In metro Atlanta, about 30,000 commute trips each week take place in a vanpool. From June through August 2013, vanpool commuters will have an opportunity to compete in Vanpoolooza, the region’s first-ever vanpool challenge to attract new van riders.

Organized by The Clean Air Campaign and the region’s local transportation management associations, Vanpoolooza encourages vanpool commuters to compete for cash and prizes. Vanpool participants will earn points by attracting new vanpool riders, decorating their vans and logging vanpool commute trips.

“As more people move into the region and place more demand on the transportation network, it is important to look at commute options such as vanpooling to get the most out of the infrastructure we already have,” said Tedra Cheatham, executive director at The Clean Air Campaign. “Vanpooling is a fun and easy way to save money, arrive at work less stressed and to help keep pollution out of the air we all breathe.”

By registering on the Georgia Commute Options website, participants will be able to log their vanpool trips, track their progress and compete for prizes.

The vanpool that recruits the most new riders during the competition will win $500, which is to be divided equally among recognized vanpool participants. The runner-up vanpool will receive $400 and the third place finisher will take home $300.

Existing individual vanpool participants that secure the most prospective new riders to attend informational events around Atlanta will also win $100. The runner-up will receive $50 and the third-place finisher will get $25.

Vanpooling offers commuters a variety of advantages over a traditional solo drive. It helps reduce traffic congestion and smog-forming emissions. It also offers significant cost savings compared to drive-alone trips, preserves the wear and tear on a personal vehicle and reduces the stress of driving.

Employers looking to improve workplace sustainability or achieve health and wellness goals can support vanpooling in the region by encouraging their employees to start a vanpool, with guidance and access to free services from Georgia Commute Options providers.

To register for Vanpoolooza and find out more about vanpooling, visit GeorgiaCommuteOptions.com/Vanpoolooza.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.