On September 22, cities across the globe will celebrate World Car-Free Day and encourage motorists to give up their cars for an entire day. The event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free – including reduced air pollution, lower stress, and more physical exercise.
According to the World Carfree Network, World Car-Free Day is a showcase for how our cities might look, feel, and sound without cars. What would the benefits of going car-free be? What role can commuter benefits play in going car-free? Let’s take a look.
The benefits of car-free days
Car-free days can be used as a way for cities to highlight how congested roads could be repurposed and used in different ways. Some exciting examples include races for alternative-energy-powered vehicles in Budapest, horse-riding in São Paulo, street picnics in Vienna, and running in Jakarta.
These car-free days are also an excellent opportunity for cities to emphasize how much pollution affects our lives. Vehicle emissions are one of the primary sources of outdoor air pollution, particularly in cities. According to the World Health Organization, ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016. Transport is also the fastest growing source of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions, the most significant contributor to climate change.
Using commuter benefits to promote going car-free
Commuter benefits allow employees to use pre-tax dollars towards commuting costs like public transit, rideshares, and qualified parking expenses.
Offering commuter benefits to your employees is a great way to encourage them to go car-free. Because these benefits can be used on mass transit and rideshares, they are helpful ways to reduce the use of cars and lower each employee’s carbon footprint.
Micromobility is defined as transportation that uses lightweight vehicles such as bicycles or scooters, particularly electric ones. This method of travel has rapidly grown in cities nationwide, proving to be a popular transportation option for many users. Many metro areas are exploring micromobility as an alternative mode for active transportation and short trips.
- Renting a bike is an inexpensive way to ease into micromobility around town. This micromobility option is the greenest (and cheapest) since it doesn’t require gas or emit harmful emissions.
- Electric mopeds are powered by a rechargeable battery, which means they have no emissions and will not require visits to a gas station to fill up the tank. They usually require a more significant upfront financial commitment than a bike. Still, technological advances allow them to be driven for longer distances, making this an excellent option for commuting.
- E-scooters contribute about half the amount of emissions of the average car. According to a study out of North Carolina University, while e-scooters may not be the most sustainable option, they are better than cars.
Edenred supports micromobility
At Edenred, we understand that commuter needs are changing rapidly. That’s why we offer a variety of shared mobility options integrated into one commuter account. On top of that, we’ll assist you with identifying eligible pre-tax expenses, so your company and employees continue to receive tax incentives and remain compliant with IRS regulations.
In addition to traditional pre-tax commuter benefits like public transit and parking, we also offer other flexible options to fit the unique needs of your employees, including:
- Bike sharing
- Bike shops
- Corporate shuttles
The Bottom Line
Going car-free for one day isn’t going to change the world. But every time we choose an alternative to driving, we’re taking steps toward helping the environment, saving money, and being healthier.
If you want to help make the planet cleaner by offering your employees commuter benefits and micromobilty options, schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to review all your options with you.