2010 Commuter Challenge



2010 Commuter Challenge

The Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition and RIPTA’s Commuter Resources group would like to challenge all Rhode Island residents to join us for the 2010 Commuter Challenge.  The goal of the challenge is to see how many people we can get to choose a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.  If you typically drive alone in the car how about carpooling or taking the bus?  If you are already a bus commuter, how about trying out bicycle commuting?

When is the challenge running? For the entire month of May

What do I need to do? Go to the 2010 Commuter Carbon Reduction Challenge applet and sign up for an account.  Log whether or not you commuted and your mode(s) of transportation for every day of the week.

Why should I join the challenge? You’ll be helping the environment, you’ll be reducing congestion on the streets, and if you bike or walk for your commute you’ll be helping to minimize your waistline while commuting.

What’s in it for me? Other than the personal satisfaction of knowing you are doing something good?  We have prizes.  The software will be tracking all participants and giving you credit in two different ways:

  1. For every day you commute in some way other than a single occupancy vehicle, you get one or more points.  The more environmentally friendly the mode of transportation, the more points you will get.
    1. Earn one (1) point for carpooling
    2. Earn two (2) points for riding the bus
    3. Earn three (3) points for walking or biking
  2. The software applet calculates estimates your CO2 offset for each mode of transportation.

We have over $1,000 in prizes currently.  Gift cards will be presented to the top three finishers in the point and CO2 offset categories:

  • The top finisher in each category will each receive a $300 gift card
  • The 2nd place finisher in each category will each receive a $150 gift card
  • The 3rd place finisher in each category will each receive a $50 gift card

In case of a multi-way tie in either category, the alternate category will be used to break the tie.   For instance, if we have two people finish with 596 total points, whomever has the greater CO2 offset will be considered the winner and the other person the runner up.  In case of a multi-way tie which can’t be resolved with the alternate category, a random drawing will be held to determine the winners.

We are also offering up weekly random drawings, where the more points you earn the better your chance of winning become.

So come join us and see how you can minimize your environmental footprint!  Questions or comments, please drop us an email.


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  • Labann
    Apr 30, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Going to be hard to beat me. I bike or walk to work daily. In fact, I only drive when it's to carry goods or passengers otherwise too heavy. I've biked over 1,500 miles already this year, but there's no bonus for distance. Therefore, I recuse myself from competition.

  • Apr 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

    The CO2 offset portion rewards people for distance. The more distance you bike… the more CO2 offset you achieve.

  • Chris
    Apr 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I tried to sign up on the commuter carbon reduction challenge. It is really not user-friendly. For instance, why is it telling me that my ride destination is RIPTA?

  • Apr 30, 2010 at 11:12 am


    I bounced this off the company running the software and here is what I got back:

    Commuter Challenges is structured so there must be a "destination". As it was agreed that you only wanted 1 destination I used RIPTA since they are sponsoring the challenge.

    For the sake of this challenge I think the destination has zero bearing. The software is able to support multiple companies competing against each other, so I suspect that's why they include destination. I honestly didn't even notice this.

  • Kate
    May 3, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Why can't you change the number of persons in the "My Commute Log" to 1? For example, when I ride the bus should I count how many other people are on the bus with me? And when I drive myself alone to the carpool meetup I can't specify that it's just me? Also I commute alone by bicycle…

    I also can't figure out how to log in Sunday as a day I didn't commute.

    • May 3, 2010 at 6:35 am


      I had the exact same question. From the company running the software:

      The number of persons field is only used when carpooling or vanpooling. In trying to make it as fair and accurate as possible, it could be a big difference between 2 people carpooling together and if you were in a vanpool with, say, 9 people. But it's not even used when you bicycle, use public transportation, etc.

  • Susan Warthman
    May 4, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I was wondering if anyone lives near Ruggeri's market and works at RIH. If so, would they like to carpool a couple of days a week or bike in together.

  • May 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    If so, would they like to carpool a couple of days a week or bike in together.

    If you are looking for rideshare information, you might want to check out RIPTA's rideshare service. I'm told it can match people up who are interested in carpooling.

