Join the Car-Free Challenge!

CarFreeJoin Memphis residents  across the city by making a commitment to being car-free during the month of April. Register your participation and enter to win weekly prizes to make your trips more enjoyable and affordable.

Memphis residents have a multitude of transportation choices available to them. However, 90% of us continue to drive alone in our cars each day for most of our trips. Some of the alternatives, like bicycling, are growing in popularity and are becoming more common each day. Others, like carpooling, remain at low levels of utilization throughout the city despite a number of resources available to help establish such programs. The goal of this challenge is to  get residents to leave their cars are home, at least for one day, and try (many for the first time) the other choices that are available to you.

Anyone may participate for any duration of time. If you want to participate for all 30 days in April, please feel free to do so. If you are nervous about being car-free, but want to try it out for one day, we’re glad to have you on board. Maybe after you try it out for one day, you’ll consider trying it again on another day each week in April. Feel free to register yourself each day you’re planning to be car-free, as often as you think is necessary. Entering your name into registration doesn’t increase your chances of winning a prize, but it does allow us to track your participation over the month and calculate the benefits of leaving your car at home.

A spotlight will be shown on 18 Memphis residents that will be parking their cars for the entire month of April, and utilizing a variety of alternatives including bicycling, walking, public transportation, and carpooling. These residents were outfitted with “Car-Free Survival Kits” containing common items needed in order to make car-free living convenient and easy. These “model citizens” will be sharing their experiences, both the good and the bad, through daily blogs kept on the challenge’s website, www.carfreememphis.com.

When participating in the Challenge, you may travel throughout the city by any means other than driving by yourself in a car. Some of the most popular choices are:

There may be other methods of getting around that aren’t listed and those are OK too!

Feel free to mix it up

  • Combine a long trip to work using a bicycle and a bus.
  • Going to the grocery store? Carpool with some friends going at the same time.
  • Walk to lunch and enjoy the spring weather rather than driving the short distance.

If your employer requires that you drive a car alone, please don’t refuse to do so in order to keep your commitment to being car-free. If the situation allows you to use another transportation method, please do, but don’t feel obligated keep your commitment in circumstances where it isn’t feasible. Also, if there is an emergency or medical treatment is needed, get attention as fast as possible, even if it means getting in your car.

800px-MATA_bus_with_bike_carrier_2010-10-02_Downtown_Memphis_TNWe want everyone to know about what you’re doing to make transportation in Memphis better. Feel free to post about your experiences on our Facebook page. Mention us on Twitter using the hashtag #carfreememphis. Memphis officials want to know what is working and isn’t working with our alternatives to car travel. We know there are still challenges ahead for making Memphis a true city with multiple modes of efficient transportation, but we also recognize that we’ve come a long way during the past couple of years. Now is the time to build support for programs and projects that enhance our ability to walk, bicycle, or use public transportation. The best way for all residents to show their support is to use what we have, provide feedback on how it worked out for you, and to be a role model for your neighbors and friends.

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