Why We Should Start to Drive Less

By: James Gowen
Subway entrance

Wrapping up the football season in the tri-state area where I work and reside was truly an exciting experience. The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee did a great job organizing the larger-than-life event and coordinating every detail to perfection. 

What caught my attention was the advertisement for using public transportation to and from the stadium on the day of the game. There are so many benefits to taking advantage of public transportation, both for the environment and for yourself. 

Grand Central

Greener Tomorrow

The most important benefit of public transit is that it keeps the environment and the air a lot cleaner. If we all started to switch from driving to taking a bus or train to work, think about how many cars would be eliminated from the roads. A great amount of carbon dioxide emissions would be avoided. Also, many buses these days have also started to use alternative fuel.

Reduced Stress

It has been proven that people who use public transit regularly are more active than those who drive. Some studies have also shown that public transportation can help reduce stress. Many people are able to do more walking to get their train or bus, and once on board they can read, listen to music or even catch up on sleep. 

Saving money

Compared with gas prices, parking fees and maintenance costs, annual public transportation fares are a lot cheaper. Maybe if your workplace or school is nearby, you can even start riding a bike! Verizon has a great Bike to Work program for our employees.

Safety First

Last but not least, buses and other public transport systems are also a lot safer than individual vehicles. Car accidents are responsible for about 40,000 deaths a year. Using an alternate mode of transport will help reduce that danger.

Powerful Answers

One of the winners of the Powerful Answers Award in Sustainability this year was a company called Bandwagon, which is working to reduce the number of cars on the road by providing ridesharing for taxis and car services. Verizon has also worked with a company called RideWise, a source for sustainable travel alternatives in Somerset County, N.J. We have participated in RideWise’s Vanpooling program, which is a system that brings employees to their worksites.

Let’s all start thinking about how we can leave our car keys at home and find an alternate way to get to our destinations.

James "Jim" Gowen is a change agent. Since taking on the complementary roles of vice president of Supply Chain Operations and chief sustainability officer for Verizon in 2009, he has enlisted more than 10,000 employees in 23 countries to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Gowen oversees “green” initiatives across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, fuel and energy reduction, employee and supplier engagement, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling. In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations with responsibility for more than $2.5 billion in annual through-put.

Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.