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Janie Chen’s Blog

Commuting Car-less: How NRDC's Midwest Office Supports the Use of Public Transit

Janie Chen

Posted March 12, 2013 in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably

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To the disbelief of my friends who live outside of Chicago, I don’t own a car.  I can go anywhere in the city on a bus or a train or my own two feet.  Though it can be difficult to carry groceries home in the freezing Chicago wind, the benefits certainly outweigh the costs.  Not only do I save on the costs of owning a car—from city permits to car insurance and buying gas—but I also minimize my carbon footprint while increasing my literal footprints.  Walking is good for my personal health as well as the health of my community. 

NRDC’s current Chicago office is located at the conjunction of many public transportation lines.  For many of us without a car, this is a blessing.  Our entire office staff is able to commute to work via city bus, the “El” train, the Metra commuter train, or even the Chicago River taxi, regardless of whether we live on the North, South, West, or Lakeside.  For me, the express bus down Lake Shore Drive is a beautiful ride along Lake Michigan to start and end my day.

 Map of NRDC Office and Public TransitWhen NRDC announced that our new office would be just across the Chicago River in the Civic Opera Building, I was ecstatic and I know many of my fellow staff members were as well. All of us can continue taking the public transportation routes we’ve become accustomed to and perhaps even grown to enjoy.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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