CTrides, which connects commuters with sustainable solutions to get to school or work, has honored Naugatuck Valley Community College for its participation in the Connecticut College Challenge, which seeks to find “green” rides for college students across Connecticut. More NVCC students pledged to take a sustainable ride during the first week of October than students at any other community college in the state.
A “green” ride is anything other than driving alone, according to John Brantley, CTrides’ outreach coordinator for western Connecticut. “Whether you have a two-person car pool or a five-person car pool, take the bus, if you take the shuttle, if you get on the train to the bus, if you ride your bike, if you walk, anything other than a single-occupancy vehicle is a sustainable ride.”
While there are many reasons for taking public transit, carpooling or walking, Brantley says the main reason CTrides encourages it is to improve the environment. “The more cars that you have on the highway and the slower they go, the higher the parts per million of noxious gases.” He says carbon dioxide emissions can increase significantly during peak commute times when traffic slows to a crawl—that’s why it’s so important for commuters to ride together and do their part to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to a healthier environment.
While CTrides typically works with employers and employees to find ride options, he says they’re also making a concerted effort to reach out to community colleges and other educational institutions with major populations of students who commute. He applauded NVCC’s role in restoring evening bus service to Waterbury and the College’s U-Pass program, which provides free local bus service to all students enrolled in credit courses.