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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

San Diego Agency Wants You To Rideshare

Commuter Challenge Geared To Reduce Freeway Congestion

Editor's Note: KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce interviewed Dan Martin, manager of the San Diego Association of Governments' (SANDAG) iCommute Rideshare challenge program.

Throughout October solo drivers in San Diego County have lots of incentives to try commuting alternatives, including carpooling, vanpooling, biking and using using public transit.

Dan Martin: Rideshare Week has actually been going on for a number of years but to actually do a corporate challenge and a commuter challenge, that's a recent idea that we thought of to get some awareness to the program and also get people thinking about it. We know a lot of corporations take that as a big responsibility on how folks get to and from work and from an environmental sense they have a responsibility and they recognize that.

Ed Joyce: So this is the first time for this Rideshare corporate challenge; how many companies and agencies are participating and how many people does that add up to be?

Dan Martin: We've got 38 companies and agencies involved and they represent more than 78,000 people, so that's a pretty good stretch for the San Diego region.

Ed Joyce: There's a number of companies and organizations that have van-pools in San Diego. Has the use of vanpools increased over the years and does SANDAG support that in some way monetarily?

Dan Martin: The answer to both of those questions is yes. We've seen continued growth in our vanpool program. Right now we have more than 760 vans carrying more 6,000 people each and every workday. SANDAG supports our van-pool program by providing a $400 a month subsidy for each van enrolled in the program.

Ed Joyce: This sounds like a great win-win for everybody: the vanpools, the commuter challenge, a chance to win some money, cut down on traffic and maybe save some money on gas too?

Dan Martin: Absolutely. If you can imagine taking those 6,000 folks off the road that maybe otherwise commuting by themselves is a great boon for our city, it helps to relieve some congestion and save people money, too.

Prize drawings will be held daily during Rideshare Week and every Friday throughout October. Prizes include two electric bikes, gift certificates to Suki Day Spa, monthly transit passes, and entertainment gift cards.

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