Saturday, November 18, 2017


Take the Car-Free Challenge and Win Prizes!
Take the Car-Free Challenge and Win Prizes!

Elmira- – Six counties in Central New York, including Chemung, Cortland, Herkimer, Oneida, Schuyler, and Steuben, have been working together to launch a Car-Free Challenge on Car Free Day – an annual international event that encourages drivers to leave their cars at home for a day on Thursday, September 22. Observed in over 2,000 cities in 44 countries, Car Free Day is celebrated in different ways, but with the common goal of taking cars off the road to reduce traffic, improve the environment and conserve energy.

The 2016 Car-Free Challenge, a regional effort to promote driving less and replacing trips in a car with carpooling, public transit, biking or walking, will run for two weeks, from September 22 to October 5. Anyone who lives or works in the counties can participate and be eligible to win prizes when they register and log their entries on the Car-Free Challenge website. In Chemung and Steuben Counties, daily prizes are $20 gift cards from local restaurants and businesses. Send in your blog for three out of fourteen days and qualify for a chance to win the grand prize—a Fit Bit Activity Tracker in Chemung County and a 26" Roadmaster Granite Peak Bike in Steuben County.  In Chemung County, the event will kick-off at the September 22nd Wisner Market with free Car-Free Challenge backpacks for the first thirty people to visit the 511NY Southern Tier Rideshare table. The Car-Free Challenge is fun, free and easy to join!

Over 150 people participated in the 2015 regional Car-Free Challenge, writing 783 blogs and saving over 8,000 miles of driving alone. Due to the success of last year’s regional effort, Mobility Managers and transportation officials in the Southern Tier and neighboring counties decided to collaborate on a regional Challenge for 2016. “Participants in rural areas don’t have to go completely Car-Free. We’ll welcome you into the program to blog about your experience even if you are able to go Car-Lite. The Challenge is a fun way for people who drive alone everywhere to begin thinking about and trying a healthier, more sustainable way of getting around,” said Ann Hotchkin, Mobility Management Coordinator for Way2Go Cortland.

“Broadening this effort and collaborating on a regional level has been terrific, and we hope people will consider using different modes of transportation even after the Car-Free Challenge is over,” remarked Tina Hager, Chemung County Transit Specialist. Participating counties are working with local partners and sponsors to help promote the Challenge, but working together towards a common goal of reducing drive alone trips improves the quality of life for everyone in the region.

Take the next step. For more details about the Car-Free Challenge and to learn about transportation resources to help you get around visit
or contact Chemung County Mobility Manager Amanda Boyer at 607.378.1004.

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