Smart Trips holds bike picnic

Smart Trips and Western Washington University Sustainability partnered up to organize a picnic bike ride from Red Square on Western Washington University’s Bellingham campus to the Fairhaven Farmer’s market at noon on Wednesday, June 24.

This leisurely bike ride was organized to promote Smart Trips and to get people to try and find alternative methods of transportation to work, such as by biking.

Smart Trips also brought two electric bikes for people to try out.

“It will zip you right up the hill, and you don’t have to worry about finding parking or getting sweaty on your way to work,” Kristen Wert, Smart Trips program coordinator said.

These electric bikes will work for about a 25-mile range at a time depending on a person’s weight and how much they pedal.

The Whatcom Smart Trips is a program implemented in 2006 with hopes of reducing traffic congestion, providing health benefits to individuals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening social connections within the community. This program tracks and rewards those in Whatcom County who bike, walk or carpool to work with monthly and quarterly cash prize drawings.

Western’s Outdoor Center also lent out four commuter bikes for people to use.

A Smart Trip is any trip that either starts or ends in Whatcom County that is made by walking, bicycling, sharing a ride or riding the bus that replaces a drive-alone vehicle trip that is not for recreation. These trips can be recorded by anyone age 14 and older.

However, in order to rideshare, two or more licensed drivers must share a ride to the same destination or separate destinations along the same path of travel. Ridesharing among people 14-18 years-old is not eligible as a Smart Trip.

In order to participate, Whatcom County citizens must complete the new user registration and then record Smart Trips using the Trip Diary on the website.