LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--New research conducted by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) found 55% of Los Angeles area commuters are interested in ridesharing, however only 22% of commuters in the Southland currently rideshare or use alternative forms of transportation. As a result, the MSRC is reviving the Rideshare Thursday campaign to motivate drivers to get out of their individual cars and educate them on ridesharing options such as carpools, vanpools, bicycles and mass transit.
“Ridesharing -- carpooling, taking the bus, or riding a bike -- even just one day a week can help make a difference in Southern California’s traffic congestion and on the environment”
Central to the effort, which launched in advance of California’s Statewide Rideshare Week (Oct. 7-Oct. 11), is the new online portal www.ridesharethursday.com where Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire residents can learn about modes of transportation available to them.
“Ridesharing -- carpooling, taking the bus, or riding a bike -- even just one day a week can help make a difference in Southern California’s traffic congestion and on the environment,” said Greg Pettis, Chair, MSRC. “It is important that commuters think about alternative methods for getting to work not just on Thursday, traditionally the busiest day for car traffic, but on any day of the week.”
MSRC’s research found the primary motivation for drivers to seek out new transportation methods is saving money. Ridesharing helps save commuters money on gas and car-related expenses, such as routine maintenance and repair, and insurance premiums. In particular, vanpool options can help save commuters as much as 70 percent in transportation costs compared to those who drive alone.
Another benefit of removing even a single car from the roadways is the impact on air quality. Driving one mile creates almost a pound of emissions, primarily greenhouse gases. With the typical roundtrip commute in Southern California averaging about 40 miles, ridesharing helps the environment by taking single occupant vehicles off the road along with their related air pollution.
“The Rideshare Thursday concept was created more than ten years ago, but the issues it addresses such as saving money, saving time, benefiting the environment, decreasing traffic on the roadway and reducing stress are even more pertinent today,” added Pettis.
The MSRC’s new campaign developed by Fraser Communications is using radio, social media and live events to reach SoCal residents and inspire them to “Drive Less. Smile More.” by changing their commuting habits. For more information, visit: www.ridesharethursday.com. To join the Rideshare conversation and enter for a chance to win prizes, visit: www.facebook.com/ridesharethursday.
The Rideshare Thursday campaign is being sponsored by Clean Transportation Funding from the MSRC, one of the region’s largest funders of innovative policies and programs that reduce the air pollution from cars and trucks in Southern California.
ABOUT CLEAN TRANSPORTATION FUNDING FROM THE MSRC
The MSRC allocates Clean Transportation Funding from a $4 surcharge on vehicle license fees, specifically to be used for local projects designed to reduce air pollution from mobile sources such as cars, trucks and buses. Thirty cents of every surcharge dollar goes into the MSRC fund. More than $290 million has been distributed for air pollution-reduction programs since the MSRC was established in 1990. Clean Transportation Funding is heavily leveraged with investments from government agencies, as well as private sources, with billions of additional dollars contributed to projects throughout the region.
Membership of the MSRC is made up of representatives from the transportation agencies of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties as well as the Southern California Association of Governments, a designated regional rideshare agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.