- (Photo: flickr/alexbarth)
This Thursday, September 22, is Car Free Day, and more than 10,000 people have now pledged to go car-free in the D.C. metro area.
D.C. is recognizing its own Car Free Day, and organizers have asked District metro area residents to pledge to avoid cars this Thursday and instead rely on buses, the Metro, carpooling, bikes, Zipcars, and their own two feet to help show how possible an automobile-free day is in our modern lives. Around D.C., where nearly 200,000 D.C. metro area households don't even have cars, this is especially true.
As if 10,000 pledges weren't already enough, the pledge number is likely to grow and be far higher by Thursday. To put the number's significance into perspective, last year fewer than 7,000 people pledged as part of D.C.'s Car Free Day, and that was the highest number ever. Other big numbers: Capital Bikeshare turns one year old today and will be celebrating its birthday at Yards Park that Thursday. The bikesharing service, now sporting 18,000 members, hit a million rides right at its one-year mark, with 995,531 clocked as of early yesterday and finally passing one million trips just before 7:30 a.m. this morning — right on its actual birthday.
And with more so many thousands forsaking their vehicles Thursday, I expect Capital Bikeshare will experience a surge in usage. You can pledge for yourself here.
Last week, one non-profit predicted that a household in the D.C. metro area who gives up a car would potentially save more than $10,000 a year. If this is true, and if these 10,000 pledges remained car-free not just for Thursday for another 12 months, then we could all save more than $100 million. Just consider that for a second
Of course, some car-free pledges may just be down for the truly priceless joy that is free pizza.