For employees across the globe, the commute to and from work looks different this year. Our normal routines have been disrupted by a global pandemic. Many of us find ourselves working from home for the first time, having converted kitchens and spare bedrooms to home offices. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, Missoula In Motion’s Commuter Challenge encourages employees to remain committed to the health benefits and sustainability goals that can be achieved by choosing sustainable transportation options.
From September 13 – 26, employees at Missoula workplaces will be challenged to travel to and from work using a sustainable mode of transportation, including telecommuting, taking the bus, biking, walking, or carpooling with members of your immediate household. The head-to-head competition between workplaces of similar size offers awards and fun prizes for individuals and workplaces that achieve the greatest impact. Plus, the challenge offers a fun way for coworkers to come together and regain some of the camaraderie lost while offices are closed.
The goal is to entice people that may not otherwise use sustainable modes of transportation to try it at least once during the two-week long competition. This year, Missoula In Motion will pay special attention to telecommuting as a sustainable mode. Even though the current circumstances leave many employees without any option other than working from home, it nonetheless provides a valuable opportunity to highlight the benefits of teleworking. The objective is to encourage participants to consider continuing the habit well into the future, even just one or two days a week.
In a post-pandemic world, increasing teleworking will have significant benefits both on an individual and community level. While some may not feel comfortable sharing a ride with a co-worker or hopping on a bus, there has never been a better time to commute by bike or foot. Missoula In Motion hopes the challenge inspires more Missoulians to consider these travel options.
“It’s a really fun way to get employees to re-think the way they get around and to consider ALL of the transportation options available to them. Ultimately, it benefits everyone when an individual chooses to try walking, biking, busing or carpooling to work rather than driving alone in a vehicle,” said Program Specialist Margaret Hoyt. “The best part is the competition that forms between employers to see how many sustainable trips they can rack up. Everyone wants to win.”
Missoula In Motion’s Way to Go! Missoula website and commuter app, available at MissoulaInMotion.com, allows participants to track not only sustainable commutes but also the number of dollars saved and the amount of CO2 diverted with each sustainable trip.
The 2020 Commuter Challenge prioritizes the health and safety of our community. All gatherings will either be hosted virtually or will be held at an outdoor venue that allows for social distancing. May the best team win!