Sunday, September 21, 2008

World Car-free day highlights transport solutions.

Along with thousands of people around the globe, the Green Party will be celebrating the annual World Car-free Day this Monday 22nd September in Christchurch.

Centred around the city Bus Exchange and City Mall, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons plus candidates and local Party members will reward those who have left the car at home and chosen to bus, walk or bike to work and school.

Ms Fitzsimons will be launching the Green Party Transport policy today which will detail solutions to rising congestion, transport costs and pollution.

“If many more Christchurch residents join us in taking the bus or bike this Monday, we will just see what a difference it makes”, says Joseph Burston, Green Party candidate for the Port Hills.

“I’ll be putting my bike on the No. 35 bus from Lyttelton then cycling on to work as normal this Monday.

“If infrastructure existed to allow people to safely and confidently make this kind of action a part of their daily lives, we’d see a huge reduction in congestion and CO2 emissions, not to mention plenty of personal cost savings and health benefits.”

“A recent Sydney University report [1] shows that patronage on some Sydney bus routes could increase by up to 1600%, driven by rising petrol costs.”

“We can expect to see similar dramatic demands on our own public transport and should significantly increase funding to develop the necessary capacity.”

World Car Free Day
Jeanette Fitzsimons and candidates
22nd September
7.30am – 8.15am, Colombo St outside bus exchange.

Background:

More information on World Car-free Day at www.worldcarfree.net
“The World Car-free Day, promoted by the World Car-free Network, is intended to advance the economic, social and environmental benefits of self-propelled or mass transportation. It also aims to show how liveable modern cities can be when free from the noise, stress and pollution caused by cars.
Highlights for this year include the closing down of Brussels’ Capital Region to all motorized transport from 9.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. and the plans by Washington’s citizens to surpass last year’s 10,000 "car-free pledges".
With crude oil prices remaining over US$100 per barrel for most of 2008, people around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the car. Evidence can be seen by the rapid increase in the United States’ transit systems usage to levels unseen since the 1950's, by the success of Paris' Velib bike-sharing program that was ridden 27 million times in the past year, and by the 16% fall in car sales this year in the USA.”

Information on bus transport is at www.metroinfo.org.nz
Green Party transport news at www.greens.org.nz/transport
[1] Report by David Hensher and Zheng Li at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, University of Sydney

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