Clean Commute Challenge Week offers another way to go green
MSU prides itself on being “green,” and this week, the Capital Area Transportation Authority is asking students to be just that by participating in this year’s Clean Commute Challenge Week.
It is the second year for the event, which pits various schools around Michigan against each other to have the most people use clean sources of transportation. The goal is to increase student use of all clean modes of transportation and decrease the use of cars or stop people from using them to get to class, particularly lone drivers. The program emphasizes bicycling, carpooling, walking, bringing a buddy with you in your transit vehicle, riding the bus and anti-idling.
“We understand not everyone is going to be able to do this all the time, but with the campus community, these options are readily available and relatively easy to use,” CATA’s Clean Commute Program coordinator Cathleen Edgerly said.
Many students were attracted to the event and acknowledged its usefulness for promoting environmentally friendly ways to get to and from campus.
“I ride the bus and always try hard not to drive every time I go somewhere,” advertising senior Cathy Smith said. “With the way the world is going today, I think that having eco-friendly events like this and realizing what simple things we can do to make a difference is very helpful to all MSU students.”
This week’s event is part of CATA’s Clean Commute Options program. The program is free and available to all commuters traveling within the Lansing area, as well as for those commuting from other cities across Michigan. It offers a carpooling service for people interested in sharing a ride at least one day per week, Edgerly said.
Carpooling might not seem like the best option for some students, as work and class schedules can decrease the convenience of using one vehicle for multiple riders, but students have taken part, Edgerly said.
“There has been a very good response this year since being on MSU’s campus, and as an MSU alumni, I would hate to see MSU lose the competition and not benefit from realizing how something like carpooling can make a huge impact,” Edgerly said. “For carpooling, many people find out that they enjoy it more because you end up saving money, there’s no fuss for parking or gas, and we can match you with a group of people that have similar needs.
CATA’s ride-matching database for carpooling already has 1,075 people registered, Edgerly said. The program’s aim is not only to make an impact on students, but also to benefit teachers who might have commutes from far
distances. Edgerly also teamed with local company MichiVan, which provides vehicles to large carpool groups.
“Michigan has over 300 vans in Michigan and 30 in the Greater Lansing and East Lansing area. We want people to realize that if you have a minimum of five people you could carpool with, we can match you with a van and passengers pay monthly per seat, depending on the size of the van they may need,” said Alexis Vertalka, a MichiVan employee.
In order to participate in the Clean Commute Challenge event, visit www.cata.org for more information. In order for MSU to receive points for a clean transportation act, people must log their good deeds onto the Web site.