Pechanga Resort, IE511 reduce pollution through ridesharing program

Pechanga Resort and Casino had a lot to celebrate this past Earth Day, as one of their programs effectively cut down on more than 100,000 pounds of pollution and close to 400,000 driving trips.

The casino’s rideshare program is hardly new. It’s been one of the casino’s long lasting efforts to curb pollution caused by vehicle traffic.

That’s something they’ve been doing in conjunction with another organization, IE511, for the past seven years, according to Public Relations Manager Ciara Green.

IE511 is a website and communication service that’s dedicated to providing Southern California commuters situated in the Inland Empire region with information about traffic conditions, accidents, freeway closures, and ridesharing options among a number of other services.

The ridesharing component of IE511 is what spurred a relationship with Pechanga.

The service, which is part of a joint effort between Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and San Bernardino County’s Associated Governments (SANBAG), has teamed up with nearly 300 Inland Empire worksites to foster programs similar to the one at Pechanga.

Pechanga is one of those places where the ridesharing program is celebrated and resort officials make an effort to encourage their employees to consider ridesharing through incentives. These include a $2 incentive for every day a person decides to utilize ridesharing and this incentive is received for the first three months of participation in the program.

That’s something that many of the business who work hand in hand with IE511 provide, but that’s not the only reward Pechanga has given its employees. They’ve also awarded $51,518 in grocery gift cards for becoming new ridesharers as an incentive, according to Green.

The end result has been that 1,111 Pechanga employees participated in the IE511 rideshare program, eliminating a total of 7,715,592 miles in trips to and from the resort. In terms of monetary gain that’s translated to approximately $4.6 million.

Brian Cunanan, IE511 program manager, said the program is good for everyone who gets involved with it because it has some long lasting implications.

“Ridesharing makes it possible for a single company to make a big positive difference in the environment,” Cunanan said. “Our studies show that more than 70-percent of people who rideshare for three months continue, even after they finish our initial $2.00 a day incentive program.”

General Manager Rudy Prieto said he’s excited to be able to offer the rideshare benefits among a number of other benefits at Pechanga.

“We tell our new team members all the time about all the incentives and perks they get when they come to work here, and the ridesharing program is certainly a valuable one. Not just for the ridesharer, but for our community as a whole.”

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