KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than 90 percent of East Tennesseans drive to work, and that's not the only time you spend behind the wheel.
Now Smart Trips, a Knox County initiative to encourage greener ways to get around, is branching out into the neighborhood. (Click here to see the map)
"Smart Trips regular program focuses on the work commute, so we're trying to get them to make other trips outside of the car," said program coordinator Alisa Ashouri.
Smart Trips Neighborhood launches this month to get people North Knoxville moving in a new way. They've laid out a new map with transit options, sidewalks and bike lanes.
"Take those short trips that they would normally take by car, for example, to visit friends, to run to the market, to go to the library, the park, and replace those trips with bicycling, taking transit, walking, even carpooling," said Ashouri.
Every time you skip the car and log a trip by bus, bike or your own two feet, you'll be donating money to North Knoxville schools. You can even carpool and it counts.
"It's normally money that we would provide on incentives such as gift cards and in this case, we're providing it as donations to the schools," she said.
Smart Trips has partnered with the Plus 3 Foundation, a charitable social network, to make it happen. Then school parent teacher organizations will help distribute the funds to needed projects. Neighborhood leaders say it encourages the community to get involved together -- and help kids from Belle Morris, Beaumont and Christenberry elementaries.
"That trip will earn kudos which will be money that will go toward the big donation of up to $1000 each school. We'll ultimately make the donation in the fall when the program ends," said Ashouri.
The target neighborhoods now are Belle Morris, Edgewood Park, Fairmont/Emoriland, Fourth and Gill, Oakwood/Lincoln Park, and Old North Knoxville. Residents can order a kit of information to get started. It's delivered by bike.
Ashouri says Smart Trips will spread the program to other neighborhoods in the future. Anyone living in the Greater Knoxville area can sign up for the traditional Smart Trips commuter program.
Click the link below for more information.