Our new GO Santa Cruz initiative, launched Oct. 1, aims to provide downtown employees with commute alternatives to single-occupant car trips.
The program offers free transit passes, free bike locker cards and discounted JUMP bike memberships, as well as bike safety trainings, carpool incentives, and carpool ride matching and commute information. Participants also earn Downtown Dollars that can be spent just like cash at a variety of downtown businesses.
Since the launch, 875 of 4,000 downtown employees (over 21 percent!) have registered through the online portal for the program. These participants have logged nearly 29,000 miles in alternative commute trips which equates to a reduction of 8.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and nearly $10,000 in commute cost savings.
Participants have claimed over $1,500 in Downtown Dollar rewards for logging their trips with the help of 629 free METRO transit passes, 195 JUMP bike discount benefits, and 129 BikeLink bike locker cards.
Many GO Santa Cruz participants attended one of the free bike safety training workshops that covered the basics of urban cycling and included gear selection, riding at night and choosing a route. More workshops will be held throughout 2020.
Jax Caldwell-Dunn who recently moved beyond walking distance of her job at Bookshop Santa Cruz said, “I’ll now use my GO Santa Cruz bus pass for the commute to work. I love having the opportunity to be environmentally conscious, while saving money on gas and parking!”
Shawn Orgel-Olson of Environmental Innovations has changed his commute as well. “Even though I live just two blocks from a bus stop, I’d never really considered taking public transportation to my job downtown until I saw that the GO Santa Cruz program offered free METRO passes. The bus has been on time, more relaxing than driving, and makes it so I don’t need to pay for parking.”
City Transportation Planner Claire Gallogly is excited to see downtown employees taking advantage of the benefits of the program and utilizing alternative methods to commute to work. “We expect to see engagement continue to increase as more people become aware of the variety of incentives offered and how easy it is to get started.”
If you are a downtown employee, you may sign up at this link which offers trip logging, carpool matching, transit options, and bike and walk routing. Scroll down to the “My Rewards” section and choose your rewards. Follow the instructions you receive and someone from the GO Santa Cruz team will deliver your transportation item to you!
More information is available at cityofsantacruz.com/GOSantaCruz.