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Commuter Connections Offers Alternatives To Driving

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Today is CarFree Day. Sponsored by local agencies, the event is focusing on alternative transportation for commuters. For the D.C. region, with traffic congestion rated second only to L.A., that's no small feat.

Nicholas Ramfos is off to find a slug. "What we're gonna do is stop by the Park-n-Ride lot and see if we can pick up a slug, or 'casual carpooler." He says in the D.C. region, convincing people to go car free is a matter of saving time and money.

"When we first started back in 1974 it was primarily as a response to the gas crisis and high gasoline prices," says Ramfos.

Ramfos is director of Commuter Connections, a regional network of transportation agencies. His group coordinates carpools, promotes shorter work weeks to keep employees off the roads, and provides free rides for people who go car-free but find themselves in a pinch. "We're just trying to get individuals to acknowledge that there are other options for them. They don't have to drive by themselves every day of the week. What we want to do is encourage individuals to either double-up in a car if you can, take transit; bicycle or walk; work from home, if that's possible."

About 70 percent of commuters are single-driver cars. Ramfos hopes about 10,000 people will pledge to go car-free, or "car-lite" for one day.

Stephanie Kaye reports...

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