Carpoolers earn cash, Clean Air Campaign in full drive

  • Published
  • By Amand Creel
  • 78 ABW/PA
For one member of the Robins community, carpooling has paid a dividend of $100 and left her planning a trip to her favorite restaurant with her driving companion.

Stacie Fitzgerald earned the Clean Air Campaign quarterly spotlight award for carpooling 128 times from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31.

Ms. Fitzgerald, an electronics mechanic in Bldg. 640, has been carpooling for two years with her co-worker Kristi Kennedy, also an electronics mechanic. The pair said they will be sharing the reward by carpooling to their favorite restaurant for a meal.

The pair said they encourage everyone on Robins to give carpooling a try.

"If you can find someone you are compatible with and someone you enjoy spending time with, you should go for it," Ms. Fitzgerald said.

The pair said they enjoy spending time together on the way to work because it gives them time to wake up and get going.

"We motivate each other to be on time," Ms. Kennedy said.

The pair said though good conversation is a blessing, there are many other advantages and motivations for carpoolers, such as saving pennies at the pump or helping to preserve the environment.

Though the ladies were carpooling before the Clean Air Campaign made its way to Robins, the ladies are thrilled the group is here encouraging other members of the Robins community to give it a try.

"You don't have to commit yourself permanently, you can do it once a week or just try it a few times because every little bit helps," said Mattice Haynes, a member of the Clean Air Campaign team.

The pair agreed one of the most exciting parts of the Clean Air Campaign and the Ride Share program is the incentives, such as monthly drawings for $25 gift cards where one in 20 carpoolers at Robins will win, or getting paid $3 a day for switching from driving alone to a clean commute option such as vanpooling, biking or even walking. No matter what the motivation, 134 members of the base community are carpooling to work, saving the environment from unnecessary pollutants and saving their pocketbooks from unnecessary depletion.

"Every employee participating in a carpool or vanpool should be proud they are doing their part to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. We hope more Robins employees will follow Stacie's example and sign up for the RideShare program at the ESOH (Environmental Safety and Occupational Health) Fair on the 24th," said Heidi Schwingle, Air Quality program manager with Environmental Management.

To date, the program has paid about $9,200 in incentives to Robins' commuters and saved those commuters about $103,754, Ms. Schwingle said.

Together Robins's "clean commuters" have taken 3,045 fewer vehicle trips and traveled 206,849 fewer miles.

The environment is also reaping rewards from Robins carpooling efforts. By lowering the amount of vehicles on the road, nitrogen oxides have been reduced by 175 kilograms, volatile organic compounds have been reduced by 210 kilograms and particulate matter has been reduced by 2,627 grams.