Boston - Thursday, September 13, 2012 -- The Patrick-Murray Administration is encouraging residents to participate in Massachusetts Car-Free Week, September 17 - 23, by going “car-free” – by bicycling, walking, utilizing public transit, carpooling or vanpooling. Massachusetts joins over 1,000 cities in 40 countries across the globe in an effort to highlight the community, environmental, and quality of life benefits of reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
“Car-Free Week is a great time to remind individuals to sign-up for NuRide and be rewarded for their efforts to commute green,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “NuRide is a free program, it is easy to use, and it enables MassDOT to reward travelers for incorporating sustainability into their daily commutes.”
Each year on September 22, cities and communities around the world come together to promote green travel by celebrating World Car-Free Day. The idea began in Europe and has quickly spread globally as a way of highlighting the environmental, financial, community and health benefits of using greener modes of transportation. For the third year in a row, Massachusetts will be celebrating an entire week of going car-free or “car-light,” which includes carpooling or vanpooling instead of driving alone. While several U.S. cities hold events on World Car-Free Day, no other state in the nation has proclaimed a statewide Car-Free Week celebration.
This year, those who take car-free and “car-light” modes of transportation during Car-Free Week and year-round can start earning discounts and incentives from area businesses through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s rewards program, NuRide. NuRide is the nation’s largest travel rewards program for individuals who take greener trips, and is free for anyone who lives or works in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts Car-Free Week supports GreenDOT, MassDOT’s comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative that was launched to support the Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Governor Patrick in 2008. This state law requires an economy-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, the first step toward a required 80 percent reduction by 2050. The transportation sector generates more than one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in Massachusetts.
GreenDOT calls for MassDOT to incorporate sustainability into all of its activities, from strategic planning to project design, construction and system operation.
Massachusetts Car-Free Week is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, MassRIDES, the statewide travel options program, and MassCommute, the Massachusetts Transportation Management Association. For more information about Massachusetts Car-Free Week, visit www.mass.gov/massdot/carfree or email Johanna Blue, MassRIDES Marketing Manager at Johanna.Blue@state.ma.us
For more information about GreenDOT and for transportation news and updates visit the MassDOT website, www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.