Marla Gilreath, a Harmony on the Lakes resident, works at Berry College in Rome and has to commute one hour both ways to her job each day. Even when prices are low, she could spend up to $350 in fuel for her Ford Escape just driving to work for one month.
But with assistance from the Clean Air Campaign and a few minutes of online work each Friday, she’s been partially reimbursed for her fuel after winning two $25 gift cards.
The Clean Air Campaign has signed up more than 50,000 Georgia commuters—30 from Holly Springs alone—to commute, telecommute, carpool or vanpool to reduce traffic and congestion, said Brian Carr with the campaign.
To get commuters signed up, the Clean Air Campaign offers financial incentives for drivers. Just for signing up, you can make up to $100 during the first 30 days you use alternative methods of commuting to work. After that, you can track your commute each week and enter to win a $25 gift card each month when you use alternative methods to get to work.
In June 2011, they awarded more than 1,000 gift cards to Georgia drivers, Carr said.
Carpools with three commuters are eligible for $40 gift cards each month while carpools with four or more are eligible for a $60 gift card each month.
Gilreath carpools with another Cherokee County resident who works in Rome. They meet at a shopping center and alternate days driving, she said.
“Each Friday I log the commute if I carpool, telecommute or drive alone and they keep track of that for you,” Gilreath said. “ Then they’ll come up with some numbers about how many miles you saved and how many you saved in gas.”
The log only takes a few minutes, Gilreath said.
The Clean Air Campaign is funded through a federal grant for congestion mitigation and improvement of air quality, Carr said. They’ve been helping commuters network in Georgia for 15 years now, with the 1996 Olympics as the official start date.
They also offer a guaranteed ride home for anyone who feels uncomfortable not having a car with them at all times. With that, the Clean Air Campaign workers ensure that a taxi can and will take you home at any time, Carr said.