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  • TRP News: Using alternative modes is great, except when it isn't

    Taking transit, carpooling, biking and walking for work commutes provides great benefits for those who can. For those who have to drive alone, there are other ways to reduce miles driven, improve vehicle fuel efficiency, save money, and help reduce air pollution.traffic

    Tips to Drive Smarter:
    • IDLE LESS: Idling more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting. Vehicle idling at schools and shopping centers, or at restaurant, bank and pharmacy drive-thru’s creates toxic emissions in a concentrated area. 
    • COMBINE ERRANDS INTO ONE TRIP: Restarting a warm engine is more fuel-efficient than starting a cold engine. Trip-chaining saves time, too.
    • CALL AHEAD: Knowing whether or not a store is open or if they have the product you want can help you decide whether a trip is worth it.
    • ACCELERATE SMOOTHLY: “Jack-rabbit” starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption, emit more pollutants, and does not significantly reduce travel time. In city driving, much of the energy needed to power vehicles goes to acceleration.
    • DECELERATE SMOOTHLY: Anticipating traffic flow and coasting to decelerate saves fuel and reduces wear-and-tear on brakes. In fuel-injection vehicles, removing your foot from the accelerator stops the flow of fuel to the engine until the engine is at idle.
    • KEEP TIRES PROPERLY INFLATED: Radial tires can be under inflated and still look normal. Driving with low tires reduces fuel efficiency and causes more wear on the tires, shortening their life span. Check tire pressure monthly, and especially when seasonal temperatures change.
    • MAINTAIN VEHICLES: A poorly tuned engine uses more fuel and produces more emissions than one that is running properly.
    • FUEL-UP WISELY: Choose the octane fuel which best suits your vehicle. Higher price premium fuel is not necessarily the best choice. Check the owner’s manual to see which fuel is best for your vehicle. Also, to avoid harmful vapor loss, stop at the click when refueling and tighten your gas cap securely.
    Driving motor vehicles contributes significantly to air pollution and greenhouse gases. Reducing vehicle miles traveled and changing driving habits to be more fuel-efficient benefits the driver, human health, and the environment. Small changes individually make a big difference collectively in the air we all share.

    Travel Reduction Resources for Pima County Employees

    Visit the Travel Reduction Program intranet site for information on our Guaranteed Ride Home Program, transit, bike, walk, and carpool/vanpool resources and info on commuter contests

    Sign up with Karen.Wilhelmsen@pima.gov to be on a transit, bike or carpool list serve. Sign up for Pima County Employee Commute Trips & Tips Facebook group.
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