Locals and travelers alike frequently head in an uphill direction to sample Utah’s fantastic snow, terrain, and clear mountain air. Skiing and snowboarding motivates huge numbers of people to make the trek up to our unrivaled ski areas. However, there can be drawbacks to the irresistible lure of the mountains. During peak times, congestion, traffic, and parking can all cause delays and so many vehicles on the road is also detrimental to that fresh air we all seek to enjoy.
One Utah ski area has jumped on a clever initiative to directly combat these issues. For the 2018-2019 season, Snowbird plans to enhance their existing R.I.D.E. program with a slick phone app to incentivize, track, and reward individuals who participate in ride sharing. R.I.D.E. stands for Reducing Individual Driving for the Environment and Snowbird’s ultimate goal is to inspire other resorts in Utah and beyond to onboard the program.
Even knowing the benefits of carpooling or taking the UTA Ski Bus can be outweighed by the convenience of blasting up to the ski resort for a few quick laps. The logistical challenge of coordinating your schedule with the bus or friends can be enough of a deterrent to prevent people from bothering with ridesharing. Snowbird is making big moves to remove this hurdle by incentivizing and improving access to ridesharing with the R.I.D.E. mobile phone app.
With the R.I.D.E. app installed, a user may track all their shared rides of three or more people to earn points toward meaningful prizes. To form a carpool, you simply open the app, say what time you're headed to Snowbird, how many people you can fit in your vehicle, and select a location for everyone to meet up with you. The app will also incorporate the UTA Ski Bus schedule to keep the options wide open and increase public transit use. Click Here for a complete guide to riding the Utah Ski Bus.Hilary Arens, Snowbird’s Director of Sustainability & Water Resources, explains that changing people’s habits can be difficult. She reveals, “It won’t happen unless it’s easy or there is an incentive. By providing both, Snowbird has the potential for great success with the R.I.D.E. app.” R.I.D.E. users will earn a point each time they ride the UTA Ski Bus or carpool with three or more people. For each 10 rides, a half-price transferrable day ticket will be easily redeemed, making participation in this program a real perk. Another cool bonus: carpoolers will earn priority parking access at Entries 1 and 2.
It won’t happen unless it’s easy or there is an incentive. By providing both, Snowbird has the potential for great success with the R.I.D.E. app.
The benefits to downloading the R.I.D.E. app don’t stop there. Snowbird will conduct a monthly drawing to award app users with pre-public rides on the Gadzoom Chairlift. This is a once-in-a-lifetime privilege! Big rewards will also be doled out at the end of the season for the top three app users. Snowbird employees will participate in a slightly different program but will be rewarded for any trips they take while riding the vanpool, carpooling, or using the bus. Employees will have a reward system separate from that used by the skiing and snowboarding public.
Another neat function of the R.I.D.E. app, in addition to tracking ridesharing, the amount of carbon that is offset by carpooling or riding the bus will be calculated. Not only will this feature help motivate users to consider driving less, it also may inspire guests and employees to make more meaningful changes and eco-friendly decisions on a daily basis outside of their skiing and snowboarding endeavors.
To download the app and for more information, visit snowbird.com/ride.
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