Bowdoin Community Encouraged to Commute Another Way in October
Story posted September 29, 2008
While cold mornings send most people fumbling for the heater knobs in their cars for their commute, Rich Yanok of Bowdoin's Office of Safety and Security instead kicks his body heat into gear by biking or walking to work.
During warmer months Yanok says he's in too much of a hurry to get home, get the boat and head out fishing, but when the weather turns cold, Yanok finds that he saves about $150 a month on gasoline as he bikes and walks to work from his home in east Brunswick.
Yanok takes the Androscoggin River bike path to work and says he enjoys its simple pleasures: it's scenic, he avoids traffic and finds it's a nice way to connect with the other commuters on the path whose faces have become familiar. He also appreciates that the town keeps the path plowed all winter long.
Bowdoin's Commute Another Way (CAW) Committee is celebrating employees like Yanok during the month of October and hopes that employees who haven't already tried biking, walking or carpooling to work will commit to doing so at least once during the month.
"Commuting another way can be a flexible activity — not something you need to commit to doing everyday, all year long" says CAW Committee member Sarah Begin. "Every little bit helps employees save gas money and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with driving."
The committee's research shows that eight percent of Bowdoin's greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to employee commuting.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer Katy Longley is excited to see the efforts being placed on alternative commuting at Bowdoin.
"As chair of the President's Climate Committee, I appreciate the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Longley. "I hope that efforts like the Zipcar program and Go Maine's Guaranteed Free Ride Home will help reduce the barriers that employees might face by arriving to campus without their own personal vehicle."
To show the range of commuting options, the committee will highlight several examples of Bowdoin employees who are already incorporating commuting another way into their routine.
With several hundred employees commuting from Portland, Augusta, Damariscotta and even the distant towns of Lovell, Bethel and Farmington, there are many opportunities for employees to connect with one another for even occasional ride sharing to campus, meeting part way at a Park and Ride lot, and reducing the daily miles they travel alone.
While it may be a challenge to find others who are interested in carpooling, the committee encourages people to register with Go Maine's online ride-matching program or attend the Bowdoin Commuter Connections Lunch on October 1.
Other initiatives during the month will include introducing Cliff Bar's "Two Mile Challenge." With more than 400 employees living in Topsham and Brunswick, hundreds of employees live within two miles of campus, a relatively easy walking or biking distance.
CAW month events will highlight issues such as biker/walker safety and group rides/walks from selected locations.
Click here for a complete list of CAW events and activities.
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