A Car Free Diet

Washingtonians and residents of neighboring Arlington, VA choose to ride the Metro, take the bus, walk, or bike their way around in celebration of “World Car Free Day,” on Sept. 22.

“We had F Street from 7th to 9th Avenue closed off to the public from 11am to 3pm to show people how much fun it can be without cars there for a day,” said Chantal Buchser, events manager for the Washington Bicyclist Association.

The increase in fuel prices, car insurance, car maintenance and pollution motivated some to utilize alternate sources of transportation besides their cars.

Buchser, 25, of Arlington, VA rode the Metro from Chinatown, DC to Arlington, VA in less than 30 minutes. The fare cost her $2.50.

“I haven’t had a car in almost four or five years,” said Buchser.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumes 378 million gallons of gasoline a day.

For the past year Arlington County Commuter Services, sponsors of the event, have been promoting a “car free diet” which encourages people to walk, ride their bikes, or utilize bus or rail transit when commuting.

“Today is ‘World Car Free Day,’ so today everybody in the world is suppose to go car free and we just want to celebrate it. In Arlington a lot of people go car free everyday and we just want to encourage that,” said Bobbi Greenberg, marketing director for Arlington County Commuter Services.

“It also helps the environment, less cars equals less pollution,” said Greenberg. “The increasing gas prices are also an incentive to go on a “car free diet.”

Commuters can go to www.carfreediet.com and use the “car free diet calculator” to calculate the time and money involved in commuting in a car verses other methods of transportation.

“I live and work by the metro,” said Josh Bauws, an Old Dominion college graduate. “I take the metro, because I save money. With the money it takes to buy a car, fuel it, provide insurance for it and maintain it–I’m better off not having a car.”