Quick Take:

As offices re-open and traffic worsens, an innovative program called GO Santa Cruz offers a more sustainable way to manage your commute (and you even get rewarded). Beat the traffic and register for free today so you can earn cool prizes for logging your walking, biking, carpool or bus trips!

As people start to emerge from sheltering in place and head back to the office, now is the perfect time to consider an alternative way to get to work.

Enter GO Santa Cruz, a program that rewards people with incentives to rethink their ride and choose a more earth-friendly commute. Rewards are earned when you opt to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to work — skateboards and Onewheels are welcome too!

“I use my GO Santa Cruz bus pass for the commute to work,” said Jax Caldwell-Dunn, a Bookshop Santa Cruz employee. “I love having the opportunity to be environmentally conscious, while saving money on gas and parking.”


How it works

GO Santa Cruz County features an online commute management tool available to all employees who live or work in Santa Cruz County. Community members can register by visiting https://my.cruz511.org and joining the Downtown GO Santa Cruz or GO Santa Cruz County network.

Downtown employee? Start earning rewards today!

GO Santa Cruz was first launched in 2019 by the City of Santa Cruz as an incentive for downtown Santa Cruz employees to choose alternative transportation methods. Since then, more than 1,100 of 4,000 downtown employees have registered through the online program, logging 23,859 alternative trips and reducing CO2 emissions by 27.6 metric tons.

We are excited to see Downtown employees taking advantage of the benefits of the program and utilizing alternative methods to commute to work. We expect to see engagement continue to increase as people become aware of the variety of incentives offered and how easy it is to participate. — Claire Gallogly, City of Santa Cruz Transportation Planner

In addition to free transit passes and bike locker cards, the GO Santa Cruz downtown program offers bike safety trainings, carpool incentives, carpool ride matching and commute information. Participants also have the chance to earn Downtown Dollars that can be spent just like cash at a variety of downtown businesses including many of your favorite shops and restaurants.

GO Santa Cruz bike
Credit: GO Santa Cruz

“Even though I live just two blocks from a bus stop, I’d never really considered taking public transportation to my job downtown until I saw that the Downtown Go Santa Cruz program offered free METRO passes,” said Shawn Orgel-Olson, who works at Environmental Innovations. “It was easy to get a pass and figure out the best route. The bus has been on time, more relaxing than driving, and makes it so I don’t need to pay for parking. I highly recommend it to everyone that lives along a bus route!”

Expanding the program beyond downtown and across the county

In April, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission announced its plans to build upon the success of the GO Santa Cruz program through a countywide expansion.

No longer limited to employees in Downtown Santa Cruz, those who live or work in Santa Cruz County can earn rewards in the form of electronic gift cards, participate in a series of free educational workshops on green transportation and more.

For the latest updates, be sure to follow GO Santa Cruz on social media