Don’t forget, next Saturday, September 22nd, is National Car-Free Day! There’s still time to take the pledge to go car-free and be entered for a chance to win great prizes such as an iPad or new bicycle. Even for those of us who already take transit, walk, or bike to work during the week, going car-free on the weekends may seem a little more difficult as we’re not always aware of the transportation options outside of our commutes. However, in the Arlington/DC area it's easy to get around without a car with numerous choices and resources available to help you go car-free and use alternative modes of transportation. Check out the info below and leave your car at home – even if you make just one trip without a car, you can make a difference!
The bus or Metrorail are great options for getting around and there are plenty of tools to figure out which option and routes are best for you. WMATA’s Trip Planner will let you know the best way to get from point A to point B by taking transit - just enter your starting and ending points and what time you want to arrive or leave by. The NextBus and NextTrain tools will let you know exactly when the bus or Metro will be arriving at your desired stop, so you can save time and better prepare for your trip. In Arlington, ART bus routes provide service throughout the county – often in areas where Metrorail or Metrobus are not located, and also provide RealTime information on their website. If you’re traveling into Dupont or Georgetown in DC, the DC Circulator bus has a route that stops in Rosslyn for just a $1 fare.
With the great weather we’ve been having, why not bike or walk to get around on Car-Free Day? For short trips, it’s often faster to ride your bike or use bikeshare to get around than driving or taking the bus. Capital Bikeshare now has over 175 stations in the DC area, with over 40 located in Arlington. Trips under 30 minutes are free, so CaBi is great for going down the street to run errands, or riding a couple miles to meet up with friends. With over 100 miles of bike lanes, trails, and routes in Arlington, including the newly added buffered and green bike lanes on various streets, it’s becoming much easier and safer to ride your bike in the county. To figure out the best way to get around by bike on Car-Free Day, a great app to check out is the Bike Planner tool, which will tell you the flattest, safest, or quickest route to your destination. Finally, instead of driving short distances, try walking instead! Car-Free Day is a good time to take advantage of the fall weather and use active transportation to get around Arlington and DC, so hop on a bike or put on your walking shoes and leave the car at home! Check out WalkArlington and BikeArlington for information on getting around on foot or by bike in Arlington County.
Going car-free for the day, week, year, or even just a single trip can have both short and long-term benefits on your wallet, as well as your physical and mental health. With one less car on the road, you can help reduce traffic congestion in the county and improve the air quality in your community and the region. Let us know how you will get around on September 22nd and remember to sign up today and take the pledge! We hope you will join us in celebrating!