Dozens of commuters in Wilmington are stepping up to the challenge to find different ways to get to work. There are plenty of people out there trying to save on gas and money. They are doing it to support the city of Wilmington's Second Annual Commuter Challenge, where people are finding different means to get to work. For the past four months, Kate Kimrey wakes up to the same routine. She leaves her gas guzzling SUV behind to walk to her neighbor's house two doors down. Why? So they can meet up and carpool to work. “Of course gas prices had a lot to do with it, as well as the need to just go green,” said Kimrey. Susan Mello, Kate’s carpool partner said, "We ended up just meeting each other in the parking lot every morning and I just snuck up behind her and said this is so silly we should definitely ride together." They were also inspired to change their consumption habits by the city of Wilmington's Commuter Challenge. The city is encouraging business owners and their employees to find alternative methods of getting to and from work. With some coordination, both women managed to save on their weekly gas bill. Kate used to spend $50 a week to fuel her SUV. Now by driving Susan's more fuel efficient car, she only chips in $20 for gas. "At first it seemed a little daunting to coordinate what time do you go to work, what time do I go to work? Are we going to be able to leave work at the same time every afternoon? If you have a little bit of flexibility and you are willing to cooperate with your car pool buddy it's really a good thing,” said Kimrey. Call it neighbors helping neighbors or co-workers helping co-workers. These women say carpooling to work has allowed them to relieve the pain at the pump and turn the journey to work into a pleasure. "We just talk the entire time and have our coffee. It just makes going to work less painful, having a friend,” added Mello. This year's commuter challenge began on September 15, 2008 and will run through October 17, 2008.
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