The Way to Go! (WTG) Commuter Challenge is a week-long marketing and outreach event that takes place in mid-May and advocates the use of transportation alternatives such as walking, bicycling, taking the bus, carpooling, and telecommuting. The event began in 1994 in Chittenden County, Vermont with a group of nongovernmental organizations and public transportation providers. In 2009, the event included 135 municipalities that represented 14 counties in Vermont.
Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) have several opportunities to promote the WTG Commuter Challenge within their region. RPCs and the MPO can assist with local stakeholder and energy committee meetings; solicit prizes from sponsors; help host an event; find local champions; promote inter-municipal or intra-regional challenges; and conduct local or regional WTG marketing.
In many Vermont regions, WTG participants receive free giveaways and are entered into drawings during the week. There are competitions within schools, businesses, and communities to sign up participants to use alternative forms of transportation to commute. In 2009, there were 3,552 participants who saved 236,813 miles, 10,516 gallons of gasoline, and $22,084 in gasoline costs. Participants utilized a variety of alternative transportation modes, and bicycling was the most popular.
Participation in WTG is a required Transportation Planning Initiative (TPI), which is a statewide program. In 2010, and again in 2011, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) is responsible for the management of the program. Under VEIC management, the following suite of materials will be available to regions: online event reservation, participation in stakeholder meetings, website resources at www.WAYTOGOVT.org, outreach materials, awards, and financial assistance. The WTG Commuter Challenge is a unique effort to promote transportation alternatives during a week-long period.
For more information, contact Chris Jolly, Federal Highway Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.