We all know that the carbon cost of transportation is the leading cause of global climate change. There’s no way to get around that fact. However, more and more cities and states are pouring money into discovering viable alternative transportation options that are carbon-neutral. The biggest hurdle for these alternative transportation systems is the public’s knowledge of how to integrate them into a daily commute.
Today, we’re going to look at how you can use common mass transit and other transportation solutions to effectively reduce your daily commute’s carbon footprint.
Map the Routes
Whether your city has a good bus system, light rail, or a combination of both, the first step to integrating these alternative transportation options into your commute is to map the routes and see which ones make the most sense for your day. Ideally, you can find a bus or train route that drops you off right in front of the office, but that’s not always the case.
In those instances, it’s a good idea to plan a walk or bike ride after getting off of the public transit option you choose. Most buses and trains have bike racks, so you don’t have to worry about lugging your bike on and off the train. Biking from the bus or train station to your office helps you get there quicker, further streamlining your commute.
This is perhaps the biggest stumbling block that most people have when they look at investing into public transit – they don’t properly plan for how to get from the train or bus station to the office. But with a little forethought and some ingenuity, you can come up with a variety of options that work in all weather conditions. The trick is discovering what exactly is right for you.
Electric Bikes and Scooters
In a lot of major US cities, we’re seeing a big rise in publicly-funded electric bikes and scooters. While these don’t solve longer-distance transportation problems, they do help to reduce congestion in downtown areas. Instead of seeing tons of cars idling at lights during rush hour, you can zip around the sidewalks on electric bikes and scooters without buying one of your own.
If you live in a suburb, carpooling may be the most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Ask around the neighborhood to see if anyone else works near your office – or even in the same building! And if carpooling to everyone’s office doesn’t make sense, then even carpooling to the closest train or bus station is a great way to further cut down on emissions.
The only potential problem with carpooling is when you need to leave work early, or stay at the office late. On those days, taking the train or bus by yourself may be the best option. The key here is to plan your week out and determine what your transportation needs will be. Then, you can take advantage of all the available public transit options.
With a bit of forethought and motivation to have a positive, lasting impact on your local environment and the global climate, you can effectively reduce your daily commute’s carbon footprint. It’s not always the easiest or most convenient thing, but it’s an activity from which we all benefit. Take some time today and start looking at just how you’ll be able to start using alternative transportation options.