Contra Costa County transportation officials are launching a new effort next month to encourage the county's commuters to reduce smog and traffic congestion by trying alternative modes of transportation.
Dubbed the "Text-Your-Commute Challenge," it begins Oct. 3 and runs through Oct. 24 and asks people to report on how they get to and from work.
People who report making 15 "clean" one-way trips during that time will be entered to win a $25 prize and people who report making 30 such trips could win $100, according to 511 Contra Costa and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.
Clean trips include most types of transportation that don't rely on a single person driving a single vehicle to work, and can include things like carpools, vanpools, buses, trains, ferries, walking or bicycling, according to organizers.
"This is a fun opportunity for people who typically drive alone to try different ways of getting to work," Contra Costa Transportation Authority board chairman Dave Hudson said in a statement. "You'll end up saving money on your commute and reducing traffic -- and you can win a prize on top of that."
People can sign up now by texting the word "START" to (925) 905-8747. Daily texts will go out at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. asking people how they got to and from work. To stop participating, people can text "STOP" to the same number.