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The extreme shifts in environmental disasters are happening at an alarming rate. It is more apparent now than ever before that the effects of climate change are real and immediate action is required to reduce long-term effects. Data from the EPA shows that transportation is the largest source of pollution in the U.S. Light-duty vehicles (passenger cars) are responsible for 58% of all emissions. The transportation systems of America over-rely on vehicles in a way that will not sustain the greenhouse gas reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030. This goal is significant to reach in order to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius or less. Although getting people out of their cars continues to be a global challenge, it is important to know, it is not too late to act. Solutions to this problem are possible and change through action is essential.

This week’s blog will focus on the actions we can take in order to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our car dependency. Greater Mercer TMA provides a variety of solutions to help our communities discover alternative forms of transportation.


Save time, money, and emissions by carpooling. Carpools and vanpools provide the flexibility and convenience of car travel but with the opportunity to significantly reduce fuel costs and wear and tear on your personal vehicle. Plus, you’ll be helping to reduce traffic and improve air quality. Greater Mercer TMA’s FREE ride-matching service helps connect people to rides with New Jersey’s largest commuter network. Finding a carpool or vanpool is easy. Register directly here.


Public Transportation

Traveling by train or bus is an opportunity to enjoy the ride while reducing your carbon footprint and saving money.  This region is fortunate to have a robust network of public transportation services. Greater Mercer TMA can help you find the ones that work for you. Our bus and train service page can help you navigate (literally) the transit system. Did you know public transportation far exceeds the combined benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, weatherizing one’s home, and replacing a refrigerator? People who choose to use public transportation are also more likely to meet their recommended exercise goals. Additionally, an individual can achieve an average annual savings of more than $9,900 by taking public transportation instead of driving and by living with one less car.

Want to build your travel confidence? If you feel like learning how to use public transportation is like learning a new language, you are not alone. We live in a car-first world full of people who have no idea how to use public transportation. Taking the steps to learn the “ins and outs” of public transportation is an exciting achievement. Greater Mercer TMA has you covered with our “how to” mobility guides for traveling, which are available to download here. We also provide personalized commuter guides which are your FREE resource for personalized bike maps, transit schedules, carpool matching, and more.

Our Travel Training Program is a group of services used to teach safe and independent travel skills including, bus, rail, and light rail. Training skills can be taught for many services provided by NJ TRANSIT, Mercer County, municipalities, and private companies. The riders learn how to plan their trips, read schedules, pay fares, use accessibility features, and take safety precautions during their travel.

Active Transportation

Active transportation is any form of active mobility through non-motorized means, based on human physical activity. The best-known forms of active transportation include walking, running, cycling, rowing, skateboarding, kick scooters, and roller skates.  When we choose active transportation we greatly reduce our impacts on the environment since active transportation has virtually no carbon footprint. Plus, being active significantly improves our health by reducing stress while also meeting our physical goals. Although active transportation is an overall solution, many streets are not designed to safely support it. For this reason, Greater Mercer TMA developed the Greater Mercer Trails Plan in December 2019. The plan was established to support the development of an integrated network of multi-use trails, and on-street facilities to serve a variety of transportation needs and connect users of all ages and abilities to the many opportunities, services, destinations, communities, and amenities in the region that in turn supports active transportation options as a low-stress choice over motorized travel.

There are significant environmental benefits to using your vehicle less. While you may think that carpooling, public transportation, walking, or biking rather than driving won’t make much of a difference to the environment, imagine what would happen if everyone thought that too. Remember, it is the little things that can make a difference. When millions of individuals put these practices into place the outcome has a greater potential for success. If we all decide to implement these changes and drive less, it could make a massive difference to the health of our planet, the environment, and our overall quality of life. Humans are adaptable to change. If we genuinely want to save our planet and avoid climate disaster, it will be through action, community involvement, and a willingness to create new habits. So, the next time you are thinking about getting behind the wheel to go on a short ride, hang the keys back up and implement the various options for alternative mobility.




























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