How does the
Commuter Challenge work?
The Commuter Challenge is a friendly competition that runs
for all November 2010, with five member teams making
round-trips using sustainable transportation instead of
driving alone. Team members log each day they use an
eligible mode of transportation using the Commute Calendar.
At the end of the competition, the team with the highest
number of sustainable transportation days wins the grand
prize. The top 50 teams will receive prizes,
and we’ll also have raffles at least once a week. Please see
our Prizes Page for more details. Our
interactive website means participants can track teams'
progress and post fun pictures and other information about
When does the
Commuter Challenge happen?
The Commuter Challenge starts November 1 and ends November
30 - but registration is open now.
How are teams formed?
Create your own team:
Come up with a team name and create your own team. You can
make your team "Restricted" and invite specific people to
join your team or you can "Allow Anybody" to join. Each team
must have at least 2 "Converts"
to qualify for prizes.
A "Convert" is either:
a) someone who has never participated in a Traffic Solutions
Commuter Challenge or Bike Challenge OR
b) someone who drives alone most of the
time, but for the Commuter Challenge starts to use an
eligible mode of alternative transportation (from Aug.1 -
Sept. 30 used alternative transportation for less than 13
Join an existing team: You can select "Join this
team" to join a team (a yellow lock means it is a restricted
team). If you were sent an email invitation for a restricted
team, your Pass Code is embedded in the email message you
You will each begin to track the days you use eligible modes
of transportation via your personal, web-based Commute
Calendar. Registration begins on October 11, 2010, and the
Challenge begins on November 1, 2010.
Upload your a team photo to earn an automatic 5 points.
How do I track my Trips?
During the contest, you and your team members log in to your
Commuter Challenge/Traffic Solutions accounts and log each
commute day using the Commute Calendar. The Commuter
Challenge website provides users with real time status
reports so you can find out how your team is doing compared
to the other teams in the contest. Start logging your
round-trips on November 1, but teams are welcome to join at
any point during the month-long completion.
Do all 5 team members need to live in the Santa Barbara
The Traffic Solutions Commuter Challenge is open to anyone
who lives or works in Santa Barbara County. People who live
in Ventura or San Luis Obispo are eligible to participate as
long as they work in Santa Barbara County.
Who is a Convert?
Two converts are required per team. A "Convert" is either
a) anyone that has not competed in a Traffic Solutions Commuter
Challenge or Bike Challenge, OR
b) anyone that has used alternative transportation rather
than driving alone less than once a week on average over the
past 3 months (this means less than 13 days using
alternative transportation from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30).
What kind of commutes/trips count for the contest?
A work commute that eliminates a car trip
(Carpooling, vanpooling and telecommuting count, on top of
the regular bike, walk, rollerblade/skateboard, bus and
Non-Work trips that you make carfree.
(These must be without a car altogether - bike, walk,
rollerblade/skateboard, bus, and train. For example, walking
to the gym, biking the kids to soccer practice, and taking
the bus downtown to go shopping.) On your calendar page,
you'll find the new button for Non-Work Carfree Trips.
What kinds of transportation count for the contest?
Can I count multiple trips daily? How about mileage?
Although we encourage you to use eligible modes as often as
you can each day, only one point can be earned per day for
the Commuter Challenge contest - you earn one point for any
day you have completed one round trip or more. It is still
regardless of the mileage or number of round trips in a day.
However, to keep track of your personal cost savings, as
well as mileage and air pollution reductions, you should
make sure your
“average one-way daily commute” is updated
before logging your commute days. The original mileage is
calculated based on your home and work addresses. You can
also use the
multi modal trip option to detail mileage for multiple
modes in one day.
Why don't multiple trips or mileage count?
has created the one-point-a-day rule to keep the playing
field even for our valued converts, who are just getting
used to using alternative transportation. The Commuter
Challenge contest allows them to think about short round-trips
they can take using alternative transportation and still be
competitive with more seasoned users.
What is a utilitarian trip?
