Sept. 30, 2006, marked the last day of a seven-week commute alternative program in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, N.C., aimed at reducing the number of cars on city streets. Nearly 13,000 residents in the state's Triangle area pledged to take the “SmartCommute Challenge” and carpool, bicycle, telework or take transit at least once before the end of the program, saving an estimated 58,000 gallons of gas and 1.4 million commuter miles. Approximately 25 percent of participants pledged to take public transit, which helped set a new one-month ridership record for the Triangle Transit Authority in August, carrying 80,716 rides on all regional routes, shuttles and express buses. Also, during the same month,, the local Web site for ridesharing and bus trip planning information, generated a 50 percent increase in visitors in August to more than 180,000. The annual program is managed by SmartCommute@rtp, the transportation management association of the Research Triangle Park; Triangle Transit Authority; and Triangle Air Awareness. For more information on the event, visit