Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day to show your love and affection! Introducing Carpool Love, a new event brought to you by Commute Options and the City of Bend that proves that good things happen to those who share. If you haven’t thought about carpooling or haven’t organized a carpool yet, February 1st is the perfect day to start.

How can you start spreading the Carpool Love? The event will run from February 1 through February 15, 2019. During that period, all adult carpool trips will count – to and from work, to college, or for personal or recreational activities. Carpooling to work with coworkers is a great way to start, but keep in mind that you can also carpool for personal trips, like sharing rides up to Mt. Bachelor, or running errands. Carpoolers must all be at least 18 years of age and must live, work, or go to college in Deschutes County.

It’s easy to participate in Carpool Love. First, make sure you have an account at Drive Less Connect. If you don’t have an account already, it’s easy to set one up. Then, from February 1 through February 15, log your carpool trips on Drive Less Connect website or the mobile app, Icarpool Triplogger. During Carpool Love, you’ll also receive the Commute Options Annual Survey, so be sure to complete that as part of the program.

No carpool partner? No worries, we can help! Just create a “ridematch trip” in the Drive Less Connect website to match up with others who are going your direction. Through the ride match database, you can contact other people directly, but your personal information remains private, so it’s a great tool to give a ride or get a ride.

Participants will also receive a survey as part of the event and those who complete the survey and have logged a minimum of two days of carpool activity each week will be eligible to win weekly prizes. Additionally, carpoolers that have logged at least four carpool trips will be eligible for Grand Prize Drawings, to be awarded on February 18. Local businesses have donated prizes such as $200 gift card from Ruffwear, snow gear and fat bike rentals from Pine Mountain Sports, $100 from the Old Mill District, and $100 in Downtown Bend Dollars.

Pine Mountain Sports employee Henry Abel believes that carpooling is good for business and our community. Abel said, “We’re trying to do our part to encourage our friends, neighbors, and customers to share a ride whenever possible. Carpooling helps reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, reduces pollution, and cuts down on the traffic and congestion in our little mountain towns. Carpooling to the trailheads and to Mt. Bachelor reduces traffic on Century Drive. What better way to start your ski day than to meet your friends for a coffee and share a ride to and from the mountain or trailhead? Share that ride again on the way home and you can swap stories and high-fives.”

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