Georgia Commute Options and MARTA are partnering to challenge metro Atlanta commuters to participate in the 13th annual Dump the Pump Day today (June 21), a national campaign that encourages people to ride transit instead of driving a car.
Dump the Pump launched nationally in June 2006 when gas prices were over $3 per gallon to highlight transit as a viable commute option that helps people save money, reduce congestion and improve air quality. As gas prices continue to fluctuate, Dump the Pump serves as an opportunity for those unfamiliar with metro Atlanta transit to try a new commute.
“More than 75 percent of metro Atlanta commuters drive to work alone, which translates to more vehicles on our roads during peak travel times,” Malika Reed Wilkins, Georgia Commute Options’ managing director, said in a news release. “National Dump the Pump Day is an opportunity for metro Atlantans to try riding transit in efforts to reduce congestion, save money and improve quality of life. Our hope is that commuters give transit a try and begin to think differently about their daily commute.”
A recent INRIX study reported that the costs associated with driving in metro Atlanta totals more than $11,000 annually, including car payments, maintenance, fuel, insurance, parking, idling in congestion and unexpected parking costs/fines. Beyond cost savings, clean commuters see significant health benefits associated with improved commutes like reduced stress levels, increased productivity at work and more time spent with family and friends.
To encourage commuters to try a commute option other than driving alone, Georgia Commute Options offers incentive programs for those who log their commute option as well as those who already use a clean commute option. Transit riders may also be entitled to discount transit passes through their employer. Incentive programs offered include:
o Gimme Five: New program participants can earn $5 a day — up to $150 — for making the switch from driving alone to a clean commute option.
o $25 prizes: Existing clean commuters are entered to win monthly $25 prizes for logging their commutes.
o Guaranteed ride home: Program participants are promised a guaranteed ride home when unexpected events occur and are approved. Participants can receive up to five free rides each year, by taxi or rental car, to their home or car in case of emergency.