On Thursday afternoon, transportation companies and Harvard organizations gathered in the Science Center Plaza to showcase options for sustainable travel in Cambridge. The event was organized by CommuterChoice, a Harvard program that provides information for Harvard affiliates about commuting options and planning.
Among the wide variety of booths featuring sustainable transportation groups were some well-known names such as Hubway and Zipcar, as well as other lesser-known programs and businesses.
Ben A. Hammer, an administrator of the CommuterChoice program, said that the annual event aims to “let [the University community] know [about] all the stakeholders that are promoting sustainable transportation across campus.”
Kurt A. Belhumeur of Bern Unlimited, a business that sells bike and multi-sport helmets, manned a table advertising its products. He said the business encourages people to bike more and to bike safely.
“We’re a local company … trying to promote a healthy and active paradigm shift in lifestyle, and trying to do it in a fashionable and safe manner,” Belhumeur said.
At another table, a representative of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation encouraged attendees to sign up for a program that rewards commuters who use public transportation or walk. A representative of Park and Pedal provided information about its network of parking lots on the outskirts of Boston, which allow employees to park their cars for free and bike for the remainder of their commutes.
The Harvard Office for Sustainability and Harvard Transportation and Parking was present at the event as well. They explained the University’s efforts to improve sustainability, such as the more environmentally-friendly fuel the shuttles use and the University’s five-year sustainability plan.
Jennifer L. Lawrence, a sustainability planner for the city of Cambridge, said the city as a whole is striving to become more environmentally efficient. She explained that Cambridge is one of 50 communities across the nation competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which will award $5 million to the city with the greatest reduction in energy use in the next two years.
The city also aims to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2070.“The technology isn’t there yet, but we’re hoping to work with Harvard, MIT, and other of the other universities across greater Boston to get us there,” Lawrence said.
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