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Alternative Transportation, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1009

Essay

The purpose of this memo is to propose alternative transportation methods in the bay area of California in order to improve air quality, reduce GHG emissions, and reduce traffic congestion. Alternative transportation methods have been cited to save employers on average about $225 dollars per year and employees on average of $1, 176 dollars per year (Abraham, et al. 2002). Some of the subtopics that will be of interest include the environmental effects, speedier commutes, and cost saving involved.

Summary

This memo first introduces alternative transportation method, and how simply cycling to work can save both the commuter and employee money, reduce traffic congestion, and protect the environment. It also introduces the group’s members and their area of research. Additionally, it follows with a discussion that will elaborate on the subtopics that are of great importance in the design process. Finally, it culminates with our perception about the future of alternative transportation methods and its many benefits to society.

Introduction

Getting to work in the bay area of California is a battle to be fought each day. Commuters, environmentalist, and employers are facing a substantial issue that has progressively gotten worse in recent years. Sadly, this problem will only become worse if measures are not made to alleviate the issue. Environmentalists have been proposing ways to reduce smog from car emissions for some time, but many commuters are just simply ignoring the issue. However, we believe that this issue has been ignored because many do not understand how important it is, and that there are many benefits for the commuter. Our group is concerned with conveying how important this issue is and showing the benefits for all involved stakeholders. The transition to cycling can be done gradually over time. For example, some commuters may decide to only commute on Mondays. While one day does not seem like a lot, it can have tremendous benefits. Cycling is also a great way to improve one’s overall health.  We will slowly replace cars with bikes in parking lots, and construct a better environment, save money, and improve the quality of life for those who choose to commute.

Discussion

In the Bay Area, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse emissions-a total of 38 percent. Industrial/commercial use accounts for 34 percent, electricity generation accounts for 17 percent, and off road equipment accounts for about 3 percent. More than 53 percent of weekday commuters are persons working in the Bay Area commute daily to their jobs. Astonishingly, more than 68 percent of those commuters drive alone. Only 1 percent of commuters use a bicycle (Abraham, et al. 2002).

Employers can play a dominant role in encouraging employees to use an alternative method of commuting. Many employers have agreed to give employees commuter benefits. These benefits have varied from employer to employer.

One study conducted found, that more than 88 percent of people, who cycled regularly, did so for health benefits. Many of the participants who were surveyed said that they would cycle to work if they had more flexible work hours. About 15 percent of commuters said they would cycle to work at least once a week if they worked outside the rush hour. Many of the participants cited feeling worried about personal security as a main reason for not cycling to work. The main fear of personal security was loose animals. Surprisingly, the potential for becoming a victim of a crime was lower of the list of barriers than been attacked by a dog (Dill & Carr, 2003).

In 2010, the Air Resources Board adopted the Bay Area Air Quality Management Commuter Benefits. This program was adopted to help employers get in compliance with State Senate Bill 1339. This bill required all employers in the San Francisco Bay Area with 50 or more employees to provide commuter benefits to their employees by September 30, 2014. The commuter program includes the following benefit options: First, there is the pre-tax benefit which allows employees to exclude their monthly transit/carpool expenses up $130 dollars per month. The second is employer provided subsidy, which reduces the employees monthly transit cost up to the amount of $75 dollars per month. The third is employee provided transit, which provides free or low costs transit services to employees via bus, shuttle, or vanpool. The final is alternative commuter benefit, which provides benefits to employees in order to reduce single occupancy commute trips (Dill & Car, 2003)

The benefits of establishing and supporting an alternative method for commuters are immense. First, there are many health benefits associated cycling. Cycling helps build the cardio muscles. It raises the heart rate and causing an increase in stamina. According to the British Medical Association, “cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues”. Another study found that it only takes about five percent of the materials used to make a car to produce a bicycle. Bikes are efficient and can be used in any season without the cost of gas. Riding a bike, a person can travel the equivalent of 2, 924 miles on one gallon (Abraham, et al. 2002).

Conclusion

Based on the propose plan to establish alternatives to commuting to work in the Bay Area of California. The process will not occur over night, but the benefits are endless. Not only is it beneficial for the environment, but it can benefit commuters and employees by diminishing costs during the work week and even over the year. The implementation cycling to work has the ability to provide numerous benefits such as health benefits, cost effectiveness, and environmental protection. Furthermore, businesses will not have to provide car parking for employees, which will save them money.

References

Abraham, John E et al. (2002). Investigation of Cycling Sensitivities Authors. Transportation Research Board Annual Conference (2002): 2-12

Dill, Jennifer, Carr, T. 2003. Bicycle commuting and facilities in major US cities: If you build them, commuters will use them. Transportation Research Record (1828)

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