Taking the Car-Free Challenge

(Cross posted at Living in the O.)

This month, TransForm is hosting the Car-Free Challenge, and yesterday I signed up to participate. What is the car-free challenge?

During the month of June the average Bay Area resident will drive 540 miles (that's 135 miles/week) and the average American driver more than 1,000 miles. Think you can do better?

Join a huge community of people from California and around the country in setting and reaching a personal low mileage goal in the month of June – plus win great prizes and share your stories of taking transit, walking, and bicycling.

Whether driving less (or not at all) is stretch for you or already a way of life, we want you to take the Challenge!

Together we will send a powerful message to our leaders that a critical mass of people want to drive less and live more.

I gave up my car more than a year ago, so I mostly get around by the bus or walking (in case you didn’t know, I’m terrified of riding my bike in Oakland). Still, I sometimes drive my girlfriend’s car or get a ride, and I’m guessing those short trips add up. So this month I’ll be tracking my miles and aiming to drive 20 miles or less. I’ll also be writing, both here and at my car-free challenge blog, about my experiences with this challenge and about my mostly car-free life.

You should get involved too. Here are two ways you can help out:

1. Support me in my challenge by donating to TransForm. My initial goal is to raise $100, but I hope to surpass that and set a new goal. TransForm is an incredible group that does political advocacy and education on transportation and land use issues (they used to be called the Transportation and Land Use Coalition). They have taken the lead in fighting for an alternative to the Oakland Airport Connector and have also been instrumental in advocating for AC Transit’s bus rapid transit project. Whether you can donate $5 or $500, everything makes a difference.

2. Sign up for the Car-Free Challenge. It’s simple to create a page, track your miles, and tell the world about your experience. Besides being a great cause, there’s fun involved. At the end of the challenge, TransForm will be hosting not one, or two, but three parties for challenge participants. They’ll also be giving out many prizes. So sign up today!