Charlotte nonprofit issues challenge to drive 1 million fewer miles

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit organization, has issued a challenge Wednesday for commuters to drive 1 million fewer miles by November.

The organization used a grant from North Carolina Department of Transportation to put together a program called Way2Go CLT, a new website and app that will offer prizes to people who try to get around in ways other than a car.

[LINK: Way2Go CLT]

The app allows people to plan trips to work or anywhere else by searching for carpool partners and bike partners, as well as public transit options and walking routes.

“Excessive or needless single-occupancy driving clogs our streets, leads to more accidents, increases air pollution, and raises infrastructure spending,” said the Sustain Charlotte executive director Shannon Binns. “For families, the use of sustainable modes of transportation enhances health, makes for a far more productive use of commuting time, builds friendships and relationships and can save thousands of dollars per year in gas and vehicle maintenance.”

City planners said the new program is needed because traffic is already an issue and it’s only going to get worse, with 44 people moving to Charlotte every day. Officials said sitting in traffic cost the average driver nearly $900 in 2016.

Channel 9 spoke to Sam Bryar who commutes into uptown Charlotte for work. He said he would consider using the app, but said it would be hard to leave the comfort of his car.

“I wear a suit to work. I can’t bike to work. I’d be all sweaty, and if I had to go to a grocery store, that’d be a little difficult, but sharing like a carpool, yes, I would,” Bryar said.

App planners have optimized the routes for safety, but they’re still encouraging people who are trying new areas to check them first during low traffic times to make sure they feel comfortable.

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