biking, riding the Streamline bus or carpooling, all of which can improve air quality and save money. According to AAA, in 2013 the average cost for driving 15,000 miles per year ranged from about $7,000 for a small car to $11,000 for a large sedan. In the case of walking or biking, the health benefits of regular exercise are well known and run the gamut from increased physical fitness, to reduced stress, to increased mental sharpness.

For more information and to sign up, visit www.ridesharemt.com. The Montana ride-sharing site, which can be used throughout the year, provides a tool to help people find carpools for trips to work and health care and child care facilities. In addition, anyone who logs miles on the site can track calories burned, emissions reduced and dollars saved. 

Ridesharemt.com is a service of the Western Transportation Institute, or WTI, which was established in 1994 to provide innovative solutions to transportation problems at all levels, from local to international.  WTI is a university transportation center focused on rural transportation issues. More information about the WTI is available at www.westerntransportationinstitute.org.

Contact: Rebecca Gleason, Western Transportation Institute, (406) 994-6541, rebecca.gleason@coe.montana.edu.