Fargo MATBus Hosts iGoEco Challenge
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 17:09
MATBUS has issued a challenge to all NDSU students, GO ECO! As a part of the transportation system’s iGoEco Challenge, NDSU and the Fargo-Moorhead community are being ecologically encouraged to “Take the Plunge and Dump the Car” between Sept. 2 and Oct. 27.
This is the third year that MATBUS has sponsored this promotion, in partnership with the City of Fargo, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Y94 and Today’s Froggy 99.9. Formerly known as the Commuter Challenge, 2013 is the debut year of the iGoEco name.
MATBUS sponsors the iGoEco Challenge to encourage area residents to get out of their personal vehicles and into more eco-friendly transportations.
At least once every week, a form of eco-friendly transportation must be taken, whether it is walking, rollerblading, biking, skateboarding, carpooling or riding MATBUS, as long as the car stays at home.
By succeeding in this challenge each week, a participant’s name will be entered into the running for $250 prizes from Domino’s, Thunder Road, Green Mill, Famous Dave’s, Doolittle’s, Massage Envy and others. If all eight weeks of the challenge are completed, participants are then eligible for the grand prize, a brand new Microsoft Surface Tablet.
“Sometimes, it just takes a little incentive to try something new, and we hope iGoEco is that impetus,” said Gregg Schildberger, Fargo Transit Planner for MATBUS.
College students, especially those at North Dakota State University, are the biggest consumers of MATBUS services. Over 51 percent of MATBUS passengers in 2012 were college students. On the NDSU campuses alone, MATBUS gives almost one million rides each year.
Studies have shown that the youth of our nation are the demographic group most likely to use public transportation. As a result, MATBUS invests substantial efforts and resources into instilling a culture of transit at NDSU from the first moment a student steps foot onto campus.
The iGoEco Challenge is just one of the many promotions held each year to encourage members of Bison Nation to ride MATBUS.
Not only does the iGoEco Challenge offer monetary prizes and a brand new tablet, but Schildberger describes its impact on the environment as extremely beneficial. A full MATBUS vehicle reduces up to 85 cars on the roadway, which equates to a line of cars almost six city blocks long.
An individual who switches to public transit reduces his or her daily carbon emissions footprint by 20 pounds; that is more than 4,800 pounds per year. This is equal to a 10 percent reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a typical household.
Public transportation’s overall effects save the United States 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually; that’s more than three times the amount of gasoline imported from Kuwait.
The local economy is significantly strengthened, as every $1 invested in public transportation projects generates up to $9 in local economic activity.
Public transportation has a critical impact on the community and environment. The iGoEco Challenge is just one of the ways MATBUS is using to inform NDSU students and encourage them to take advantage of the services provided.
Students can sign up at igoecochallenge.com and return to the website weekly to fill out their progress for a chance to receive prizes.