How can I win free stuff?

One prize will be raffled off at the beginning of July, August and September. There are two ways you can enter the raffle:

  • Every trip badge you earned that month
  • Every Twitter, Facebook or Instagram post that month that shows a photo of your trip and tagged with #518DitchTheCar

So, the more badges you earn and the more social media posts you make, the more chances you have to win! In addition to the monthly trip raffle, anyone who earns the Three's a Charm Multi-Modal Badge or all 4 County Explorer Badges will be entered to win in the September raffle. Be sure to add your social media handles to your profile so we don't miss any of your posts. Limit one prize per person, per Challenge season.

What free stuff can I win?

Winners have a choice of two prize bundles. Option 1 includes a messenger bag, bike bottle, flashing bike light, reflective helmet stickers, bike bell and safety vest. Option 2 includes a messenger bag, travel mug, insulated lunch bag, portable charger and ear buds with travel case

Prize Option 1
Ditch The Car Prize Option 1
Prize Option 2
Ditch The Car Prize Option 2

How many trips must I log to earn a Trip Badge?

You earn the first badge simply by logging a single trip! After that, you earn a badge at 5 trips, 15 trips, 30 trips, 50 trips, 75 trips, 100 trips, and 150 trips. Trip Badges are earned by logging non-recreational trips (work, school, errands, or social visits).

How can I earn the Three's a Charm Multi-Modal Badge?

You can earn the Three's a Charm Multi-Modal Badge by logging three different primary modes for three separate trips. For example, you can earn this badge if on one day you bike to work, the next day you take the bus, and the third day you carpool.

How can I earn a County Explorer Badge?

The County Explorer Badges are intended to highlight new or lesser known infrastructure in each of our four counties, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady. Each county has a list of bike routes, trails, bus routes or other infrastructure that qualify towards that county's Explorer Badge. Visit at least 5 locations on a county's list on at least 5 separate trips to earn a badge. All types of trips, including recreational and exercise trips, count towards the Explorer Badges. The county location lists are below and a map showing all the locations can be found here.

Tulip Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Albany County list, below)

  1. Intermunicipal, Hudson River Corridor Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit
  2. Albany, South End Connector
  3. Albany/ Guilderland/ Colonie, Six Mile Waterworks Trail
  4. Cohoes, 787 Trail
  5. Colonie, Albany Shaker Trail
  6. Colonie and Guilderland, CDTA FLEX On Demand Transit
  7. Menands, Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge Connector to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  8. Watervliet, Hudson Shore Park Connection to Empire Trail

Uncle Sam Explorer Badge (All 5 locations on the Rensselaer County list, below)

  1. Intermunicipal, Hudson River Corridor Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit
  2. East Greenbush to Nassau, Albany Hudson Electric Trail
  3. Nassau to North Chatham, Albany Hudson Electric Trail
  4. Troy, Uncle Sam Trail
  5. Troy, South Troy Waterfront Bikeway

Pony Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Saratoga County list, below)

  1. Saratoga Springs, Geyser Road Trail
  2. Saratoga Springs, Spring Run Trail
  3. Halfmoon, Zim Smith Trail
  4. Halfmoon to Waterford, Champlain Canalway Trail
  5. Stillwater Champlain Canalway Trail
  6. Waterford, Champlain Canalway Trail

Electric Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Schenectady County list, below)

  1. Schenectady, Central Park to Downtown Connector
  2. Schenectady, ALCO Mohawk River Trail
  3. Glenville, Connector to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  4. Princetown, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  5. Rotterdam, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  6. Glenville, James R. Buhrmaster Trail
  7. Niskayuna, Flower Hill Multi-Use Path Connection
  8. Schenectady, Congress St and Cutler St Bike Lane pair

All of these locations are posted on an interactive map.

That's a lot of badges! Can you summarize them?

Trip Badges

  • Dump the Pump Badge (1 trip)
  • Green Machine Badge (5 trips)
  • Sustainable Traveler Badge (15 trips)
  • Car Free & Care Free Badge (30 trips)
  • Conquer the Traffic Badge (50 trips)
  • Strength in Numbers Badge (75 trips)
  • Capital Badge (100 trips)
  • Empire Badge (150 trips)

Multi-modal Badge

  • Three's a Charm Badge (3 or more travel modes used)

County Explorer Badges

  • Tulip Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Albany County list)
  • Uncle Sam Explorer Badge (All 5 locations on the Rensselaer County list)
  • Pony Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Saratoga County list)
  • Electric Explorer Badge (5 or more locations on the Schenectady County list)

Do I need to join a team to participate?

Nope! This challenge is structured for individuals to participate. However, we encourage you to invite your co-workers, friends and family to join in the fun!

Do recreational trips count towards my trip tally?

This challenge is structured to encourage participants to replace common car trips (such as commuting to work, running errands like medical appointments or trips to the grocery store, or social visits like dinner with friends) with alternate modes of transportation such as biking, walking, carpooling, taking the bus, or using CDTA's FLEX On Demand Transit. While it's great to take a walk or a bike ride for fun or exercise, doing so doesn't help to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

Although recreational trips don't count towards your trip tally, the good news is that recreational trips do count towards the County Explorer Badges! Each Explorer Badge is intended to highlight new or lesser-known ways to get around, for any reason! Explore a least 5 locations on a County list to earn a County Explorer Badge. Collect all four County Explorer Badges for a chance to win a prize!

What if I use more than one travel mode for a single trip?

A trip that involves more than one way of traveling still qualifies, as long as it replaces a car trip. For example, you may ride your bike to a bus stop, or walk to a carpool pick up location. Record multi-modal trips under the primary travel mode (such as biking, walking, riding the bus, etc.) that covered the longest distance for that trip. For example, if I ride my bike 2 miles to the bus stop and then ride the bus another 5 miles, riding the bus is the primary mode because it covered the most distance during the trip.

What is CDTA Flex On-Demand Transit?

FLEX is CDTA's curb-to-curb service that provides rides on demand in portions of the City of Albany, Town of Colonie and Town of Guilderland. See for more information and to download the app.

Does it count as carpooling if I commute with someone I live with?

Sorry, but travelling together with a member of your household isn't carpooling (but it is smart!). Carpools involve car trips with passengers from 2 or more households. Try a trip together with a neighbor or a co-worker!

Rideshare is the same as carpooling, right?

Although carpooling and rideshare are similar, they are not the same. The term ridesharing usually involves a person providing a ride to others for a profit, like a taxi cab. The driver of a rideshare is not going to the same destination as the passengers. Carpooling usually refers to a trip when the driver and passenger(s) have a similar commuting pattern and share the commute to make it more efficient, cost effective and lessen its impact on the environment. Carpools are usually not-for-profit trips but passengers may pay a portion of the driver's gas and car maintenance expenses.

Where can I find someone to carpool with?

Check out our regional 511NY Rideshare portal, Capital Moves! Capital Moves offers a carpool matching system and acts as a clearinghouse of all commute-related resources in the Capital Region such as the Guaranteed Ride Home Program, Park & Ride locations and vanpooling information.

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