Walking to the train station this morning on my daily commute into New York City I had a thought that Metro-North could leverage the increased focus on global warming to increase the awareness of it’s services (mass transportation).
I guess it probably was the combination of President Bush’s state of the union address, running into my friend Peter who works for the MTA, and being the owner of a TerraPass for my Honda Element (I would say SUV, but it doesn’t seem to be a gas guzzler).
Here’s what I would do:
1. Calculate the carbon foot print of a rider from each stop on Metro-North into NYC.
2. Calculate the carbon foot print of a driver from each stop, you’d have to use some averages here, but I would assume the difference would be staggering.
3. Prominently post on the MTA website a comparison chart of the carbon footprint along with the cost comparison, and average commute time assuming normal rush hour traffic, and how much oil would be saved.
4. Strike a deal with TerraPass where you could buy an offset with your monthly commuter ticket.
Maybe require that they invest the offsets in the Northeast power grid so it could help with pollution in the tri-state area. If for example they invest in a wind farm, get a live widget on the MTA website showing a real-time electric meter.
My guess with the strong Democratic base in NYC and the suburbs you’d find quite a few people opting in for the TerraPass as well as thinking about the efficiency of mass transit.