Reduced gasoline costs and carbon emissions, less wear and tear on vehicles, active transportation, and daily raffle prizes all have one thing in common—the Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The sixth annual Drive Less Challenge, held from October 1-15, called upon Oregonians from across the state to try transportation options such as carpooling, walking, biking, riding the bus and teleworking.

Every year during the Challenge, employees at all types of businesses and work sites log their non-drive-alone trips for the two weeks. The 2018 Drive Less Challenge was a huge success in central and eastern Oregon. From the Columbia River in the north to Klamath Falls in the south, across to the Idaho border, we showed a solid commitment to the effort by choosing to walk, bike, carpool, ride a bus or telework.

The Drive Less Challenge is one of the many ways that show how choosing transportation options can positively benefit our communities, environment and pocketbook. All combined, people in central and eastern Oregon made 16,734 trips using transportation options over the fifteen days! During the 15-day challenge, participants logged a total of 6,250 bike trips, 5,024 carpool trips, 289 bus trips, 3,951 walking trips, 932 telework trips, 190 compressed workweek trips, and 30 vanpool trips. These actions resulted in:

  • 134,633 miles of non-single occupant vehicle miles logged.
  • 87,695 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions kept from entering the atmosphere.
  • 4,344 gallons of gasoline saved.
  • $33,109 of cost savings associated with driving.

Participants logged their commute miles through the Drive Less Connect website and had the chance to win daily prizes from local businesses such as The Gear Fix, Ruffwear, Strictly Organic Coffee, Cascade Financial Strategies and Cascade East Transit.

City of Bend Project Engineer Rory Rowan who won one of the prizes said, “I have been biking to work for almost 10 years and I really appreciate the support and encouragement Commute Options provides to my coworkers and I. On many days during the Drive Less Challenge I’ve counted more than 20 bikes in the back of our office. I’m glad we have commuting challenges like this that really bring us together as a team.”

Kim Curley of Commute Options and local lead organizer for the Challenge adds, “This years Drive Less Challenge was better than ever, and more people participated this year than any other years. We thank our Commute Options Partners for encouraging their employees to take the Challenge and to our local sponsors that provided prizes to participants.”

If we can have such a large impact in just two weeks, just think about what we can do over the course of a year. Your business or workplace can sign up to be a Commute Options Partner to help support your employees walking, biking, carpooling and riding the bus to and from work. Through this program, workers can log their trips and get rewards. The Commute Options Partner program is nice add-on to your company’s health and wellness benefits or is a great stand-alone benefit. To learn more about how to sign up your business, contact Kim Curley.

Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647  Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend.