Americans love to drive. More cars, minivans and SUVs are driven more miles on our roads than ever before. Bay Staters drive 4 million passenger vehicles some 50 billion miles per year. Not surprisingly, this can add up to gridlock during rush hour - and longer commutes to work or school and home again.
Motor vehicles are also a major source of air pollution. Road traffic accounts for about 40 percent of the pollution that forms ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog. Children, people who work or exercise outdoors, those with respiratory diseases, and even the healthiest among us find it harder to breathe on smoggy days.
Through its Rideshare Program, MassDEP promotes transportation options that not only result in cleaner air, but also faster and easier commutes. The program specifically requires the following organizations to develop plans and set goals for reducing employee and student drive-alone commute trips by 25 percent:
- Businesses with 1,000 or more applicable commuters.
- Educational institutions with 1,000 or more applicable commuters.
- Businesses with 250 or more applicable commuters that are also subject to the Massachusetts Air Operating Permit Program (310 CMR 7.00, Appendix C).
See Additional Resources below for the full MassDEP Air Pollution Control Regulations (see Section 7.16 for Rideshare) and Guidance on Complying (including a definition of "applicable commuters").