Thanks to the Measure C Carpool program, two employees of California State University, Fresno are splitting their second $1,000 prize in just five months for sharing their daily 27-mile commute to campus from the Sierra Foothills.
Lindasue Garner, an administrative assistant in Information Technology Services, and Janice Rutherford, an administrative assistant in the Department of Kinesiology, commute from Northfork and Coarsegold, respectively. They share their ride from Rutherford’s home in the Coarsegold area, trading cars each week, for the drive to campus.
They’ve been carpooling for the past three years, but this year as paid off big for their efforts.
Each month, Rutherford registers in the Measure C Carpool program designed to encourage people to share rides to work. The program, funded by a transportation sales tax approved and extended by Fresno County voters, is operated through the Fresno County Transportation Authority with staff from the Fresno County Council of Governments.
Each month, those who register are entered in a random drawing for a $1,000 prize. A car is given away once a year to the drawing participants.
Garner, who was notified they had won the most recent drawing after winning in April, called Rutherford and invited her to meet by the Fresno State Memorial Fountain and go to lunch. She didn’t tell Rutherford they had won again and Rutherford didn’t question the lunch date because her birthday is Friday and Garner’s was on Monday.
When Rutherford arrived, though, she was greeted by her friend and by two $500 checks (one for each commuter), a bouquet of balloons and good wishes from Measure C officials and Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Fresno State’s vice president for administration/CFO.
The university operates an alternative transportation program that encourages carpooling, bicycling and commuting by public transit.