For Immediate Release
September 14, 2019
To encourage Fairfax County residents and visitors to get out of their cars and give transit a try, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), Fairfax Connector, Fairfax County Commuter Services, and other regional transportation partners are offering commuters the chance to win great prizes during Try Transit Week (Sept. 16-20, 2019) and Car Free Days (Sept. 21-23, 2019).
The benefits of this special transportation week can impact everyone:
- From less commuting expenses and reduced stress to increased physical exercise, the perks of transit, carpooling, biking and walking can really pay off for individuals.
- With the third-worst commute in the United States, the National Capital Region can benefit from fewer cars on the road.
- By decreasing our carbon footprint, we have a role in improving our air quality and making our planet more sustainable.
FCDOT will offer two opportunities for Fairfax County residents to try transit and go car-free, including awarding a FREE $50 Smart Trip Card for use on transit or parking at Fairfax County’s Metrorail parking garages to residents who qualify (see survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SmartBenefits-Parking). Second, social media users will be able to share photos of their smart commuting on FCDOT’s Facebook page (@FFXTransportation) for a chance to win an Echo Dot.
In addition, participants in Try Transit Week and Car Free Days can also register for the following regional promotions:
- The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit is giving away a year of free transit service from a participating Virginia transit operator as well as a pair of round-trip tickets aboard Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train to those who take the pledge to try transit, Sept. 16-20.
- Commuter Connections, a program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, is hosting Car Free Days, Sept. 21-23. Every who takes the pledge will receive a $30 gift certificate from Nift, along with a raffle entry to more than a dozen prizes of sports and museum tickets, Capital Bikeshare memberships, and gift certificates for food and groceries.
- Car Free Days also will count Car Light pledges, so individuals who can find alternative modes to run errands, grab lunch or decrease their driving over the weekend also are eligible.
Employers Who Offer Transit Benefits - Be Recognized as a Best Workplace for Commuters
Many employers offer fare subsidies such as Metro's SmartBenefits to employees who take transit or ride in vanpools. Commuters who take advantage of the SmartBenefits Plus 50 program may qualify for a free $50 SmarTrip card! Some employers offer premium or reserved parking spaces for carpools and vanpools. Many employers also offer telework programs that allow eligible employees to work from home once or twice a week. If you are an employer who offers transit benefits to your employees, your organization may be recognized by Fairfax County as a Best Workplaces for Commuters this December.
From Rail to Bus to Bike - There Are Many Options to Try!
To join fellow commuters who have chosen to leave their cars at home, check out these great options for going car free:
- Local bus service is available on Fairfax Connector, TAGS, CUE, Metrobus and REX; rail service on Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Amtrak.
- Carpooling and vanpooling are other alternatives to drive-alone commuting that can reduce the stress of rush-hour driving and provide a faster trip by using High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-95/I-395, I-495, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road. There are more 40 Park and Ride facilities in Fairfax County where commuters can meet their carpools or vanpools, and most offer free parking.
- To go completely car free, commuters can try bicycling or walking. Fairfax County has a vast trail system and continues to build on-road bike lanes throughout the county. It's also easy to bike and ride in Fairfax County, because all Fairfax Connector buses are equipped with bike racks.
- Working from home also contributes to going car free! Companies looking for technical assistance to establish a telework program for their employees can contact the Fairfax County Department of Transportation's Commuter Services at 703-877-5641.
- Programs such as the Guaranteed Ride Home program make it easier for commuters to leave their cars at home and try transit or ridesharing because it provides a free taxi ride home in case an emergency occurs during the day.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is invested in improving the infrastructure and resources to give commuters choices to get to work or get around town. Fairfax County invites residents to try some of these options during Try Transit Week and Car Free Days to build better commuting habits that will benefit us personally and globally today and well into the future.