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Posted on May 8, 2019 at 8:21 AM by Brooke Kochanski
23,259,000: That’s how many trips
PART Express Buses and Vanpools have taken off the roads this year. All those
millions of trips have helped prevent 58 tons of pollutants from entering our
air and clogging our roadways (and lungs).
So why are we kicking off this post
with a (sorry-not-sorry) humblebrag? Because May is Clean Air Month, and we’re
proud of the contributions we’re making to improve air quality throughout the
Each May, the American Lung
Association helps raise awareness for air quality across the country by
highlighting both the challenges we face and their many solutions. Time and
time again, public transit is highlighted as one way to reduce the amount of
congestion-related air pollutants.
EPA reports that transportation accounted for 29% of all greenhouse gas
emissions in 2017, which means that changes to our daily commuting habits can
make a significant impact. Even more than industrial manufacturing and
electricity production, transportation accounts for the biggest percentage of
harmful emissions, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
But how important is improving air
quality anyway? Here are some of the most common illnesses and conditions
associated with polluted airways:
In addition to the harmful effects
pollutants can have on people, they are also harmful to our environment. For
instance, fossil fuel consumption releases high levels of toxic gases like
sulfur dioxide into the air, which combines with other gases and water to
create harmful acid rain.
Those gases also contribute to the
broader effects of climate change, combining with carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases to trap harmful pollutants and increase global temperatures.
So how can you help improve air
quality? Taking public transit — even just a few times per week — is a great
place to start.
to a study by our friends at DART (Delaware Authority for Regional Transit
— no relation but we like their style), buses like our PART Express program “emit
only 20% as much carbon monoxide per passenger mile as a single-occupant auto.”
That’s because, on average, most
cars put close to 575 pounds of pollutants into the air each year. So every
trip you take on public transit helps reduce that number, which can have a
positive cumulative effect when more people follow your lead.
And if taking a PART Express bus
doesn’t fit into your daily commute, we can help you create a shared Vanpool
route with 7-15 of your co-workers. This program, part of our broad Commuter
Resources initiative, allows for the sharing of one van for a low monthly fee
that covers gas, insurance and maintenance. And as an added bonus, you’ll save
money while you’re helping to lower daily emissions!
You can also find ways to share
your daily commute with programs like Share the Ride NC. This free service
matches you up with other commuters in the Triad either looking for people with
similar commute routes. You can then either volunteer your car or join someone
else, helping reduce the amount of congestion and emissions throughout the
So how will you celebrate Clean Air
Month? Maybe you’ll take a PART Express bus the next time you want to travel
from Winston-Salem to Greensboro. Or maybe you’ll start a conversation with
your employer about launching a free Vanpool program. However you choose, we’d
love to help out in any way we can.
Because together, we can improve
not just our daily lives, but the life of our planet, too.
Be sure to participate in the Clean Air Challenge May 13th – 18th. All you have to do it take
a pic of yourself taking a clean commute and upload to Facebook. Be sure to tag
us! You could win a 31-Day Pass!
learn more, visit the Clean Air Website or call 336-883-7278.