Now that the prime of summer has reached us, the importance of keeping the region’s air clean is at an all-time high. The Clean Air Partnership, along with several other organizations, helps play a significant role in raising awareness about all the ways people in the St. Louis region can reduce emissions to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges. With transportation being one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, much of the focus is on communicating the many benefits of alternative transportation options, such as transit use or carpooling, or walking or riding a bike when air quality conditions are good.
Thankfully there are plenty of resources available to help members of the St. Louis community take voluntary steps that can improve the quality of the air we breathe and improve our health overall. Area residents are encouraged to check out the following:
- The region’s public transit system is designed so riders can walk to a nearby stop, or park and take a train or bus, or a combination of the two, to get where they’re going – safely, comfortably and conveniently. (metrostlouis.org or www.mct.org)
- Citizens for Modern Transit offers a Guaranteed Ride Home program as an incentive for commuters that allows employees to take transit/bicycle while providing them a “safety net” – an assurance they can get home and not be left at work if a situation arises. (www.cmt-stl.org)
- RideFinders provides free carpool and vanpool ride-matching services for commuters in the St. Louis region to save money, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. They also offer a version of the Guaranteed Ride Home program! (www.ridefinders.org)
- Don’t let worry about potentially needing a car during the day derail plans to share the ride. Consider carsharing opportunities to get to and from midday errands and meetings when needed. Visit www.enterprisecarshare.com for more information.
- Visit gatewayguide.com or use MoDOT’s 511 travel information number to get real-time traffic information and use it to better plan your route to avoid traffic tie-ups and construction zones.
- LimeBike and Ofo are bike-sharing companies that offer a great alternative to hopping in your car for short trips. Users download one of the smartphone apps to find a bike nearby. When they get to the bike, they can enter a code to unlock it via their phone, pedal where they need to go, lock it up and leave it for the next user. (http://www.stlbikeshare.org)
- Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft match drivers of private vehicles to those seeking transportation and are a great option for group outings to eliminate the use of multiple vehicles.
For more information and additional tips to clean the air, visit www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.