I use a couple of tools to track my daily commute. I have a spreadsheet that I keep track of ride statistics on (graph embedded here) and I also use my county’s commute tracking website, Whatcom Smart Trips. I think that creating this type of tool for commuters is essential to pushing people to thinking about doing something ‘greener’. Whatcom Smart Trips offers users incentives for every 100 ‘Smart Trips’ completed. I’ve received coupons to local book stores, to local restaurants and other businesses.
Whatcom Smart Trips does a great job of tying the community together by getting people to walk or bike more and offering them coupons to local companies. I was browsing their site recently and was impressed with the overall statistics of the site. I was impressed that bikers were the group that had the most trips. I figured that car commuters would have the lead here. Maybe bikers are more inclined to track their trips, though.
Recently, Whatcom Smart Trips redesigned their website and implemented a more comprehensive look at statistics for their entire user base. You can look and see how many dollars commuters have saved by each of their activities ($6.6 million USD as of this post!). The less obvious aspect of this is that all of that money is then available for people to use in their community. They aren’t spending it on gasoline for their commute. This is big dollars for any community. Sure, this is spread over nearly seven years and a county of just over 200,000 people, but still has the potential to be significant. The interesting aspect of this is the potential for a community to establish a system that allows people to log their trips, save money and then redistribute that money back into the community. The first two parts of this system exist here and the third has showed signs of coming about (the coupons that are provided). I think that this third part could be solidified a bit by giving the users of the website a look at local events that are going on or promoting businesses that lean towards ‘green’.
If you’re looking for something similar, I found these other commute tracking websites that may work for you in your area: