Oak Ridge National Laboratories became a gold level Smart Trips sponsor in December 2017. The partnership fits in with ORNL’s role in reducing greenhouse gases associated with employee commuting, which helps make our region greener. By encouraging their employees to make alternative commutes like carpooling, riding the bus, and biking, they are making a significant environmental impact.
ORNL’s sponsorship comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with their Sustainable Campus Initiative that sets goals for energy use, building efficiency, water conservation, and more. Also included in the initiative is transportation, with resources for carpooling, a shared bike program, teleworking, and an electric vehicle charging station. This partnership provides another transportation resource by facilitating ridesharing options and providing incentives for participants that encourage them to make all their trips, not just workplace commutes, green.
“ORNL’s commitment to the Smart Trips program shows their leadership in the community and that they are taking the lead in our region when it comes to sustainability and transportation,” said Christi Wampler, Smart Trips Program Coordinator.
Smart Trips is an online program that promotes alternatives to driving alone. Anyone who works in the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s service area – Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Sevier, and a portion of Roane and Cocke counties – is eligible to sign up for Smart Trips. The program provides benefits like ridematching and an emergency ride home in the event of an unexpected change in a member’s work schedule. To reward participants for making green trips, they are entered into quarterly gift card drawings to local retailers and restaurants when they log those trips on the website or app.