The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is the planning organization serving nine Colorado counties including the state capital, Denver.
A key part of its mission is to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips to mitigate traffic congestion, improve air quality, and enhance quality of life for the growing population in the region. DRCOG’s programs in support of these goals are administered through its online WayToGo platform.
One of DRCOG’s signature strategies is its annual “Go-Tober Challenge,” a multi-modal commute challenge in the month of October that pits employers and individuals against one another in different categories to encourage commuters to consider and try alternatives to driving alone.
Based on data from surveys taken in the months before and after the Go-Tober Challenge, six percent of participants reported continuing the alternative commuting habits originally adopted during the challenge.
Of those who indicated they were influenced by Go-Tober to consider new modes, most went from driving alone to carpooling or transit. Those modes showed increases of five and ten percent respectively, and each saw sustained boost in the month after the challenge. Carpooling held onto a three percent increase and transit stayed up six percent over the month before the challenge.
Below is a breakdown for the 11% of participants who indicated they always drove or teleworked:
How They Did It
DRCOG used the RideAmigos challenge platform with special branding to facilitate participation through sign-up and trip-logging. Employers are split into four competitive categories based on transportation options and access to ensure equity among employers that enjoy different levels of mode access across the region. Employees are then encouraged to sign-up and log trips for their employer during the challenge with prizes and rewards distributed throughout, as well as a large reward for the employers that perform the best overall during the challenge period.
“Now in its fourth year, the GoTober campaign has grown significantly and is now our most successful employer-based campaign”
— Steve Erickson, Director, Communications and Marketing
Why It Works
Challenge periods are well known to catalyze behavior change and the GoTober challenge leverages a few key components to make this particular iteration even more effective.
First, the GoTober challenge is employer based rather than strictly individual. This helps by increasing the social aspect of the challenge which helps with encouragement and also in some cases helps folks make lasting connections that will propel them to continued mode shift beyond the time of the challenge.
Second, DRCOG cleverly groups employers into four categories for competition based on access to transportation options. This levels the playing field and ensures that interest doesn’t wane for those employers that may not have great access to transit or other alternative modes.
Finally, DRCOG provides interesting pop-up rewards throughout the challenge period, essential to maintaining engagement over a long month.
About Denver Regional Council of Governments
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is a planning organization where local governments collaborate to establish guidelines, set policy and allocate funding in the areas of transportation and personal mobility, growth and development, aging and disability resources. Visit drcog.org.
RideAmigos is proud to partner with DRCOG to power the MyWayToGo platform and programs. If you’d like to learn more about replicating results like these, get started today by talking to us about your commuter programs and goals.