Go green and save money with sustainable modes of transportation
Sponsored by Ulupono Initiative
Many of us hop into our cars and go from place to place without thinking about the consequences. The Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaii (STCH) is committed to reducing transportation impacts and the use of petroleum in Hawaii’s transportation sector. One way the organization hopes to accomplish this is by encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation.
Lauren Reichelt directs Blue Planet Foundation’s clean transportation programs and serves as the Clean Cities Coordinator for STCH. She says reducing the amount we drive and increasing our mode shift across the state is critical to achieving these goals.
“Mode-shift is reducing the number of trips that people take in individual passenger vehicles and converting those trips over to more sustainable modes of transportation,” Reichelt says.
There are a number of ways to change your transportation impact. By using public transit to get from place to place, you use less energy because you’re not driving alone. You can also walk, or even bike. Biki, Honolulu’s bikeshare program, provides 130 stations from Chinatown to Diamond Head, and you don’t even need to own a bike. You can even limit your car usage by using an Uber, Lyft, or Hui Car Share, which allows you to rent a car for the few hours you may need it.
“Rail is going be a great backbone for a public transit system,” Reichelt says. “People can bike to those rail stations, they can take car share to those rail stations.”
If more people start to change their mode of transportation, people will start to save a lot more money.
“Cars are really expensive,” Reichelt says. “Sometimes we don’t think about it how expensive they are because we are just so used to having them.”
STCH hopes that eventually more people will choose to drive zero-emission vehicles. This year, National Drive Electric Week takes place on September 14-22. The nationwide celebration aims to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.