College Had Most New Enrollments on NuRide Carpooling Site During Earth Day Commuter Challenge

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – As part of its emerging sustainability program, SUNY Orange is encouraging faculty, staff and students to find ways in which they may become more environmentally friendly, and the College’s efforts were rewarded today when it was named a winner of the 2010 Earth Day Commuter Challenge.

PHOTO: Go.Green@sunyorange logoThe yearlong Earth Day Commuter Challenge was designed to reduce drive-alone commuting in the Hudson Valley by encouraging employers and employees to promote commuter alternatives in the workplace using—an on-line ride-matching network. Winners from four different categories—reduced car trips during the challenge, participation rates, total enrollments and new enrollments—were announced during an awards ceremony at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, N.Y. SUNY Orange had 18 new enrollees in the “Race to the Finish” portion of the Challenge, the most of any participating organization.

In January, the College partnered with NuRide, the online ridesharing community coordinated by MetroPool, the commuter services agency operated by the state transportation departments of New York and Connecticut.

The NuRide web site (, among MetroPool’s array of employer and commuter transportation programs, allows registered users to search for possible ridesharing opportunities with people from their geographic area or organization. Once registered, SUNY Orange employees and students will be able to locate other members of the College community interested in sharing rides to and from the College’s campuses. But, because NuRide is open to all residents within the Hudson Valley, those from the College could share rides with neighbors to areas close to campus, or even collaborate on trips to other locations not related to SUNY Orange.

In addition to reducing their impact on the environment and saving money on commuting costs, those who register with NuRide earn rewards points for each “trip saved.” Rewards points can be earned for carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, taking other mass transportation, biking or walking.

“Currently 679 employers in the Hudson Valley promote commuter alternatives that save their employees more than $580,000 in commute related expenses, said MetroPool CEO John Lyons. “We congratulate their outstanding efforts. Their participation in this program has reduced more than 3 million commuter miles driven and has prevented an estimated 2,752,000 pounds of carbon emission from being released into our air.”

Lyons continued, “The employers honored today are leaders in encouraging transportation alternatives in the Hudson Valley. They promote environmentally friendly programs for their employees that save time and money, placing their companies ahead of the competition. We congratulate their success.”

For more information on SUNY Orange’s NuRide program, or any of its sustainability efforts, contact Kirsten Gabrielsen at (845) 341-4166, or visit the "Go.Green@sunyorange” sustainability web site.

2010 Commuter Challenge Winners

Reduced car trips during the challenge Trips Reduced
Pfizer (12,101)
Westchester County Government (7,090)
New York Life Insurance Company (6,783)

Participation rate during the challenge Participation Rate
Orange and Rockland Utilities (58%)
Amalgamated Life (35%)
Northern Westchester Hospital (29%)

Total enrollments during the challenge Total Enrollments
Westchester County Government (39)
IBM (34)
New York Life Insurance Company (28)

New enrollments during the “Race to the Finish” New Enrollments
SUNY Orange
Bard College (15)
Westchester County Government (15)
New York Power Authority (14)

The following companies received Honorable Mention with distinction: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for placing in three of four races; The County of Rockland and Swiss Re for participating in the Race to the Finish since program inception in 2008. Honorable Mention was given to Cardiology Consultants of Westchester, Westchester Medical Center, Empire Blue- Middletown, Nine West, Pepsi Beverages Company, CBLPath, Inc. and PepsiCo.

» Back to Headlines

Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940