Introducing the San Diego Commuters Club

Receive new rewards for doing the right thing

by Elizabeth Rossin

ow do you get to work? Do you crawl along the I-15? Do you slowly squeeze through the 5/805 merge? Do you inch along the 8? Or, do you cruise on the Coaster? Hitch a ride on the express bus? Zip down the carpool lane?

If you are one of the latter, besides making yourself happier and healthier by ridesharing, you are also doing the environment and your health a big favor. People who use alternative modes of transportation are helping to reduce the number of cars on the road and the amount of smog in the air.

If you are one of those people who has committed to using an alternative mode of transportation on a regular basis, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District would like to thank you. If you ride the bus, the Trolley, the train (Amtrak or Coaster), carpool, vanpool, telecommute, bike to work, walk to work, or drive an alternative fuel vehicle, the San Diego Commuters Club is for you.

The San Diego Commuters Club was created by the Air Pollution Control District to reward people whose transportation choices have a positive impact on our environment. Membership in the Commuters Club if free entitles you to a host of special discounts from participating businesses including restaurants, movie theaters, newspapers, the San Diego Padres, and more.

Club members in some areas will also receive the "guaranteed emergency ride home" which ensures that transit users, Coaster riders and carpoolers will never get stranded at work in an emergency. All members will receive a "welcome kit" with a club membership card, valuable coupons and vouchers. Members will also receive seasonal newsletters containing transportation related information, contests and prizes from club sponsors.

The Commuters Club is for employers, too. Companies can offer incentive discounts to club members or offer memberships to workers as an employment benefit.

To join or for employer information, call the Commuters Club hotline at 619-595-3922.


Healthier and happier


About 60 percent of San Diego County's air pollutants come from cars and trucks, and the majority of car exhaust comes from people driving to and from work.

Short-term exposure to smog for only an hour or two can add stress to the body. Our lungs have to work extra hard just to get the necessary amount of oxygen our system needs. Prolonged exposure to smog can reduce lung capacity permanently and lead to long-term respiratory problems. Smog is especially harmful for children because their lungs are still developing.

"Most people don't realize that air pollution contributes to health-related problems for hundreds of San Diegans every year," said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox, who is also Chairman of the Air Pollution Control Board.

Commuters are also healthier, happier and more productive at work than those who drive alone to work everyday. Studies have shown that stress caused by traffic has a dramatic effect on worker productivity and health. People who use public transportation are more likely to get to work on time everyday and are more likely to be in a better mood when they get there.