Advocates push for further transportation alternatives on Car Free Day
Organizers of Car Free Day on Long Island are hoping to convince motorists to use different forms of transportation.
For a decade, groups like Transit Solutions have encouraged Long Islanders to reduce driving for a day and walk, bike or take mass transit.
"Even if we drive one less mile it can have a big impact on air quality, on our health, our traffic congestion and our greenhouse gas emissions," says Mindy Germain, of Transit Solutions.
However, some say driving is the only convenient option to get to where they need to go.
Mike Kullack, of Northport, says it would be impossible for him to walk to school in Farmingdale and inconvenient to take mass transit from his house.
Organizers of Car Free day on Long Island say some people can ditch the car as more options become available.
Bike share programs and on-demand buses are now becoming new ways for Long Islanders to get to major mass transit centers.
They are also testing an Uber-like bus programs on Long Island with plans to expand further.
The Long Island Rail Road says that and other programs are encouraging more people to take the train.
"Ever since Labor Day we have been seeing a health uptick in ridership - people are coming back - we expect that to continue into the fall," says LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi.
Advocates for other kinds of transportation say there is room for improvement, especially with protected bike lanes on Long Island. They say they are working with municipalities, which are considering them.
"We have work to do but we are making great progress - it's a decade and we've made progress," Germain says.