Green Commute Challenge kicks off Sept. 19

Sep 13, 2022
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Contacts: Rachel Krause, RideshareKC Program Outreach Coordinator, rkrause@marc.org, 816-701-8201
Kristin Johnson-Waggoner, Public Affairs Program Director, kjohnsonwaggoner@marc.org, 816-701-8219

RideshareKC will hold this year’s Green Commute Challenge from Sept. 19 to Oct. 28. The program’s goal is to reduce the number of single-occupant cars on Kansas City region roads and improve air quality.

Throughout the challenge, participants log commuter trips using alternative transportation modes such as biking, walking, scooter, carpool, vanpool, transit or teleworking. Those trips earn points for their team and enter them into drawings to win prizes from many local businesses. Employers and residents in the Kansas City region are eligible to join the challenge.

Registration for the Green Commute Challenge is open now. Find out more and register at RideshareKC.org.

"So much has changed in the last few years — and commuting and transportation habits in the Kansas City area are no exception,” said Rachel Krause, RideshareKC outreach coordinator. “The Green Commute Challenge is a great way to connect with your co-workers and show that the region cares about sustainable transportation. With so much collective interest in sustainability, climate action and, not to mention gas prices, there's never been a better time to switch up your commute." 

Greener commutes can have many positive impacts on the region:

  • Fewer harmful emissions — During the warmer months of the year, from March 1 through Oct. 31, the Kansas City region is more likely to experience ozone pollution, which occurs when emissions from cars, trucks and other sources interact with heat and sunlight. Ozone pollution is harmful for everyone to breathe, especially children and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma or emphysema.
  • Health benefits — In addition to contributing to better air quality, commuters who use sustainable transportation can gain health benefits from reduced stress and increased physical activity. Commuters can also save money on gas and vehicle expense.s
  • Lessen impacts of climate change — As outlined in the Kansas City Regional Climate Action Plan, reductions in the amount of travel and the use of fuel sources that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions are ways to reduce the impact of the transportation sector on climate change.

"Being a green commuter doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor,” Krause said. “You can start with one or two days of carpooling, biking or riding transit to work. Can you walk or ride a scooter to a meeting instead of driving? If child care or school drop-off is a regular part of your day, try parking your car near your children's school or daycare and bike or ride the bus to work from there. Even small changes can have a big impact on your individual wellbeing and our regional air quality and traffic."

During 2021’s challenge, 20 teams and 260 participants logged 34,741 trips, saving a total of 51,266 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 1,514 gallons of fuel and $6,246 of gas money.

RidshareKC is a program of the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). MARC and RideshareKC thank this year’s sponsors of the Green Commute Challenge: UMB, Bicycle Depot KC, Black & Veatch, HNTB, Commute with Enterprise and SPIN. Learn more at RideshareKC.org.