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Campus Commuter Challenge kicks off Sept. 24, encourages use of sustainable transportation options
Campus Commuter Challenge kicks off Sept. 24, encourages use of sustainable transportation optionsSeptember 05, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Syracuse University employees who walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to campus between Sept. 24 and Oct. 24 can compete for prizes in SU’s first Campus Commuter Challenge, sponsored by the SU Office of Academic Affairs.
The Campus Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition among 24 schools, colleges and administrative divisions of SU and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to encourage employees to try more sustainable transportation options than driving alone to work. A team captain in each administrative unit will encourage co-workers to participate. Using a simple tool, employees will be able to log information about their regular commutes and if/when they try an alternative. The University Sustainability Action Coalition, which is organizing the challenge, will be providing tools to assist employees in finding alternative ways to commute. Bus schedules, bicycle maps and on-campus bicycle repair clinics will be available, as will assistance with setting up carpool groups. Team and individual prizes include a getaway to Niagara Falls, tickets to local events, bicycles and bicycle equipment.
Reducing automobile use has many benefits, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions, alleviating campus parking congestion, saving money on gas, improving air quality, reducing noise and traffic and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Alternative transportation modes also have benefits, including physical exercise, building community and reducing road rage and stress.
Many communities have held successful commuter challenges, including Ann Arbor, Mich., and Vancouver, British Columbia. Organizers report that by challenging people to try an alternative just once, they make it possible for a broad range of people to participate. More importantly, they find that after the first experience with alternative transportation, many people change to more sustainable commuting behaviors on a regular basis.
Full information on how to participate is available at http://enspire.syr.edu/CCC.