Residents have long struggled with Salt Lake City’s winter inversions, which trap particulate pollution in the valley where they accumulate to hazardous levels. But winter isn’t the only season during which our air can be unhealthy to breathe. As climate change and droughts intensify, threats to air quality in the summer months—like wildfires, high ozone levels and toxic dust storms—continue to increase.
Fortunately, there’s something we can do about it.
In July, the University of Utah and U of U Health will compete to win the Clear the Air Challenge, a month-long statewide competition to drive less and reduce pollutants that contribute to poor air quality.
You can join our OneU team during the challenge and log your trips—including using public transit, walking, biking and teleworking—on the mobile-friendly TravelWise Tracker website or using the Commute Tracker mobile app.
To participate in the Challenge and be eligible to win incentives, log in to your account or register to join, complete your profile, and use the left-side navigation menu to connect to the Commute Tracker app. The app can automatically record your trips—so easy!
Last year, the University of Utah team logged thousands of non-vehicle trips which saved nearly 70 tons of harmful emissions from our air. This year our goal is to increase participation so we can improve our air quality and be a top team again! Participating in the Challenge also provides these benefits:
Did you know that all public transit—including buses, TRAX and FrontRunner—is free to ride with your UCard? Ride UTA, and avoid paying for parking and the cost of gas.
Drivers often experience traffic congestion and spend time finding a place to store their vehicles on campus. Research says bikers and walkers are the happiest commuters—so take control of your commute and get some exercise and fresh air while you’re at it!
Go for convenience
While we tend to equate driving cars with convenience, public and active transportation choices improve our health and often get us to our destinations faster than driving. Locate your nearest bus or train stop and find parking for your bike or scooter. You can also rent shared e-scooters and e-bikes for trips around campus using the SPIN app.
Join the U’s Clear the Air Challenge team and track your trips this next month—because with cleaner air, we’re all winners!