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6 Tips to Help Improve Air Quality in Arlington

Elizabeth A. Denton
Elizabeth A. Denton May 2, 2017 Elizabeth A. Denton is a former Business Development Manager at Arlington Transportation Partners.
ATP Takeaway: You can do your part to help improve air quality by changing the way you move around. Opt for the bus, a carpool or by walking to help reduce emissions and SOV trips.

Arlington County’s clean air rating is an F according to The American Lung Association, meaning the air breathed may be harmful to residents. There are many factors that go into creating unclean air—including factories, transportation, heating, cooling, powering our homes, and even natural events like fire smoke. Regardless of how we much we contribute to unclean air, it impacts us all.

There are several things Arlington residents can do to improve air quality for everyone; we can start by reducing the amount of vehicle trips. In Arlington, we have different options available that we can opt for instead of choosing to drive. In fact, by driving alone, you are exposed to pollution five times more than if you chose to walk or bike.



A car emits 1-lb of carbon dioxide per mile it drives, meaning even a short trip a few miles away can add up quickly to disturb the air quality. However, buses emit ¾ lb of CO2 per mile while transporting people in a single trip, making it  effective to improve air quality. Carpooling with friends and neighbors also means fewer cars on the road emitting CO2.

Do Your Part to Improve Air Quality

Are you looking to do your part in improving air quality? Consider some of these resources to pick which option works best for you. There may be more than one option, depending on the trip you need to take.

Maps and guides

  • Download or order complimentary BikeArlington maps. The Comfort Bike Map will help you determine which routes you are comfortable with, while the Arlington County Bike Map is the best and most detailed map of Arlington County.
  • Check out the resources at WalkArlington for new walking routes, fun facts, and weather-related tips.
  • Visit Car Free Near Me to locate different transportation options around a location, including Capital Bikeshare and car2go.

Transportation programs

  • Check out Arlington Transit. The green ART buses can get you just about anywhere in Arlington and students can get a half-price discount on ART buses with their iRide cards.
  • If you are interested in ridesharing, check out Commuter Connections or SchoolPool. Both offer region-wide databases to help you find a carpool ridematch. SchoolPool is geared for families and can also offer help set-up groups that walk to school buses and bike trains.
  • Traveling more than 15 miles to your job in Arlington? Sign up to join a vanpool.
  • If you decide to commute to work using one of these method, and not by driving alone, be sure to sign up for Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH). GRH will get you home in the event of a personal emergency for free, up to four times a year.

One Ride at a Time

Here in Arlington we have all the tools we need to make choices that fit our lifestyles. Together, we can make our community cleaner and healthier—one bus ride, walk, or carpool at a time. 

Arlington businesses, residential buildings, and commercial properties can also contribute to improving air quality by promoting sustainable transportation to their employees and tenants. Champions guides you through a year-long commitment to implement transportation amenities and programs at your organization.

You also receive recognition for your efforts. Join Champions to enroll and be connected with one of our representatives. 

Join Champions | Transportation programming recognition

Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/ for Arlington Transportation Partners

Tags: Active Transportation, Behavior


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