The Department of Transportation (DOT) is set to launch a pilot program called Go Smart NYC in the confines of Community Board 5 this June.
Go Smart NYC is a federally funded, optional education and encouragement program that aims to improve travel outcomes for drivers, cyclists, mass transit users and pedestrians by providing information about all available transit options to all residents of the area. It also encourages and incentivizes travel by walking, carpooling, transit and cycling.
“Broadly speaking, the goal of this program, the way we will judge our success, is by getting as much information about all of the travel options in the area out to as many of the residents as possible,” said Alex Keating, project manager of Go Smart NYC. “And if a resident is interested, if a household is interested in more information they’ll be able to opt in and we’ll have a program there that [will] encourage and incentivize trips that are made locally or to work, any kind of trip.”
Residents within the CB 5 area will receive a Go Smart NYC mailer from the DOT which will include an introduction to the program and prompt residents to register on the program’s website. From the website, participants will be able to order a customized travel information kit with walking, biking, bus, subway and carpooling information provided by the DOT; safety and educational materials; as well as a free tote bag, pedometer, Frisbee and bike light.
Once registered, members will be able to log their trips on the Go Smart NYC website, from their desktop or mobile device, to track their progress. They can then receive data on their travel spending, physical activity and environmental upkeep, as well as earn points redeemable for coupons to local stores.
“We wanted a program that had really good community organizations on the ground, local shopping options, all of the transit options including levels of car ownership…and we thought that this area would be a great fit,” Keating said. “We hope it will be successful, and if it is successful we will continue to explore additional federal funds to continue doing it in other areas and neighborhoods is the city.”
There will be a public launch event for the pilot program on June 16, and the mailers will be delivered on that same day. The DOT hopes to expand the program to three or four more neighborhoods if the pilot goes well.