Green Transport: Benefits of Alternative Transportation

Person on a bike overlooking a city

The ownership of a car constitutes the second largest household expenditure in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. families spent $9,046 for transportation in 2016. Many commuters are well aware of the benefits of moving in an eco-friendly direction by using ‘green’ transport as an alternative to driving a car. Consider some advantages of using alternative transportation.  Just remember, opting for one of the transportation options below becomes much more realistic if you live in an urban setting.

Most Popular Forms of Alternative Transportation

Biking – One of the most popular forms of green transportation is getting around town on a bike. Many cities have implemented bike-riding programs to facilitate biking around town for those who don’t own one. It is not unreasonable to purchase one: a fraction of the cost of a car with maintenance and repairs included.

Public transportation – This can include rail, metro, and buses. Public transit reliability varies from city to city. Generally, this option costs much less than commuting by car. This public transit study found that in eight of the ten U.S. cities with the highest number of commuters, the expense of public transport averages 3.67% of their income.

Walking – Walking is free, healthy, and something most of us benefit from doing. Researchers, like Paul T. Williams, Ph.D., call it “a wonder drug, except that you don’t need a prescription, and you don’t have to pay for it.” It can be done alone, in different places and does not require special equipment, although a pair of comfortable walking shoes will help.

Electric biking – When to go electric over a regular bike? Long distance traveling or biking in hot weather make a strong case for the electric bike option. You worry less about getting too tired or too sweaty before arriving at your destination when the bike does the work. Of course, the high price point of many electric bikes deter some commuters, but it might be worth the investment if it serves as a significant mode of transportation.

Let’s look at the benefits of opting for “green” transportation instead of driving a car.

5 Benefits of 'Green' Transportation

Health – An active lifestyle benefits more than the environment. Happiness and good health often go hand in hand. Unfortunately, many 9 to 5 jobs leave folks sitting at their desks for long periods. Walking and biking offer opportunities for more exercise, and the added advantage of avoiding the stress of traffic.

Happier people – Speaking of happy, a study conducted in the United Kingdom listed happiness among the benefits of commuting to work by bus, train, bicycle, or foot rather than driving. The researchers contrasted the “intrinsic enjoyment” achieved by exercise or the “relaxation associated with active travel” to car-driving as "a non-passive travel mode that requires constant concentration" and as a result, "can give rise to boredom, social isolation, and stress.”

Counters carbon pollution – Ok Mother Nature deserves a little happiness too. Cars and trucks account for 1/5 of all emissions in the U.S. and contribute to global warming and carbon pollution. Using alternative transportation helps reduce your carbon footprint. Fun fact: rail travel emits about half the carbon dioxide per passenger versus car travel.

Budget-friendlier – What would you do with the money spent on fuel, maintenance costs, and license plates? As mentioned earlier, in 2016, families on average paid $9,046 on transportation. Paris in springtime anyone?

Economic stimulus – Public transportation correlates with billion-dollar investments in businesses, communities, and facilities situated along local transit stops. It attracts investment and contributes to local economies.

Using "green" transportation can be a fun and healthy way to travel, but let's face it, most of us still need to drive a car every once in a while.  For great rates on auto insurance call one of our friendly agents at 1-800-INFINITY to discuss your options for an auto insurance policy or visit our website for a free quote.

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