OP-ED: Why not show your support by participating in National Car Free Day September 22?

Today, millions of Americans are utilizing and returning to various public transportation alternatives.They include local

Today, millions of Americans are utilizing and returning to various public transportation alternatives.They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars.  

Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail or subway.

Leave your car at home. For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike. In the New York Metropolitan area — for longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit Subway, Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bus (the old private NYC DOT franchised bus operators including Green Bus, Queens Surface, Jamaica Bus, Triboro Coach, Command Bus, Liberty Lines Bronx Express and New York Bus taken over by the MTA in 2005 and 2006), NYC Departments of Transportation Staten Island Ferry and Economic Development Corporation Private Ferries, New Jersey Transit, Port Authority Trans Hudson subway, Nassau Inter County Express (NICE Bus), city of Long Beach Bus, Suffolk County Transit, Town of Huntington Area Rapid Transit Bus, Westchester Bee Line Bus, Rockland County Transit, Putnam County Bus along with other private bus transportation owners.

In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You’ll be supporting a cleaner environment and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.

The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library, etc., is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low and middle income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment and a stronger economy. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make.


Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit bus and subway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus and NYC Department of Transportation.