As you probably know, the annual celebration of Earth Day takes place this Sunday, April 22. Today and through the weekend, DOT offices will mark Earth Day with different events and activities.
But when it comes to transportation, every day is Earth Day – an opportunity to find more efficient ways to get where you’re going, so in advance of the big day, the Federal Transit Administration has launched a new "environmental benefits" website highlighting the many ways transit helps us all “GO green.”
The new site collects in one place the FTA's work providing affordable, innovative, and sustainable public transit alternatives that reduce our nation’s carbon footprint and help secure an independent energy future. Among its features, the site shows the many environmental benefits of public transit and provides a calculator that tells you how much carbon dioxide riding transit keeps out of our atmosphere.
If you try nothing else on the site, I recommend the calculator--you might be surprised by how much CO2 you can save by riding transit, even for a short trip.
The site also offers a terrific, easy-to-use map that showcases fuel-saving, emissions-reducing investments across the country--like clean-fuel technologies and expanded light rail service. Just click on one of the pushpins in your state to see the sustainability progress the FTA is supporting near you.
And, if you work for local government, a transit agency, or metropolitan planning organization --or even if you're just a concerned citizen thinking about what you can do for the environment-- the site provides links to resources that can help your community take effective steps toward greater sustainability.
Investing in public transportation does so much more than just reduce harmful greenhouse gases and make the air we breathe cleaner. As FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff often says, "Providing reliable, desirable, and safe transportation choice helps hardworking Americans keep more ‘green’ in their wallets instead of feeling the pinch at the gas pump."
Earth Day reminds us all that we owe it to future generations to safeguard our environment and use our resources wisely, and the new FTA website is a great way to see what this Administration is doing to achieve those goals.
More importantly, it's got the tools to help all of us continue to work together toward a cleaner, healthier planet. I hope you'll visit this useful resource soon.