Letter: Celebrate National Car Free Day Every Day


By Larry Penner

On Friday, Sept. 21, millions of Americans, including many Nassau County residents, will utilize various public transportation alternatives that include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars.

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail or subway.

Leave your car at home. For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike. For longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available, such as Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Nassau Inter County Express (NICE) Bus, Suffolk County Transit, Town of Huntington Area Rapid Transit Bus, City of Long Beach Bus, along with other private bus transportation. They use less fuel and move far more people than cars. In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.

The ability to travel from home to work, school, shopping, entertainment, medical appointments or the library is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make.

Larry Penner is a transportation historian, advocate and writer who, for 31 years, worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY office.

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