This weekend, thousands of commuters across the globe will choose to take alternate forms of transportation to get where they need to go for World Car Free Day. While World Car Free Day is technically this Sunday, September 22nd, Commuter Connections is challenging DC metro area residents and commuters to participate from Saturday, September 21st through Monday, September 23rd.
Did you know 60% of pollutants from cars are created in just the first few minutes of a car trip? Whether you have a long or short commute, dropping the keys for the weekend will help reduce your carbon footprint, lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and even lessen traffic congestion. While lighter on the environment, it will also be lighter on your wallet, help reduce stress from sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, and (depending on your new mode of transport) help incorporate more exercise into your day.
Living in an urban area, we’re lucky to have multiple options and modes of transportation to choose from, not only this weekend, but all year round.
Here are a few ways to start planning your car free day (or days!):
Bike - Thousands of DC area residents travel by bike every day to get to work, run errands, or meet up with friends. If you don't already have access to a bike, there are many ways to rent one for the day or by the hour. Capital Bikeshare, Bike & Roll, and JUMP are a few options to get you started.
Scooter - The newest trend for traveling through DC is zipping by on a scooter. As you wander the city, you'll notice scooters on sidewalks and walkways, waiting for their next rider. Lyft, Lime, JUMP, Bird, Spin, and Skip are all available in DC, with apps to help find the closest one near you.
Metrorail & Bus - Even if you don't have a Metro stop you can walk to, there may be a Metrobus that can get you there. Metrobus schedules are online and the routes travel throughout the District, northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland.
Train - Another way to travel to and from the District is by train. Both the MARC and VRE trains extend beyond the boundaries of DC and many MD and VA residents take it to work daily.
Telecommute - If possible, ask your supervisor if you can telework for the day! As more and more companies explore a work-from-home policy, you may be able to remove your commute altogether for a day or two.
Carpool - If you live in an area where one of the above choices aren't an option, connect with a co-worker and see if you can carpool for the day. Not only will you be reducing your emissions in half for the day, but you might decide to make it a weekly occurrence.
Click here to fill out the pledge to go car free (or car-lite) for the day, or weekend. To participate and to pledge are both free, and those who pledge online will automatically receive a $30 Nift gift card while also being entered to win raffle prizes such as a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, tickets to the Newseum, gift cards, and more. Even if you already commute car-free, make sure to take the pledge to join in the movement and be entered to win the raffle prizes.
At EYA, we recognize the benefits of going car-free and are committed to creating distinctly special neighborhoods that encourage environmentally-friendly commutes. If you're interested in learning more about our walkable neighborhoods, click here.
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