Want some extra cash? Here’s how you can make money during your Atlanta commute

Since Atlanta traffic took a turn for the (even) worse after a massive fire caused a section I-85 to collapse two weeks ago, commuters have been examining other travel options, such as MARTA, carpooling or even telecommuting.

» RELATED: 7 things we know about the I-85 bridge collapse two weeks later

In Georgia, smart commuters can actually earn money by using one of the aforementioned alternative commute options.

The program, under Georgia Commute Options, pays residents in a 20-county metro Atlanta region to use "green" commute options, including public transit, car- and van-pooling, biking, walking or teleworking.

Here are the eligible counties: Barrow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.

It can also partner commuters with other like-minded, nearby commuters to set up rideshare arrangements.

» RELATED: Atlanta traffic among worst in the world, study finds

According to NPR, the program has 7,000 "active participants" who help save 550 tons of pollution every day.

By participating in the clean commute options, commuters can earn $5 for every trip — up to $150 — and are then eligible for a monthly prize drawing for a $25 Visa gift card.

And for those carpooling, you can earn a monthly gas card toward your carpool for 12 months within a 3-year period.

The more carpooling members, the bigger the award, according to Georgia Commute Options.

» RELATED: How the I-85 closure will affect your commute

Carpools with three people can earn a $40 gas card each month, whereas those with four or more folks can earn a $60 gas card each month.

Here’s how it works:

  • Create an account with Georgia Commute Options at mygacommuteoptions.com.
  • Log your daily commute activity.
  • Apply for one of the cash prize programs:
  • Note that each of the prizes have specific eligibility requirements. For example, to apply for the Gimme Five Program, you must currently be driving alone to work and are ineligible if you've used a clean commute mode for 12 or more days in the past 60 days.

According to NPR, the Georgia Commute Options incentive program began during the 1996 Olympics when the city of Atlanta wanted to help ease traffic congestion.

Funding for the program comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

If you're interested in adjusting to a more green commute with a cash incentive, visit mygacommuteoptions.com.

Read more at NPR.com.