6 Tips for Going Car-Free

Carolyn Caggia, who manages the NC State Wolftrails alternative commuter program, offers her top tips for driving less.

September 22 is World Car-Free Day. Why is that important? Transportation accounted for 32.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, and 90% of those emissions came from highway usage (NC DEQ). Fuel efficient cars are becoming more common, but there are still things we can do to reduce emissions, such as spending less time driving alone.

NC State encourages using alternative modes of transportation to and around campus. Walking, biking, carpooling or riding the bus are great options. Here are some tips for going car free on September 22 and beyond:

1. Calculate your annual driving carbon footprint

A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the U.S. EPA. That means almost 20 lbs of CO2 produced per gallon of gas (here’s a chemistry refresher to explain why). How does your commute stack up?

2. Get some fresh air and walk!

Check NC State’s walk times map to see how long it takes to walk between popular destinations on campus. Here are some off-campus destinations that are also walkable:

3. Plan a (free!) bus trip with Google Maps.

All buses serving campus – Wolfline, GoRaleigh, and GoTriangle – are on Google Maps to easily plan your trip, and all are fare free in 2021. You can track your bus in real-time with the TransLoc app. Does it look like there’s no easy bus trip from home? Look for a free Park-and-Ride

4. Get your bike road-ready.

Get a free bike inspection at NC State’s open bike maintenance, on Fridays from 3-6 p.m. Don’t forget to register your bike with NC State Transportation – it’s free.

5. Check out the electric scooter share.

Lime scooters can help you connect to your on or off-campus destination. Download the Lime app to see available scooters near you. 

6.Have to drive? Share the ride!

Use NC State’s free ride-matching database, Share the Ride NC, to find carpool matches for single trips or your daily commute. Share the Ride NC also houses a commute calendar where you can track your trips to see your sustainable commute’s greenhouse gas emissions and cost savings. There’s even a prize drawing program for employees called GoPerks. Any questions? Email Carolyn Caggia at cmcaggia@ncsu.edu.

Do you already commute to campus by biking, walking, carpooling or riding the bus? Register for WolfTrails to get free occasional-use parking passes. If you have any questions about transportation on or off campus, ask NC State Transportation or call (919) 515-3424.