OAKLAND, Calif., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, and 511 wants to remind people about the numerous choices they have to help protect our air and climate.
With vehicle exhaust from automobiles causing smog and accounting for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area, residents can help the environment by driving less and choosing alternative forms of travel.
"511 offers many tools for commuters to go green and to help the environment by driving less and using alternative transportation," said Adrienne Tissier, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). "The simple act of leaving your car at home even just one day each week can help us all breathe easier and reduce the pollution that causes climate change."
For this Earth Day and every day, 511 offers the following tips to reduce driving:
- Take the bus, train, or ferry. Public transit providers are available throughout the Bay Area, and commuters can use the online 511 Transit Trip Planner to plan a trip, the 511 Transit App for iPhone and Android, or the mobile 511 Transit trip planner at m.511.org.
- Share your trip with others. Carpool with a co-worker or friend, or share the ride in a vanpool and help take cars off the road. The 511 RideMatch Service has helped thousands of Bay Area residents find carpool partners, and 511's vanpool page offers a list of vanpools with available seats.
- Ride your bike. Bicycling is one of the few "zero-pollution" travel options. With its thousands of miles of bike paths, lanes and routes, the Bay Area is a great place to ride a bike to work, school, on errands or to social events. 511's Bicycling pages feature maps and information about bicycle parking, taking bikes on transit, finding a Bike Buddy, bicycle safety and more.
- Try walking. Choosing to walk for short trips to work, school, or shopping can help reduce the "cold starts" caused by vehicles that are not warmed up. Walking is also an easy way to integrate exercise into your daily life, while conserving fuel and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
- Choose the least congested route. Reduce the amount of time you idle in traffic, which in turn cuts down on the amount of harmful exhaust from your car's tailpipe. 511 Traffic provides information to help commuters avoid traffic jams and incidents, and suggests alternate routes to keep travelers moving.
- Consider carsharing. You can easily reduce the total number of cars on the road while maintaining access to a car when you really need one. The 511 website features a list of carsharing companies in the Bay Area.
- Work from home. Reduce your carbon footprint by teleworking instead of commuting to work every day. Many employers allow employees to work from home one or more days per week and 511's employer services team can help businesses set up a telework program.
511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare, bicycling, and parking information. It's free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Transportation.
About 511 Rideshare
511 Rideshare is a free web and phone service funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. For more information, visit the Rideshare page at 511.org.