217 new participants registered for Smart Trips this quarter which is more than the three times the number of new registrants added in the last quarter and double the number added at the same time last year. This is likely due to Smart Trips’ marketing push to promote the 2011 Commuter Challenge (including transit, billboard, radio and print advertising) and the fact that gas prices topped $3.50 per gallon for the first time in two years.
Smart Trips switched to a new ridematching database, RideShark, on May 9, 2011. The reporting mechanism of the new system differs significantly from that used by the previous provider, Basetrak. Therefore, the numbers reported from this quarter forward will be presented in a different format.
Participation skyrocketed this quarter with 807 commuters logging at least one daily alternative commute. This figure nearly doubles the number of commuters who logged at least one alternative commute during the previous quarter and reflects an increase of 34% over this same time period during 2010.
295 individuals qualified for gift cards this quarter by actively logging more than 30 days (60 trips) worth of alternative commutes. This is up by 6% over the previous quarter but down negligibly from last year at the same time. This is attributable to difficulties with the new ridematching system and accurately accounting for the number of qualifiers. The number of gift cards distributed this quarter is 275.
Area commuters saved a total of $64,844.72 in fuel and maintenance costs this quarter, up from $47,317.47 last quarter and from $51,320.06 during the second quarter of 2010 when gas prices for much lower.
The amount of CO2 emissions reduced during the quarter was 374,714 pounds which represents a significant increase – nearly 30% - over last quarter’s reduction of 262,782 pounds and is also up from last year’s reduction of 292,719 pounds.
The RideShark system is not dependent on employer portal pages for logging commutes. The number of custom sub sites created in the new RideShark system is 33.
Marketing and Community Outreach
Smart Trips information was distributed by the Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program Ambassadors at Earthfest at Pellissippi State in Oak Ridge on Saturday, April 16, 2011. This same day, Smart Trips advertising and marketing efforts for the 2011 Commuter Challenge broke with radio advertising on local NPR affiliate, WUOT; on KAT transit buses and on billboards.
On Wednesday, April 20, Smart Trips attended Oak Ridge National Labs Earth Day to promote the Commuter Challenge and to help them raise awareness about vanpooling. On Wednesday, April 27, Smart Trips attended the Association of Administrative Professionals event at Rothchild’s Conference Center. Knoxville Regional Bicycle Program Ambassadors also promoted Smart Trips at Oak Ridge Earth Day on Saturday, April 30.
Smart Trips was promoted at numerous events throughout Bike Month in May 2011 including Bike to Work Day on May 20 and the I Bike Knoxfest on May 22nd. Smart Trips advertisements appeared each week in May in the Knoxville print publication, Metropulse. Smart Trips attended the Farmer’s Market on Market Square opening day and the first Wednesday of June and July.
On Friday, May 27, Smart Trips held a guerilla marketing event on Market Square to raise awareness about CO2 emissions. Video footage of the event was posted on YouTube and is accessible from our website at www.knoxsplat.com.
Smart Trips' Facebook page (www.facebook.com/knoxsmarttrips) had 156 likes last quarter and is now up to 192.