A ferry trial and a carpooling app are two initiatives in a community challenge aiming to get Tauranga commuters out of their cars on Wednesdays.
The Wednesday Challenge is to launch in Tauranga early March and will encourage people to change the way they travel every Wednesday for the year.
A six-week ferry trial will launch on March 2, inviting people to catch a ferry to and from Omokoroa or between Salisbury Wharf the Mount and the Downtown Tauranga waterfront.
Wednesday Challenge director Heidi Hughes, a former Tauranga City councillor, said the project was partnering with Tourism Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Water Transport.
"Imagine commuting in from Omokoroa by ferry instead of sitting in traffic or maybe you have a meeting at the Mount, jump on the ferry instead of sitting on Hewletts Rd."
Hughes said a partnership with the Liftango carpool app would make it easy for commuters to find a ride or share a car.
"Obviously, we will be adhering to and promoting Covid-19 appropriate health and safety measures with this and all travel options to ensure we encourage safe travel."
With weekly and monthly leader boards, participants will be able to track how they are doing individually and across the different sectors of business, schools and neighbourhoods.
"It's a competitive challenge because we know that if we can encourage people to challenge others the rewards will be greater. We have school, business and neighbourhood teams working with each sector to drive participation and momentum and get results," Hughes said.
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The Wednesday Challenge aims to reduce car dependency in Tauranga over the year with a target of 20 per cent of regular drivers participating in the challenge.
Hughes said commuters would also be able to win prizes by biking, taking the bus, running, walking, skateboarding, scootering.
"We could reduce congestion on the roads, increase car park availability, increase health and mental wellbeing, reduce stress and increase productivity, improve community connections and help the environment. It's a win-win for all."
The Wednesday Challenge launches March 2 in Tauranga and is being led by Envirohub Bay of Plenty with funding from Waka Kotahi, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga City Council.
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