Undriving™ was invented in 2007 within the innovative Seattle neighborhood group, Sustainable Ballard. We learned that the single household behavior change we can make to have the biggest impact is to drive less…. But what could we do to encourage our neighbors to leave their cars in “park” more often? And how could we make it engaging, inviting, even fun? After months of discussion our founder coined the term Undriving™ – and the idea for the Undriver License™ followed closely on its heels.
The Undriver Licensing™ Station made its debut at the 4th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival in September, 2007, where it was an instant hit. In a rainy fall weekend, we licensed 436 Undrivers of all ages – who each made a pledge to reduce their car use (or car use on the planet in general, if not their own) in the coming month. They also received free bus tickets from King County METRO.
We quickly realized that we had a winning program on our hands, with far-reaching applications. We formed an organization and got busy fielding invitations to bring the Station to events; developing the program for use in schools, workplaces; and community settings; and proving this innovative concept for generating behavior change.
Not only does Undriving readily engage people to reconsider their car use, it effectively leads to change: our surveys consistently show that 72 percent of Undrivers establish a new transportation pattern as a result of their pledge.
Since our launch, we have licensed over 15,000 Undrivers at more than 100 events around the region. We have partnered with King County Metro, Seattle Children’s, City of Redmond, Bumbershoot, 4Culture, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Feet First, City of Issaquah, City of Portland, OR, the Seattle Department of Transportation and many others. We have presented at the World Carfree Conference, the Safe Routes to School Summit, and Seattle Green Festival, Washington State Ride-share Organization, and Association for Commuter Transportation in Canada.
From the beginning we have fielded inquiries from all over the country (and beyond) from agencies, universities, hospitals, and organizations who are interested in utilizing Undriver Licensing™ to help meet car-use-reduction goals in their locales. In response we have now developed our Undriver Licensing™ Station Toolkit, which we make available to Official Undriving Licensing Partners. (For more information click here.) As our Founding Licensing Partner, Intercity Transit in Olympia, WA, is now carrying out Undriver Licensing in its work with schools, workplaces, and the community, along with all our Official Licensing Partners, Sound Transit (Seattle, WA) and the Spokane County CTR Office (Spokane, WA).
We look forward to discovering where the Undriver License™ will take us next!
Images above: The process of making licenses is an evolving invention!
Undriver License 1.0 – produced with Polaroid insta-film camera and laminator borrowed from the King County Police Union’s My ID Club.
Undriver License 2.0 - produced with corporate-ID card-making software and card printer, set up with assistance from Polaroid Commercial ID Systems (now Screen Check).
Undriver License 3.0 – printed to the card printer from our Big License setup – with cutout for photos and dry-erase finish for writing your name and Undorsements.
Undriver License 4.0 – our most portable and scaleable system, developed with Guardian ID Systems – and now in use by Undriving, Intercity Transit, Sound Transit and Spokane County.