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Local commuters can win prizes for helping reduce smog

‘Text-Your-Commute Challenge’ runs through Oct. 24

Contra Costa County transportation officials are launching a new effort this week to encourage the county's commuters to reduce smog and traffic congestion by trying alternative modes of transportation.

Dubbed the "Text-Your-Commute Challenge," it begins today, Oct. 3, and runs through Oct. 24 and asks people to report on how they get to and from work.

People who report making 15 "clean" one-way trips during that time will be entered to win a $25 prize and people who report making 30 such trips could win $100, according to 511 Contra Costa and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

Clean trips include most types of transportation that don't rely on a single person driving a single vehicle to work, and can include things like carpools, vanpools, buses, trains, ferries, walking or bicycling, according to organizers.

"This is a fun opportunity for people who typically drive alone to try different ways of getting to work," said Dave Hudson, San Ramon City Council member and Contra Costa Transportation Authority board chairman. "You'll end up saving money on your commute and reducing traffic -- and you can win a prize on top of that."

People can sign up now by texting the word "START" to (925) 905-8747. Daily texts will go out at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. asking people how they got to and from work. To stop participating, people can text "STOP" to the same number.

-- Bay City News Service

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