September is a great month to be a transit rider, pedestrian, cyclist, or advocate. That’s because it’s Try Transit Month and Car-Free Month!
While there’s no universal governing body over these events, many cities around the world have adopted their own days/months/weeks and events to promote less reliance on the automobile. Trying transit and going car-free go together (obviously), so it’s a win-win for cities to promote their public transit systems and also show people what reduced car congestion feels like.
Coming up is one of the more popular events of this month, World Carfree Day, on September 22. Paris is one popular example, but car-free days have been held in cities big and small all over the world. On this day, people around the world are encouraged to leave their car at home and bike, walk, carpool, telecommute, or take the bus to work, school, or play.
Washington DC, where I used to work, does a lot of promotion for Carfree Day (they call it Carfree Metro DC). If you’re in the DC area, you can sign up to take a pledge to go car-free or car-light on that day. What’s “car light”? If you can’t give up your car entirely, perhaps instead of driving the entire way to work you use a park & ride facility and take Metro, or you arrange a carpool with a colleague or friend.
How will you plan to celebrate Car-Free Day?
Since I’m already car-free, I pledge to celebrate Try Transit Month by:
- Take transit for 2 trips each week in September when I might normally walk
- Get at least 2 friends back in DC to go car-free on September 22
For those of you in the Research Triangle Park area, GoTriangle (our regional transit system) promotes Try Transit Month and has a lot of great resources on their site.
I’d love to hear about your personal pledges and what you plan to do to celebrate on September 22 and all month long!