OP-ED: Earth Day and transit make for perfect partners

April 19, 2024
To help the environment, leave your car at home and use any of the many alternative public transportation options to get from place to place.

Let us celebrate Earth Day April 22 all year long. Besides recycling newspapers, magazines, glass, plastics, old medicines, paints and cleaning materials, there are other actions you can take that will also contribute to a cleaner environment. Leave your car at home.  For local trips in the neighborhood, walk or ride a bike.  For longer travels, consider many public transportation alternatives already available.   

Downstate New York, there is a plethora of public transportation options, including the: 

  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) 
  • New York City (NYC) Transit bus, 
  • Subway and Staten Island Railway 
  • Long Island Rail Road 
  • Metro-North Rail Road 
  • MTA Bus (seven former NYC franchised private bus operators) 
  • Nassau Inter County Express (NICE) Bus 
  • Suffolk County Transit 
  • Huntington Area Rapid Transit (HART) Bus 
  • City of Long Beach Bus 
  • New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) 
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) 
  • NYC Department of Transportation Staten Island Ferry 
  • NYC Economic Development Corporation Private Ferries 
  • Westchester County Bee Line Bus 
  • Putnam Area Rapid Transit Bus 
  • Dutchess County Loop Bus (includes the old city of Poughkeepsie Bus) 
  • Transport of Rockland County Bus 
  • Orange County Bus  
  • City of Kingston Bus  

 In upstate New York, there are even more options, including the: 

  • Albany Capital District Transit Authority 
  • Amsterdam Transportation 
  • Batavia Bus Service 
  • Birnie Bus Service 
  • Broome County Transit 
  • Chenango County Transit 
  • Chemung County Transit 
  • Clinton County Transit 
  • Corning Transit System 
  • Elmira Bus 
  • City of Gloversville Bus 
  • City of Corning Transit System 
  • Greene County Transit 
  • City of Hornell Area Transit 
  • City of Hudson Bus 
  • City of Kingston Bus 
  • Niagara Frontier Transit Authority 
  • City of Oneonta Bus 
  • Rochester Genessee Regional Transportation Authority 
  • Schoharie County Public Transit 
  • Sullivan County Bus 
  • Syracuse Central New York Regional Transportation Authority 
  • Tioga County Public Transit 
  • Tompkins County Consolidated Area Transit 
  • City of Watertown Bus 

Depending upon your community, there may be various options, such as paratransit, local and express bus, ferry, jitney, subway and commuter rail services.  Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars including grants from the Federal Transit Administration.   

They use less fuel and move far more people than cars. In many cases, your employer can offer transit checks to help subsidize a portion of the costs. Utilize your investments and reap the benefits. You'll be supporting a cleaner environment, reduce your carbon foot print and be less stressed upon arrival at your final destination.  

More employers continue to allow employees to telecommute and work from home full- or part-time. Others use alternative work schedules, which afford staff the ability to avoid rush hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon. You could join a car or vanpool to share the costs of commuting.   

A cleaner environment starts with everyone. 

About the Author

Larry Penner

Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously served as a former director for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office of Operations and Program Management. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for New Jersey Transit, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NYC Transit bus, subway and Staten Island Railway, Long Island and Metro North railroads, MTA Bus, NYCDOT Staten Island Ferry along with 30 other transit agencies in New York and New Jersey.