Prize winner Samantha standing in her gym

Ditch the Car Star

Fitness instructor Samantha was a devoted driver for getting to work. That was until the increase in fuel costs made it unsustainable. She needed to find a solution. With the help of the BetterPoints Sunderland challenge, she’s now commuting to the gym in healthier and less expensive ways. Here is what she had to say:

Before joining the BetterPoints Sunderland challenge, what were your travel habits like?

“I was using my car to get to the gym 5 days a week, which is a journey of about 1.5 miles. Once upon a time I would have run that distance, but my knees are too knackered now!
I started to reconsider when the petrol prices went up massively. I needed to find a way of cutting down my travel costs as it was too expensive.
I saw the app advertised on the Sunderland City Council Facebook pages. It caught my attention because I am quite an active person through my job. I thought to myself, ‘if I can earn rewards for walking instead and save money at the same time it’s a win-win’.”

How has using the BetterPoints app helped? What is it you like about it?

“It has encouraged me to walk a lot more than I used to.
I’m a competitive person so I enjoy setting myself challenges. I like using the app in combination with my fitness tracker to make sure I’m reaching my daily step count and distance targets. I really hate it when I don’t hit them!
I’m always checking in to see my points total too. This has also helped me to stay motivated, especially when the weather isn’t good.
I’ve been trying to persuade my son to use the app, but I’d recommend it to anybody. It’s simply laid out in front of you what activities you’ve done in the day and the rewards you’ve got for it. It’s great to see the return for your efforts.”

How has the BetterPoints app changed your activity and travel habits?

“I’m now walking to work or for leisure trips most days, and if not I’m catching the bus. Fares have recently been capped at £2, so catching the bus is definitely more economical than driving.
I’m only using the car once or twice a week at most when I’m doing my shopping and have too much to carry.”

What benefits have you noticed as a result?

“I feel a lot happier. I love getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk. It’s much better than sitting in a car isn’t it?
And importantly it is saving me money as well. I was putting £150 of petrol in the tank every month before I started this new routine. Now I’m only spending £80, so a big difference.”

Not yet earning rewards for walking, wheeling, cycling and taking public transport? To join BetterPoints Sunderland simply download the free BetterPoints app via the buttons or QR below and tap ⚡ to get started.

Change the way you travel around Sunderland and earn rewards.

Mobile phone with betterpoints app.