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MORPC Challenge Could Reward Commuters For Ditching Driving Alone

The Mid-Ohio Planning Commission wants Central Ohioan to think differently about their daily commute, and they hope a little friendly competition may spur the switch to healthier forms of transportation. 

 MORPC and a variety of transportation organizations have issued the Central Ohio Commuter Challenge, which runs through Sunday June 9th, to try wean people away from driving alone.

     MORPC's Leslie Petrilla says the challenge starts by registering an account at the agency's Gohio Commute platform.

"You put in your home and your work address, and your select the dates that you commute during this week sustainably, and then you choose your mode.  And so whenever you log a trip that way I will automatically get it, and you will be able to win prizes.  But you'll also be able to see how many carbon emmissions you're reducing, how much money you're saving, and how many calories you're burning.  So besides being able to win prizes, you'll also be able to see the benefits."

     COTA, Smart Columbus, CoGo Bike Share, Lyft and Enterprise are particiapting in the contest, which offers daily drawings as well as a grand prize. And Petrilla says - for the purposes of the Challenge - almost any alternative will do.

"Anything that's not a single-occupancy vehicle.  That includes vanpooling, carpooling - so if you're driving with even just one other person you can log that - taking public transit, COTA, biking, and walking, and scooters."  

     MORPC estimates that by 2050, an additional 1 million people will call Central Ohio home.  Petrilla says one way to prevent long term gridlock is to get people to change the way they think about commuting.

Find out more about the Central Ohio Commuter Challenge on the MORPC website. 

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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