Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open to visitors by appointment only. Please call or email from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
703-324-7136 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 533
Fairfax, VA 22035
John Morrill
Acting Director

Drive Less, Save More: Alternative Transit in Fairfax County

Cars and trucks are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Fairfax County, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total emissions. These emissions contribute to pollution that accelerates climate change and negatively impacts our health. Fortunately, Fairfax County has plenty of alternative transit options besides driving. These options can reduce emissions, get you where you need to go, and in some cases, improve your health and well-being! 

The Benefits of Driving Less

  • Go greener. Driving less can help the environment. By choosing to bike or walk somewhere, you’ll reduce your transportation emissions for that trip to zero. Public transit and carpooling also reduce individual on-road emissions. 
  • Save money. You could save around $600 each year by choosing to bike or walk for at least half of your trips under 3 miles! If you carpool, you can save money by splitting fuel costs among your group. Members of your group can also take turns driving to reduce maintenance and repair bills.
  • Support your health. Driving less has mental and physical health benefits. Biking or walking to your job or to a transit station near you are great ways to get in your daily exercise and decompress before and after work. Sharing duties among your carpool or vanpool can also help reduce the stress of driving and allow you to socialize with your coworkers.

Alternative Transit Options in Fairfax County

  • Biking and walking. In addition to reducing vehicle emissions, biking and walking are great ways to get fresh air and exercise! If you choose to bike to work, you’ll be in good company—hundreds of Fairfax County residents commute to work by bike. The county offers plenty of resources for cyclists and pedestrians, such as a bike map, tips for biking to work, and safety tips. You can also connect with fellow commuters on community events like Bike to Work Day, which is coming up on May 19, 2023. In addition, the Capital Bikeshare program provides bikes for rent at locations across Fairfax County and launched a new electric bicycle in March 2023!
  • Buses. Fairfax County’s robust bus system, the Fairfax Connector, has more than 93 routes! You can use the bus to access the D.C. Metro, Amtrak, and Virginia Railway Express stations; George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College; shopping hubs like the Mosaic District and Tyson’s Corner; and more.
  • Metrorail. The county has 13 Washington Metro and Transit Association (WMATA) stops on the Orange, Blue, Silver, and Yellow lines—perfect for those commuting to Washington D.C., Dulles International Airport, or other destinations in and around the area.

Need to Drive? You Can Still Reduce Emissions!
If you must drive, there are still plenty of ways to reduce your emissions. You can carpool with coworkers or check out Commuter Connections to find potential carpool riders in your area. Commuter Connections has a ’Pool Rewards program that provides cash incentives for new carpools—you could earn $2 for each day you commute for a consecutive 90-day period! If you start a vanpool with seven to 15 occupants, you could also qualify for monthly $200 subsidies.

You can still reduce your carbon footprint while driving alone, too. For example, trip-chaining—planning efficient trip routes to reduce the amount of stops you need to make—can help reduce your emissions. (You can use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator to estimate fuel costs and emissions for your vehicle based on driving distance.) Avoid idling your car, or running it while parked, which creates unnecessary emissions when you’re not driving. It’s also important to make sure your tires are filled to the recommended pressure: driving with improperly inflated tires can cause your car to use more fuel, resulting in more emissions. These tips for reducing your environmental impact while driving can also help you save money on gas! 

Learn More
Find out what Fairfax County is doing about transportation emissions on the transportation page of our Climate Action Dashboard. To learn more about alternative transportation options in Fairfax County, check out Fairfax County’s transportation homepage. Learn more about Fairfax Connector bus schedules and routes on the Fairfax Connector webpage. For more information about starting a carpool or vanpool (as well as incentives), check out Commuter Connections and Pool Rewards. 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant