California’s Contra Costa County partnership incentivizing sustainable transport with Miles app

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The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), 511 Contra Costa and the developers of the Miles incentivized transport application have teamed up to make sustainable commuting more rewarding for all who travel within the California county.

Keen to support and promote sustainable transportation, the CCTA and 511 Contra Costa have been working together for years to offer incentives for cleaner, greener trips. 511 Contra Costa is a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program that promotes alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle. Providing real-time, earned rewards is now easier with the Miles app. In addition to the rewards that are available to all users, the app’s gamification abilities allow 511 Contra Costa to offer meaningful incentives to encourage travelers to try environmentally friendly modes of transportation. The information will provide important guidance to CCTA’s engineers and planners as they design the county’s transportation infrastructure of the future.

Miles is a unique, easy-to-use smartphone app that seamlessly and automatically logs the miles users travel on all modes of transportation including biking, walking, transit and rideshare. The miles can be redeemed for rewards from national retailers in the USA, including Vudu, HelloFresh, Cole Haan, NatureBox, Silvercar, Atom Tickets, Getaround, and local event venues like Cal Bears, Saint Mary’s College Athletics and the Viansa Sonoma Winery. The Miles app is now available as a free download for Apple devices, and the first 5,000 users will get exclusive access to the app within 24 hours. Those who are not in the first 5,000 can still download the app, but may have to wait a few days before they are given access. Each user will be automatically awarded 1,500 bonus miles at sign-up. Android users can sign up for the waiting list and will be notified when the app is available to redeem their 1,500 bonus miles.

“We are always looking for exciting new ways to encourage greener travel choices,” said the CCTA’s executive director, Randell Iwasaki. “We recognized early on the potential of Miles as a tool that could help us make those choices more rewarding. Our agency forged a partnership with Miles and worked closely with the team as the app was developed to help make it easy and fun for Contra Costa’s residents to earn rewards for everyday travel. In addition to providing great rewards to the public, Miles encourages travel choices that help reduce traffic congestion such as taking public transit, carpooling, biking and walking; earning more miles than driving alone.”

Jigar Shah, CEO and co-founder of Miles, commented, “We initially approached CCTA because of the agency’s reputation for innovation. CCTA has provided valuable insight and advice throughout the pilot phase, and now we’re thrilled to launch with them as our first public-sector partner.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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