Picture by TheTruthAbout

Picture by TheTruthAbout.

Wednesday marks the start of the commuter challenge, a competition between George Mason University and the University of Maryland, to see which school can most reduce commuter traffic.

The challenge, which runs through Oct. 22, will have participants log how they travelled to campus each day, said Josh Cantor, the director of Parking and Transportation at Mason.

He said participants are split into teams, with prizes awarded to both the individual and team that saves the most trips. In addition to the contest prizes, there are other prizes which are exclusive to Mason participants.

The challenge will involve faculty, students and staff from both schools and will make use of a commuter service called Zimride. The service organizes carpools, allowing users to find a carpool partner and is based off criteria such as commute location and time.

Criteria for the challenge include the number of trips saved, the most carbon dioxide reduced and the most new Zimride users, Cantor said.

Parking will hold a kick-off event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at The Pilot House with raffle prizes. The event will feature a panel conversation as well as a presentation of the Campus Transportation and Traffic master plan. There will also be pizza from noon to 1 p.m.

More information, including a sign-up form, can be found at zimride.gmu.edu.