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ARCHIVED  November 1, 1996

SmartTrips promotes easing of congestion

It’s clear to anyone reporting to work along the northern Front Range that traffic congestion is not diminishing. It’s also apparent that any significant change in the pattern must come from travelers motivated enough to want to make a difference.
To that end, a fairly new campaign has been launched by SmartTrips, a nonprofit public program of the North Front Range Transportation Council and the Air Quality Planning Council.
“SmartTrips is a commuter pool with more money (than other programs previously have had),´ said Meg Corwin, alternative transportation manager for the city of Fort Collins. “The metropolitan planning organization of the Northern Front Range Transportation Council handles all transportation money for this region.”
SmartTrips brought on Burns Marketing & Communications of Fort Collins to devise a hard-hitting awareness campaign that mixes commuting facts with humor. The plan is to entice single-occupancy-vehicle drivers out of their cars and into carpools, van pools, bikes, buses, telecommuting or other alternatives.
“The object is to preserve the quality of life for this region,” Corwin said. “It’s an economic-development issue in many aspects.”
Corwin and the SmartTrips staff work closely with businesses, from small ones such as The Cupboard in downtown Fort Collins to corporate giants including Hewlett-Packard Co.
The new campaign’s theme, “You’re Stressin’ Me Out! Drive less … we’ll all feel better,” aims to create a direct link between the problem of congestion and pollution and everyone’s individual responsibility to begin finding solutions.
“We have a goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips by 10 percent by 2015,” Corwin said.
The solutions to the problem are not new, but SmartTrips staff hope a heightened awareness will at least reach the audience in a different way.
Corwin works closely with businesses in the Greeley/Loveland/Fort Collins triangle to assist with finding easy transportation alternatives. They include:
n Carpool matching
n VanGo van pool services
n School pool programs
n Bike/walk buddy programs
n Bus scheduling and routine
n Personalized bus-route assistance
n Employer transportation programs
n Regional transit planning
Additional programs such as the Guaranteed Ride Home are designed to make alternative transportation easier for employees. In that instance, a free taxi ride home is provided to employees of participating companies who experience an unplanned schedule change or emergency.
For example, if someone carpooled or biked to work and later was called away by a sick child, the taxi ride to school and home is sponsored by the employer and SmartTrips.
SmartTrips also is offering free alternative-transportation matching assistance. By completing a simple form provided by the program, a list of names and phone numbers of people you could travel to work with is provided.
“The benefits to businesses are enormous,” Corwin said. “It’s been documented that employees who use alternative transportation have reduced stress and [have] higher productivity.”
In addition to continuing to focus on business travelers, SmartTrips also has a focused effort aimed at school-age children. Ambassador “Smart T. Fox” will visit schools to help educate students on the benefits of using alternative transportation.Businesses or individuals wanting to learn more about SmartTrips and alternative transportation can call Corwin at (970) 224-6102 or reach SmartTrips at (800) 332-0950.ÿ

It’s clear to anyone reporting to work along the northern Front Range that traffic congestion is not diminishing. It’s also apparent that any significant change in the pattern must come from travelers motivated enough to want to make a difference.
To that end, a fairly new campaign has been launched by SmartTrips, a nonprofit public program of the North Front Range Transportation Council and the Air Quality Planning Council.
“SmartTrips is a commuter pool with more money (than other programs previously have had),´ said Meg Corwin, alternative transportation manager for the city of Fort Collins. “The metropolitan planning organization of…

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