On top of work trips, utilitarian trips include round-trips
when the purpose of the trip is to go to a particular place
where you might have otherwise driven alone. Here are some
examples of utilitarian trips: a round-trip to a restaurant,
to the grocery store, to the beach to take a walk or run, to
the gym to work-out over lunch, to school, or to a trailhead
to go for a hike. If you make any of these trips without a
car, you can earn a point for the day.
Eligible = Eliminate
a car trip to work or go
Ineligible = Doesn't
Work or School
Shop or Dine
training or exercise
Gym or Park
||Walking the dog
How do I find a team to join?
If you don’t want to form a team with coworkers, friends, or
family, you can always join an open team when you create
your account. Teams without yellow locks displayed are open.
What are the prizes?
Our prizes are all summarized on the
What if I bike one way and take the bus or carpool back?
This type of round-trip would count as a multi-modal trip, and
there is indeed a button to code such trips on the Commute
Calendar. Our goal is to eliminate car trips, so you can
use any combination of eligible modes that you’d like.
However, if you ride your bike to work and have someone get
in the car to come and pick you up and drive you home, that
doesn't count because a car trip was generated.
Logging multi-modal trips.
Are electric bikes eligible for the contest?
Electric bicycles are eligible for this contest, as long as
the bicycle has pedals (not an electric scooter, in other
Are motorcycles or scooters eligible modes for the contest?
Motorcycles and scooters, (including electric ones), are not
eligible modes if there is only one person riding. If you
carpool with someone on your motorcycle or scooter, then the
round-trip counts as an eligible carpool mode. Please note - it
must be a utilitarian trip that would have otherwise
required two cars/motorcycles - recreational rides are not
eligible. Why? After much discussion internally and
with others, we made the determination that motorcycles and
scooters create too much variability in terms of congestion
relief and air quality benefits to include in the Commuter
Challenge. They only reduce pollution if they are newer
bikes. They only reduce traffic congestion if the
motorcyclist lane splits. Motorcycle and scooter use would
present too many questions and variables to deal with given our current
You may be interested in this article, "Is your
scooter a polluter?" Two-wheeled gas sippers, including
motorcycles, put out more emissions per mile than an SUV,
says the EPA. View the
What are the Weekly and Monthly Raffles?
There will be weekly raffles and one bike raffle at the end
of the month. The raffles are for all Commuter Challenge participants
logging eligible commute days on their Commute Calendars.
The more round-trips you log for the week or month, the greater
your chances are of winning that weekly or monthly raffle.
The weekly raffles are not based on total team performance,
but your personal trips for the prior week or month. Visit
our Prizes Page for a list of
different from the Bike Challenge?
Traffic Solutions coordinates regular Commuter and Bike
Challenges. Our most recent Bike Challenge was in May 2010,
but for November, we are having another Commuter Challenge
open to additional sustainable modes of transportation.
What are the stats from the 2009 Commuter Challenge?
1,585 Registered Participants!
1.46 million lbs of CO2 - Eliminated!
45,752 Car Trips - Eliminated!
76,518 Gallons of Gas - Saved!
More than 1.5 Million Miles - Reduced!
$869,323 - Total Participant Savings!
What if one of my team members doesn't have internet access?
If one of your team members does not have internet access,
then the team captain or a fellow team member should create
an account for him/her using a different email address and
login name on the Traffic Solutions/Commuter Challenge
website. The captain or fellow team member will be
responsible for using the second account to log their team
member’s commute days.
Can children participate?
Yes. If there is an automobile round-trip eliminated by a child
biking, walking, skating, taking the bus, or carpooling with
another family, then the child can log this as an eligible
day. If no automobile round-trip is eliminated, then the trip is
not eligible. Recreational biking, walking, and skating
are not eligible. We encourage families to form a team
and do things like biking together to school, taking the bus
to afterschool sports and activities, or walking instead of
driving to visit friends. Children should be
old enough to create their accounts, log-in for themselves,
and keep track of their progress in their own Commute
Calendar. We suggest that children who bike be old enough to
ride their bikes safely on the street.
