Car-Free Week encourages other modes of transport
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
The Office of Sustainability (OOS) teamed up with MassRIDES and various other sustainability organizations this week to promote the third annual Massachusetts Car-Free Week, a state-wide initiative to reduce daily car use.
MassRIDES is an organization created by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to advocate for more sustainable modes of transportation, such as walking or biking. Car-Free Week first started in Massachusetts as an extension of World Car-Free Day, according to OOS intern Thiago Lima, a senior.
“Car-Free Week began with a similar goal to Car-Free Day, which was simply to promote alternative methods of transportation and by proxy raise awareness of the importance of being environmentally friendly,” Lima said. “Since the 1950s there has been a fairly large push for cycling, walking or using public transportation instead of driving in the states, but Massachusetts in particular has been extremely active in advertising this initiative.”
To kick off Car-Free Week at Tufts, the OOS set up informational stations with NuRide, the MassRIDES ride-sharing online database, fBIKE -- a company that makes portable folding bikes -- and the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) at the Mayer Campus Center. Students were able to try out fBIKE’s folding bikes, register their bikes with TUPD, learn about different bike routes in the area and purchase bike locks.
“We invited fBIKE to the event on Tuesday because it is a great way to show people, especially for commuting students and staff taking the commuter rail, that they can use public transportation even if they don’t live right near the T,” Tina Woolston, program director for the OOS, said.
The OOS also encouraged students and faculty members to record their green mileage on NuRide.
“NuRide offers people the opportunity to find others in their areas who are looking to carpool to reduce pollution,” Ofsevit said. “You can also log your rides online, keep track of your emissions savings and get reward points for area restaurants and retailers.”
Car-Free-Week’s second event takes place today in the parking lot of the Pearson Chemical Laboratory. Lecturer of Anthropology Cathy Stanton’s “Myth, Ritual and Symbol” class will be serving a free lunch as well as demonstrating ways to use the parking space other than to house parked vehicles.
“We want to encourage students to get around without a car and enlighten incoming freshmen and anyone else who is interested about how easy it is to commute without using cars on a daily basis,” Lima said.