Georgetown Community Celebrates Car Free Day
September 23, 2011 – At least 279 Georgetown students, faculty and staff pledged to use public transportation, carpooling or bicycles on Car Free Day, celebrated internationally every year on Sept. 22.
“Car Free Day is a positive way to get our faculty and staff thinking about alternatives to getting to and from work,” says Diann Smith, director of the university’s Office of Transportation Management (OTM). “OTM has long been encouraging employees to use other means to get to Georgetown, such as carpooling and public transportation, in particular using our convenient GUTS service.”
The Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) provides commuters to campus with regular shuttle service from DuPont Circle, North Arlington, Rosslyn, the Law Center and Wisconsin Avenue. All buses in the Georgetown fleet run on a biodiesel blend in an effort to reduce the university’s carbon footprint.
A relatively recent addition are two outposts of Capital Bikeshare, D.C.’s bike-sharing system, one right in front the Main Campus and the other at Wisconsin and 34th St.
The university also offers a carpool matching program as well as incentives for people who travel to the university in groups of two or more, and free parking for groups of four or more.
Jason Clock, a University Information Services staff member, does his part to lead a more sustainable lifestyle by riding his bike to work every day.
“I’m lessening the burden on the transportation system,” he says. “And it’s great exercise.”
Audrey Stewart, program coordinator for the university’s sustainability initiative, says Georgetown's participation in Car Free Day supports the university’s environmental sustainability goals, which includes reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2020.
“It provides a fun and engaging way to help faculty, students and staff find out about the convenient car-free and ‘car-lite’ transportation choices that Georgetown offers,” she says.
The university also competed in the Capitol Car Free Campus Competition, sponsored by Georgetown's GUWellness and the Metro Washington Council of Governments, with George Mason University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, the University of the District of Columbia and American University.
GUWellness also sponsored a breakfast for Car Free Day participants.
The winner of the competition will be announced sometime next week.