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For Release: Monday, May 13, 2013

DEC, Partners Announce First Green Your Commute Day - May 17

Collaboration Highlights Environmentally Friendly Ways to Commute to Work

Activities Include Lunchtime Bicycle Ride, Electric Car Display, Free Raffles and Giveaways

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a partnership with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and alternative transportation service providers for the first Green Your Commute Day in Albany, Friday, May 17. The event, held in Albany's Tri-centennial Park on Broadway and Columbia Street from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., will highlight environmentally friendly ways commuters can get to and from work such as carpooling, bicycling, walking and public transportation.

Green Your Commute Day brings together for the first time a collaboration of state agencies with the Albany Parking Authority; Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID); vRide; Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA); Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) and Broadway Bicycle Co. & Plaine and Son. The event coincides with nationally recognized Annual Bike to Work Day, which encourages bicycle commuting as an environmentally friendly transportation alternative.

DEC Commissioner Martens will be among the cyclists riding their bikes to work. He will be greeting DEC participants as they arrive to work on their bikes.

"Green Your Commute Day is designed to bring awareness to the environmental, financial and health benefits of alternative transportation for those who work downtown and throughout the Capital District," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "If you choose to walk, ride a bike, car pool or take a bus to work, you reduce your consumption of non-renewable fossil fuels, air pollution and traffic congestion. The amount of exercise you can get and the money you will save on fuel and auto maintenance is a good reason to join the crowd this Friday to show your support for 'green' commuting!"

"Green your Commute Day promotes exercise, enjoyment of our beautiful outdoors and just an overall healthy lifestyle. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the fresh air on Friday May 17th and walk, bike or take mass transit to their destination," said OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey. "The outdoor experience is a refreshing and wonderful escape."

"Green Your Commute Day is a great opportunity to draw attention to and encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation that can help the State reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. We are pleased to join in the effort to encourage a 'green commute' throughout Albany, which has many historic and scenic locations for commuters to enjoy whether on foot, bike or public transportation," said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO, NYSERDA.

"The New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. takes pride in working to protect and enhance environmental quality in New York State, and we applaud this effort to both promote and enjoy biking, walking and other forms of 'green' commuting," said Matthew Driscoll, president and CEO of EFC.

"We are proud to be part of Green Your Commute Day," said Michael Klein, executive director of the Albany Parking Authority. "By carpooling, drivers can help reduce air pollution and save money at the pump. It's one of the easiest environmentally friendly steps drivers can take. We are pleased to be able to provide incentives to drivers by collaborating with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, other state agencies and important transportation providers like CDTA."

"As we cultivate a thriving downtown neighborhood, one large attraction is the walk-ability and available resources within the district," explained Georgette Steffens, executive director, BID. "Many of our current residents love the freedom of parking their vehicles and being able to walk to their workplace, catch the bus, ride their bike and walk to great dining and entertainment options."

"Green Your Commute Day gives our community an opportunity to highlight alternate modes of transportation and re-think how they commute," said CDTA chairman David M. Stackrow. "Many people choose CDTA as an affordable, convenient and environmentally responsible way to connect to work, school, shopping and services. Businesses also choose CDTA as an option to increase accessibility for employees while alleviating parking and congestion issues."

"We are thrilled to co-sponsor 'Green Your Commute Day' and equip bicycle commuters with everything they might need for a safe ride to and from home," said Heather Rizzi, manager of Broadway Bicycle Co. (Albany) and Plaine and Son (Schenectady). "Cycling offers many benefits, including a healthy, low-impact, outdoor recreational lifestyle; a tool to combat stress and expanding waistlines and a way to save money and reduce the 'pain at the pump,' especially for short trips."

"There are so many ways now to 'Green Your Commute' to work," said Michael Franchini, executive director, CDTC. "You can carpool, take a CDTA bus, take CDTA's Northway Express, drive a hybrid or electric vehicle, ride a bicycle or walk. All of these options are promoted through the Capital Moves website (link in the right column), which can help you find the best way to lessen your commute's impact on the environment."

"vRide is delighted to participate in Green Your Commute Day," said Jesse Kafka, vRide national account executive. "As the nation's leading provider of commuter vanpools, vRide removed over 40,000 cars from our nation's roads on a daily basis in 2012, which resulted in a reduction of about 361,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Promoting alternatives to the single occupancy vehicle commute is our mission everywhere, including downtown Albany and the greater capital region."

List of Activities from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.:

The Albany Parking Authority will provide free, one-day parking to carpoolers only (two or more people in the same vehicle) at the Quackenbush Parking Garage in downtown Albany on May 17. Drivers must complete a short registration form available at the offices of BID or at the Quackenbush Parking Garage the day of the event, and must also register at either purpool ( for those who work at 625 Broadway only, link in the right column), or iPool2 if you work elsewhere in the capital region (link in the right column.)

  • CDTA is offering a free, one-day bus pass for May 17. Participants must pick up their free one-day bus pass in advance at the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District offices located at 40 North Pearl Street, Albany, available until May 17 while supplies last. On May 17, 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. CDTA will also offer information about routes, schedules and commuting services. They will display a hybrid bus and show participants how to use bus bike racks.
  • Broadway Bicycle Co. & Plaine and Son will hold a safety and maintenance clinic and take cyclists out for a lunchtime fun ride.
  • Hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles will be on display.
  • BID will offer giveaways and feature information about downtown events and attractions.
  • vRide will display a vanpool van and provide information on its services.
  • CDTC will offer carpooling and bicycle commuting information.
  • NYSERDA will provide information on alternative transportation.
  • DEC experts will tell you how to maintain and drive your car to achieve optimal fuel efficiency.
  • Expert, informed advice on walking to work in downtown Albany from a downtown resident.

For more information on how to participate, contact Kevin Carpenter, DEC, at kjcarpen@gw.dec.state.ny.us, or Jared Cunningham, OPRHP at jared.cunningham@park.ny.gov.

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