September 23, 2020
TAMC Board Receives Go831 Program & Smart Commute Challenge Updates
The Transportation Agency Board of Directors received an update on the Agency’s Go831 Program which encourages activities that reduce congestion in Monterey County. The free Traveler Information/Rideshare Program launched in Spring 2018 to help employers in Monterey County to establish or expand smart commute programs for their employees. Smart commuting means getting to and from work by means other than driving alone (carpool, vanpool, transit, bike, walk or telecommute).
Each year Go831 runs a Commute Challenge to help raise awareness of the program and encourage individuals to start using the RideAmigos software platform. The goal each year is to increase the number of employers and employees participating in the Challenge, with the purpose of encouraging smart commuting over the longer-term.
Last year, the Go831 team met the goal of doubling participation in the Challenge from the previous year (106 participants in 2019 vs. 52 in 2018). The 3,905 total smart commute trips taken during last year’s challenge resulted in:
- CO2 saved: 8.7 tons
- Money Saved: $12K (on driving costs for the participants)
· Calories burned: 0.3 Million
With the unique scenarios created during the current pandemic, the October Go831 Commute Challenge 2020 provides an opportunity to further promote smart commute options that many employees are currently using and find to be beneficial. These options include decreased congestion and emissions on the roadways, saved commute time and teleworking.
The Transportation Agency has partnered with Blue Zones Project Monterey County and the City of Salinas to present this year’s month-long challenge.
It is open to anyone who lives or works in Monterey County and offers prizes worth nearly $5,000 to those who track their smart commuting during the month of October. This year, the Challenge will give credit for any type of smart commuting, but especially encourages telework, walking and bicycling.
The contest’s goal is to encourage the 1.000 participants to continue and increase their commute habits that are currently underway with the anticipation of over 238,900 combined saved vehicle miles traveled a smart commute option.
To learn more about the Go831 Smart Commute Challenge 2020, or to register for free, visit Go831.rideamigos.com.
MST Contactless Fare Payment Program
The TAMC Board of Directors received a presentation on Monterey-Salinas Transit’s Contactless Fare Payment Program from MST’s Assistant General Manager, Lisa Rheinheimer. MST is currently the only transit agency in California selected to demonstrate the contactless fare payment system as part of Caltrans' California Integrated Travel Project, which is a statewide initiative to facilitate easy and accessible travel planning and payments.
MST anticipates launching the demonstration program in November to access the feasibility of the contactless fare payment system for a six-month period. This “tap to pay” demonstration will set the stage for passengers traveling from one area to another to simply pay with their contactless credit, debit or prepaid card, or mobile device as they board the local transit system.
Some desired outcomes of the project are:
· increased ridership and revenue
· reduced boarding processing
· reduced costs associated with cash transactions
· reduced production costs for transit passes
· determine the feasibility of contactless card payment as a single, universal access to MST's mobility services (including Fixed Route, On-Call, RIDES and Measure Q taxi vouchers).
If successful, this pilot program between MST, Caltrans, Visa and Little Pay can be scaled to create consistency across hundreds of transit agencies across California.