Take charge of your transportation

(view more articles in SOS Tompkins Weekly)

February 9, 2010
by Chrisophia Somerfeldt

way2go_logoTransportation is critical to people’s lives and the life of our community, yet it often carries a high price. Parking and roads eat up land and money. Vehicle exhaust is linked to rising asthma, while the US transportation sector produces more carbon emissions than the entire economy of any other nation except China.1

Meanwhile, the typical household spends more to get around than to eat. The high price tag of keeping a car or truck on the road leaves many on the edge or in debt, with others left out of the ‘car economy’ altogether.

Going ‘green,’ saving ‘green’

Fortunately, people across our community are finding ways to make transportation more affordable, accessible and better for people and the planet. Way2Go, a transportation education program of Tompkins County Cooperative Extension, shares these goals, providing information and engaging in projects to help people to take charge of transportation in their lives and communities.

Way2Go offers a website, workshops and other educational resources that enable people to weigh their options. Consider that one adult could, for a year, ride the bus, commute by vanpool, use an Ithaca Carshare car two hours a week, spend $30 a month on taxis, buy $150 walking shoes, invest $350 in a bicycle, and rent a car for a week’s vacation—and still save over $4,000 over the average cost of owning and using a car.

It’s not all or nothing

Replacing a car with other options isn’t for everyone. Way2Go can help people get around for less in their own vehicle, try a new trip by walking or bicycling, or find others who want to carpool. Even taking unneeded weight out your car, going easy on the gas and brakes, turning off the ignition instead of idling, and keeping tires inflated can lower the cost—to your wallet and the planet—of transportation.

Way2Go has information on free gas cards and bus passes for households that qualify, and on new services on the way, such as rural vans that will run between Enfield and Newfield and Ithaca (known as ‘CityVan’), a guaranteed ride home program for ‘alternative commuters,’ and a new ride-matching website for Tompkins County. Way2Go can even help people give effective feedback to transportation providers and planners, and get involved in shaping transportation across the community.

Upcoming FREE Workshop

The public is invited to attend a free ‘Going Green, Saving Green: Getting Around for Less” workshop on THURSDAY, MARCH 11, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Tompkins County Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Avenue, or on SATURDAY, MARCH 13, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm in the Borg Warner Room of Tompkins County Public Library at 101 E. Green Street. Whether participants drive everywhere, or don’t have a car at all, they can explore fattening their wallet while cutting contributions to local pollution and global warming.

More information can be found at way2goinfo.org, or by calling Way2Go at Tompkins County Cooperative Extension at 607-272-2292. Way2Go also welcomes your transportation feedback, stories, tips and information.

Chrisophia Somerfeldt is the Way2Go Transportation Educator.

If you liked this article, you may want to check out our complete archives of SOS Tompkins Weekly articles

Tags: ,