  • May 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Alan said:

    Going to be hard to beat me. I bike or walk to work daily.

    So do many people on this site. I'm currently rolling about 150 miles a week on a bike, reasonable? There are people who commute even further by bike.

  • May 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    my boyfriend and i don't have a car. we chose to live without one when we moved to rhode island almost 3 years ago. we bike for work and pleasure, but i'd say an average of 10m /day.

    i think this is such a great idea! i'm glad to be a part of it, even if we don't "win" anything, we totally win.

    we live in east providence by the river. i biked downtown tonight in less than 15m. in a car, it surely would have taken me longer because of the way the freeway runs. once you add parking, not only is the cash expense greater, but the time expense is greater, too. yay, bikes!

  • Labann
    May 8, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Many? You mean some of the ten or so? Found out when I bike-commuted 250 a week I spent abnormal amounts on: Balmex, cassettes, chains, chain lube, laundry detergent, sports drinks, sunscreen, tires, tubes. Made retailers happy. Develop on-line relationships and save. >3500 mi./yr. = obsession. That's already about 10% of the hours you sleep or work.

    In an ideal RI, there are many (traffic quieted) villages where you can ride a bike to bakers, church, markets, parks, schools, and sturdy bike rack at each. In reality, There are only a few villages, and they aren't at all traffic quieted, with flimsy dish racks, solo rings, or substantial sine waves (libraries), but nothing resembling mass bike parking. Terminals don't have racks. Busses and trains don't allow bikes. Roads violates federal and state laws for ADA pedestrian compliance and bike accommodation.

  • May 8, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    both the busses and trains allow bikes. i don't think that i would even want to leave my bike at either station. they're easy to put on the bus and the train lets you walk them on the car.

  • May 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    i don't understand why the team doesn't have updated numbers. when do they update? my team member has this:

    Name: justin Preferred Mode: Biked


    Method Total

    Miles Pct

    Saved Pounds of CO2

    Emissions Saved

    Biked 48 100% 46.8

    Walked/Jogged/Ran 1 100% 1

    Totals: 49 47.8 pounds

    but it's not showing up on the team, it just shows 0s.

  • May 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    both the busses and trains allow bikes. i don’t think that i would even want to leave my bike at either station. they’re easy to put on the bus and the train lets you walk them on the car.

    I don't personally take the trains, but I've heard plenty of people complain that they can't take their bikes on board. Perhaps they are talking about commuter trains? I know there were talks about getting Amtrak to add additional bike cars to the trains, but I haven't heard anything more. Anyone?

  • May 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    i don’t understand why the team doesn’t have updated numbers. when do they update?

    I'm told the that the updates run en-batch every evening. If you don't see updates by the next morning, let us know and I'll try to get some answers from the company running the software.

  • May 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I was talking commuter rail only; I can't afford to take the Amtrak, as much as I would like to…


    Your bike goes farther on the T, now more than ever before.

    The MBTA continues to improve bicycle access to public transit. You can combine the pleasure of riding your bicycle with the convenience of using public transportation to get where you need to go in the Boston area.

    I am certain I recall seeing bikes on the train, but I always walk Boston, so I've never tried it myself. I could be confusing it with another life / line.

  • May 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    oh, and i don't know why it didn't show up before, but it's updated now. maybe it just needed a couple days… no problem.

  • Luned
    May 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    When I try to log my commuter miles I get this error message:

    Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a000d'

    Type mismatch: '[string: "2.4mi"]'

    /zz_vehicle_log4.asp, line 100

    What am I doing wrong?

    • May 13, 2010 at 6:36 am

      This is not something you are doing, it's an application error. I'll touch base with the company behind the software and see what they have to say.

    • May 13, 2010 at 8:01 am

      I heard back from the developers… apparently, you can only enter whole numbers for mileage. If you add a decimal point, you get this error. Intuitive, right?

  • margherita
    May 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I take the commuter rail to Boston every morning, but bikes are not allowed during rush hour service — which is about half the day! So yes, they do allow bikes, but not so as to empower people who would use them to commute!!

    We have a long way to go!