Can Students Participate? (e.g. SBCC, UCSB, Westmont)
Yes. But participants must be sure to NOT sign up as an
employee of their school when they create their account.
I can’t log in
If you can't remember your password from the last time you
used your Traffic Solutions Online account, you can click on
the "Forgot Password?" link at
www.TrafficSolutionsOnline.info. If you cannot remember
the email address that you used for your account, please
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 963-SAVE. Please do
not create duplicate accounts, you should use your existing
Traffic Solutions Online account.
I can’t join a team because it is locked
If a team is locked, the captain has chosen to restrict it
to certain people. If you are asked to join a locked team,
the captain should send you an invitation email or Commuter
Challenge card that
contains the pass code to join the team.
Where can I get the Commuter Challenge posters?
Download the Commuter
email@example.com for larger printed copies.
Can I use my old Commuter
You should definitely use your 2008 or 2009 account from the
Commuter Challenge or Bike Challenge, this is exactly the same as a general
Traffic Solutions Online account which you may be using for
our other programs, or your employers benefits program. Please follow the registration links and you will be
prompted to create a new account or use your existing
Traffic Solutions Online account. If you have forgotten your
password, you can use the "Forgot Password?" button and it
will be e-mailed to you. You can also call 963-SAVE or email
firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
I've forgotten my password?
If you have forgotten your Traffic Solutions
Online/Commuter Challenge password, you can use the "Forgot
Password" link on the login page, and your password will be
e-mailed to you. If this doesn't work, or you don't remember
your login name you can
email us or
can I fill my team? I need more members.
have 3 or 4 members and need help filling your team to 5,
you should open it up to everyone. To unlock your team, log
in to your
Traffic Solutions Online account
and go to the MY CHALLENGE section.
Scroll down to your team info and follow the link to Edit
Once here, confirm that you have chosen "Allow Anybody" and
that your team is not closed out.
team is too small. I need to switch teams.
have a team of 1 or 2 members and can't find people to fill
your team, please consider joining an open team. First log
in to your
Traffic Solutions Online account
and go to the MY CHALLENGE section.
Scroll down to your team info and follow the link to Delete
yourself from the team.
Re-click your MY CHALLENGE button once or twice and then
scroll down to the list of teams and join an open team (one
w/o a lock) that has less than 5 people
How do I log trips w/different mileage from my normally
programmed work mileage?
keep track of your personal cost savings, as well as mileage
and air pollution reductions, you should make sure your
“average one-way daily commute” is updated before logging
your commute days. The original mileage is calculated based
on your home and work addresses. If you choose to make
utilitarian trips that have different mileage, you can
update your mileage box before you color code any day on
your calendar. The mileage box will hold the last value you
enter, and continue to assign that mileage to every date you
color code from then on (until you change the mileage box
again). Please make sure to keep this value up to date so
all calculations will be accurate.
What if I use more than one mode of transportation in one
use more than one eligible mode per day, we have a "multi
modal" option on the Commute Calendar. Choose the grey multi
modal button, then click on the appropriate day, and the day
will expand such that you can log mileage for each mode you
used. You will still only receive one point per day for the
I log trips while on vacation?
If you are using a
bike, walking, rollerblading/skateboarding, or taking a bus
or train while on vacation, you can use the "Non-Work Carfree Trip"
button on your Commute Calendar. The Commuter Challenge is
for employers and individuals who work or live in the County
of Santa Barbara, but if you leave town for a while it's OK.
How do I
make team name or photo edits?
Log in to your Traffic Solutions
Online/Commuter Challenge account and click the button on
your top toolbar that says My Challenge. Scroll down about a
third of the page and you will see links to "Edit Team Info"
and "Manage Photos." Use these to make edits to your team
name or to upload your team photos. Remember, teams get an
automatic 5 points for their first team photo.
Email us or call 963-SAVE if you still have questions.