BP Helps Columbus Drivers Commute Better This Summer

Jul 25, 2011, 07:00 ET from BP

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The daily commute of Columbus drivers isn't generally as stressful as that of other U.S. cities, according to research from Kiplinger,(1) but a recent survey commissioned by BP Products North America Inc suggests there is room for improvement. From impacted moods to concerns over wear and tear, Columbus drivers are familiar with the burdens of commuting, yet three out of four drivers don't deviate from their usual routine in order to improve it.  In an effort to introduce Columbus drivers to various local commuting solutions, BP has launched it's first-ever "Commute Better" program, focusing on the little things that can improve the quality of commuters' daily travel this summer. Here are some of the pressing commuting issues that BP's survey revealed:

Columbus Drivers are Creatures of Habit

Columbus commuters are creatures of habit when it comes to navigating the road, with eighty-six percent agreeing that they have a very specific commute route that they adhere to on a daily basis. But, in fact, being well-versed in alternate routes may be the difference in getting out of the occasional traffic-jam.

"By following the same routine and not knowing your alternates, drivers are susceptible to back-ups on their preferred highways due to unexpected construction or accidents," said Craig Sinclair, traffic reporter with Clear Channel Radio Network.  And according to the survey, local road work was cited as the top inconvenience during the month of June.  

A bad commute can leave a lasting impression, especially when it comes to long distance commuters. The burden of time spent on the road was more prevalent amongst drivers who travelled more than 20 miles each way, with 65 percent admitting to showing up late for work over the last year.  And, overall, three out of five Columbus commuters agree that a bad commute can impact their mood for the rest of the day.

Commuters Concerned over Wear and Tear

Twenty percent of Columbus commuters said they spend three to five hours of their work week on the road and 47 percent rack up more than 100 miles, according to the survey.  For all this time and mileage spent on the road, 71 percent commuters are concerned about the ongoing impact this has on their vehicles.

"One way to make your commute more efficient, while ensuring your car is well maintained, is to use a quality fuel such as BP gasoline with Invigorate that helps clean and protect your engine, adding a few more miles per tank to your daily trek*," said Dan "Boots" Longenette, local auto expert and mechanic.

Through its Commute Better campaign, BP hopes to ease the daily grind by providing tips and incentives to drivers – from avoiding congestion on the road, to ensuring your vehicle drives more efficiently, to helping drivers maximize their time while en route.  The campaign will feature:

  • A panel of local experts including Columbus' go-to traffic authority Craig Sinclair, on-the-go moms, and auto expert, Dan "Boots" Longenette, who will share firsthand advice on all aspects of the commute.
  • Two dedicated on-the-ground Commute Crew teams that will interact with drivers AM-PM, offering perks such as coffee coupons (while supplies last, for use at participating sites), free umbrellas during rainstorms, sunglasses on bright days and a chance to win free BP gasoline for a year.
  • Special BP site offers, such as a forthcoming market-wide loyalty program; details will be accessible via mybpstation.com/Columbus starting in August.

"We are thrilled to launch the Commute Better initiative in Columbus and focus on the little things that can help improve and maximize drivers' time on the road," said Kevin Phelan, vice president of sales and marketing. "Whether it's a hot cup of coffee at your local BP station, the ability to get a few more miles out of each tank of gas*, or the timing of an important morning traffic report, BP hopes to make Columbus drivers' commutes more enjoyable this summer."

Additional Insights from BP's Columbus Commuting Survey

Data collected by RDR Research shows that Columbus commuting behaviors vary when it comes to those with short commutes (less than 30 minutes) versus longer commutes (more than 30 minutes.)  Insights include:

  • For those drivers who do vary their commute, those with commutes of more than half an hour are significantly more likely to follow a typical, alternate route (69 percent) than those with shorter commutes of 10 to 15 minutes (40 percent) and 16 to 30 minutes (45 percent).
  • Special errands or traffic obstacles are the top reasons for exploring a different route.  
    • Two out of three of all commuters break their routine commute for special errands.  Those with commutes of less than 10 miles (72 percent) are significantly more likely to run errands than those driving 20+ miles (61 percent).
    • When facing heavy traffic, nearly 40 percent of commuters cite high traffic areas as a reason they deviate from their normal commute This was an especially popular choice among those traveling 16 to 30 minutes (50 percent) and 31+ minutes (38 percent) than it was for those with shorter commutes of 10 to 15 minutes (23 percent).

To learn more about how BP, the Commute Crew and the program's local experts are helping Columbus drivers Commute Better, visit mybpstation.com through the end of September.

About BP

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 11,000 BP and ARCO branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.  BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources. 

About the Survey

The survey was conducted on behalf of BP Products North America Inc. between July 1 and July 13 by Richard Day Research. Respondents included 452 male and female commuters in the Columbus, Ohio, DMA (Designated Market Area) and 111 mothers who drive their kids to/from school or other activities (63 of these mothers were also work commuters. The survey was conducted online, using names drawn from an Internet panel maintained by Survey Sampling International. 

*All grades of BP gasoline with Invigorate® help your car get a few more miles per tank when compared to low-detergency, low-quality gasoline. When used continuously, it helps clean and protect critical engine parts from harmful deposits, so you'll go a little farther between fill-ups.

(1) http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/slideshows/slideshow_pop.html?nm=Commutingcities

Media Contacts:
BP Products North America: Scott Dean, 630/821-3212, Scott.Dean@bp.com
GolinHarris: Brett Cerf, 312/729-4278, bcerf@golinharris.com