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Regional transit authority to encourage using public transportation with rewards system

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  July 12, 2012 02:53 PM

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The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority will become one of many local transportation networks to partner with NuRide, the nation's largest travel rewards and rideshare matching program, to encourage residents to use greener transportation modes like public transit.

NuRide, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, is free for anyone living or working in Massachusetts and encourages greener trips by walking, bicycling, carpooling, or using public transit.

Members record their trips, tracking money saved and the emissions prevented, while racking up reward points through NuRide.

Members can then trade in their points for restaurant coupons, retailer discounts, and tickets to shows and attractions.

Additionally, individuals who enroll in NuRide through a Massachusetts RTA system are provided with a unique promotion code available on each of the RTA web pages, which provides an instant 1,000 point credit to new accounts, according to MassDOT.

The MWRTA is in the beginning phases of implementing NuRide into their system, said Eva Willens, MWRTA executive assistant.

"They came to the RTA about a month ago and told us about the program, and we’re very interested," Willens said, adding that MassRIDES has offered to help design the MWRTA's website implementation of NuRide.

Willens said the MWRTA will probably advertise the NuRide program inside their buses as well as on their website.

"It’s all about passengers and I think a lot of this has to do with commuters," Willens said. "If we can motivate or give more of an incentive for people to use the bus service, we’re open to all those types of options to get more people on the bus."

More RTAs have taken up the initiative. The Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, and the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority have each taken a unique approach in promoting NuRide to their customers, according to MassDOT.

There are currently 71,215 NuRide members across the United States. Since January 2003, members have taken 14,867,213 greener trips and redeemed $3,441,362 in rewards, according to the organization's website.

For additional information, please visit www.commute.com/nuride or contact Johanna Blue of MassRIDES at 617.892.6086 or Johanna.Blue@state.ma.us.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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