Bus, bike, and walk
Nearly half of all air pollution in our state comes from vehicles. So one of the greatest contributions we can all make to improving air quality is to use alternatives to driving a car, especially as a sole occupant.
It’s not just the environment that benefits, though. Walking, bicycling, and taking public transit are better for your health and wallet, too:
- Health—The quality of the air affects our health. By reducing air pollution, you are making our cities and towns better places to live. Plus, you’ll stay in shape. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that an average bus or train user meets two-thirds of her daily exercise recommendation just by walking to and from stops.
- Wallet—The American Automobile Association estimates the average expense of owning and operating a car at $9,369 in 2008. Sizing down to one car can save a lot of money. An all-you-can-ride monthly transit pass costs $8,000 less annually than owning a car.
Choose walking or biking within 2 miles
Forty percent of urban travel consists of short trips, two miles or less. Most of us could easily walk or bike this distance. Check out the Bike Walk Twin Cities website, or the sites below for great information on walking and biking.
- The 2 mile challenge website will map the two mile radius around your home. Every time you make a trip within your two-mile radius, consider biking or walking.
- Find a pedestrian-friendly route by selecting “walking” or “biking” as modes of travel when planning your route via Google maps.
- Finding a bike route using Cyclopath, an online map that finds bicycle routes in the Twin Cities based on a "bikeability" ranking. You can also share knowledge or rank routes.
- Check out Bikeverywhere for bicycle maps and guides for Minnesota and Wisconsin.
- Metro Transit provides resources and information for bike commuters.
- Share a bike in St. Paul or Minneapolis using the Nice Rice Minnesota bike sharing program.
At the MPCA office, bike commuters offer their recommended routes to work at the “commuter station” in the lunch room. Experienced bike commuters encourage new bikers to start by holding lunch-hour discussions about biking and mentoring new bike commuters. Get creative at your office.
Bus and train
Guaranteed Ride Home
Despite all these great alternatives, are you worried about those special days, when a family emergency comes up or you have to work late? For Metro residents, Regional Guaranteed Ride Home is a free "insurance policy" that pays for a ride home for qualifying commuters who use alternative forms of transportation.