Tired of traffic and gas prices? So is the Earth! The environment is negatively impacted by the harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted every day by cars. Everyone needs a reliable way to get from point A to point B, but there are more efficient ways to do so. Consider utilizing these environmentally conscious ways that have a positive impact on our carbon footprint the next time you need to get around Minneapolis.
1. Take public transit!
Public transit has historically been seen in a negative light by many; however, recent investments have made the Minneapolis Metro System an inexpensive & efficient way to get around the city. Minnesota residents have access to bus routes, light rail trains, and even a long-distance tram into the northwestern suburbs. In fact, the Metro Bus System provides 52 million rides annually on local, express, and suburban routes. Metro Transit’s number one priority is making sure that you arrive at your destination safely - a transit police force ensures compliance of safety standards, and as a user, you can help by reporting unusual or dangerous behavior to a transit employee or submitting a report discreetly!
2. Ride a bike!
Whether you use your own bike or utilize bike rental programs, take on Minneapolis by bike. Not only is it easy on the pocketbook, but it provides an opportunity to experience the breathtaking scenery. There are paths along the Mississippi River, Coldwater Springs, and Minnehaha Falls that offer exceptional views. Minneapolis is a haven for cyclists, ranking as one of the best biking cities in the country with over 98 miles of bike lanes and 101 miles of offroad trails. Rain, shine, or snow, Minneapolis is committed to the urban cycle movement. City-wide rideshare rentals, like Nice Ride, make biking an easy, cheap, and accessible amenity. With over 3,000 serviceable bikes and 400 stations in Minneapolis, you can bike anywhere at anytime.
3. Use your own two feet!
Walking around Minneapolis is an easy and active way to reduce your carbon footprint from transportation use. Walking can help you complete your commute from the bus or the train if needed. Minneapolis is a compact city that’s pedestrian-friendly, with over 90% of streets having sidewalks. Don’t let your walking commute come to an end with the cold Minnesota winters. Minneapolis has the most extensive skyway system in the world, with 9.5 miles of skyways stretching over 80 city blocks, as well as tunnels in various areas including the UMN campus. Thanks to the skyways you can remain active in your walking commute without facing the cold winter!
4. Ride and glide with an electric scooter!
A fun and cheap way to get around the city is electric scooters. All you need is one of the supported apps (Bird, Lime, Lyft, Spin or Veo) to scan a scooter and you’ll be ready to ride. The scooters are convenient for a short ride and are easy to find with intuitive locators built into each app. Make sure to follow all the rules in the app and I recommend a helmet! Scooters are allowed on all bike paths and trails unless a sign says otherwise.
5. Grab a friend and go!
As of May 2022, the average monthly cost for gas is $251. Imagine if there are 3 other buddies of yours, then the cost would go down to $62.75 per person/month. Saving the environment and your wallets! We love to see it! Let’s not forget about the HOV Lanes, they’re basically your FREE Fast Lane Pass. Talk about VIP treatment without selling your soul like you would for the Fast Lane Pass in Disneyland.
Carpooling is not limited to only work buddies. You can go with friends to hang out spots or meet new people to go to places of worship. Make a collaborative Spotify playlist with your old and new friends while you’re at it!
Pro Tip: When it comes to traversing the beautiful city of Minneapolis, Google maps is a great navigation tool for locating the preferred transportation services and stations.