UNC Asheville's Great Bus About was recently
recognized by the Association of Commuter Transportation with a
first-place award for creative excellence. The award is presented to
successful transportation projects which demonstrate originality,
create a significant response while lowering the cost of
transportation and reduce environmental impact.
The Great Bus About, a partnership between UNC Asheville and the
City of Asheville, was launched in 2006 as a marketing tool to
promote the Passport program, which provides unlimited free bus
service to UNC Asheville students, staff and faculty. The Passport
program led to a 146% increase in UNC Asheville bus boarding between
November 2006 and May 2007. The 2006 Great Bus About led to a
one-day 2000% increase in bus ridership.
During the Great Bus About, students team up and spend the day
riding the bus, biking or walking around Asheville, stopping at
local businesses to collect points and prizes. At the end of the
day, the students reconvene and the team with the most points
receives the grand prize. The program was designed by Yuri Koslen,
UNC Asheville transportation planner and Harry Johnson, student
"I have heard of scavenger type events to promote transportation
demand management programs, but this one is an original. Many cities
and universities provide give-away programs to promote alternative
transportation, but none are like this," Koslen said.
The second annual Great Bus About was successfully held again this
past August. About 90 students participated in hopes of winning the
grand prize, four iPod shuffles, and other prizes donated by local
businesses including AMF Star Lanes, Asheville Pizza & Brewing
Company, Asheville Tourists, BioWheels, Carmike Ten, Climbmax Indoor
Climbing Center, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Earth Fare Market & Cafe,
Great Clips on Merrimon Ave., Harvest Records, KarmaSonics Music
Video , Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers,
Orange Peel, Rio Burrito, Sunny Point Café and Bakery, West End
Bakery & Café, and Youngblood Bicycles.