Project Category: Transportation

There are lots of ways to get there from here.

We Americans love our cars. For generations, they’ve been symbols of our freedom and independence. But now it’s time to declare a new independence — from the expense, pollution, and dependence on energy imports that cars now represent. Fortunately, Montgomery County offers easy access to alternatives. You have many options to walk, bike or take public transit to get wherever you want to go. Explore your options here.

Take a Stay-cation

There’s a world of vacation fun right here!

When that hard-earned, long-awaited vacation arrives, it’s understandable to want to pack up and get away as far and fast as you can. But whether you’re driving or flying, long-distance trips take a hard toll on the planet. Fortunately, you live in one of the most historically, culturally and scenically rich areas in the nation. Why not plan to spend a vacation right here to explore our national treasures, take in a show, hike a beautiful trail, dine in a world-class restaurant? Just switch off the smartphone, lock the home office, and let the unwinding begin!

Maintain Your Car

A little air and TLC goes a long way toward better MPG.

You’ll get more MPG — and as a result spend less on gas — if you regularly mind a few details on your car.
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage up to 3.3% and help your tires last longer (underinflated tires create excess road friction and take more energy to get moving).
  • Fix maintenance issues when they first appear.  Letting problems linger can reduce your MPG especially if they are issues like a faulty oxygen sensor.
  • And it’s always a good idea to keep up with your oil changes, not to mention it can improve your gas mileage 1-2%. Just be sure to properly recycle the waste oil if you do it yourself.
Remember: Along with what you drive, an important determinant of MPG is how you drive. Learn to drive more efficiently.

Telecommute One Day a Week…or More!

Join the teleworking movement.

Washington, DC is consistently ranked as one of the top ten worst cities for traffic.  This is one good reason to leave the car parked one day a week (or more if possible!). In summer, air quality issues are another. Telecommuting one or more days a week helps reduce traffic, air pollution, energy use, and your stress level. You’ll also gain an extra hour or two for work or play when you work from home.

Walk, Ride a Bike, Go Mass Transit

Take a break from traffic and parking hassles.

How many times a week do you hop in the car to go someplace that’s a walkable or bike-able distance away? Or fight traffic to go someplace that’s right on the Metro or bus route? Those trips add up — in emissions, gas, and wear and tear on the car. Even if you do it just once or twice a week, make a choice to walk, ride your bike, or take the Metro or bus. You’ll reduce your stress level and your impact on the planet. And if you take public transportation, you could catch up on your reading, play apps on your phone, or even make a new friend.  

Be a Better MPG Driver

The most important factor impacting your car’s MPG is you.

Jackrabbit starts, accelerating toward stop lights, stretching the speed limit — we all do some of it sometimes, and they all take a real toll on gas mileage. It’s a fact: the faster you drive, the more fuel you burn. The Department of Energy estimates that aggressive driving lowers your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% around town. On the other hand, cultivating mileage-minded driving habits can give your MPG a noticeable boost, which means you’ll spend less at the pump. Possibly much less. Skeptical? Check out the video in the Resources section with a side-by-side test demonstrating that MPG-wise driving style can result in over 20% better fuel economy in mixed driving, 43% on the highway!

Car Shopping Tips

Greener car, greener planet, more green in your wallet.

After a house, it’s your biggest purchase, and it keeps costing you money in gas and maintenance. Today, your choices aren’t just about horsepower and number of seats and styling — it’s also about how much gas your car drinks and how much pollution it spews out. So like Henry Ford, we recommend this choice: buy your car in whatever color you want, as long as it’s green. Lots of standard vehicles today deliver fuel economy in the mid- and high-thirties. Hybrids push it further. And your choices for plug-in electrics and alternative fuel vehicles keep growing. It’s great fun and very exciting to shop for a new car. And it’s easier to pick out the green ones when you consult the EPA Green Vehicle Guide.