Campus Helps Drive Long Island Mobility Week with Sustainable Transportation Event
On September 19, 2023, Farmingdale State College (FSC) helped kick-off Car Free Day Long Island 2023 with a press conference and sustainable mobility showcase event as part of Long Island Mobility Week. Car Free Day Long Island and World Car Free Day were recognized on Friday, September 22, 2023.
The kick-off event focused on motivating Long Islanders to relinquish their car keys for a day and use alternative modes of transportation, such as the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), bus, carpool, or cycling. Event participants could view a live demonstration in which an internal combustion vehicle filled a 35-gallon bag with its emissions in four minutes. This year, 3837 Long Islanders, including 65 from FSC, pledged to be car free or car-lite for the day, preventing over 80 tons of CO2 emissions. This was a marked increase from last year's 2701 Long Island pledges and 30 tons in saved CO2 emissions.
“With close to three million people on Long Island, even if we each drive one mile less, it adds up to quite a bit and can have a big impact on our air quality, health, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mindy Germain, co- chair Car Free Day Long Island and program manager Transit Solutions.
“Farmingdale has a long history of dedication to sustainability and we, as a campus, have made enormous and measurable strides in clean energy,” John S. Nader, PhD, president of FSC, said of the College’s environmental efforts. “So much so that last year we earned well over $400,000 in credits, rebates, and savings and we received three grants from the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI).
“This event gives us the opportunity to share with you our commitment to a greener Long Island, and a greener America,” he added. “We are your partners. You are our partners, and we will continue to work together for a greener community.”
The event also featured remarks from key Long Island leaders including Sam Schwartz aka “Gridlock Sam,” an American transportation engineer, columnist, author, and former New York City traffic commissioner; Catherine Rinaldi, interim president of LIRR; Jonathan Keyes, director of downtown and transit-oriented development, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning; NICE Bus (Nassau Inter-County Express); Donna Drummond, senior vice president, chief expense and chief sustainability officer Northwell Health; and Eric Alexander, executive director Vision Long Island.
Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September in more than 3,100 cities in over 50 countries around the world. Long Island Mobility Week promotes new forms of clean and shared mobility, takes stock of current transportation challenges, and helps the environment by making progress toward more sustainable transportation for all of Long Island. Established in 2013, Car Free Day Long Island has grown into a major event with numerous partners and thousands of participants, including FSC students.
"Today's event, specifically at Farmingdale State College, reminds me of Farmingdale's history and purpose. Having everyone here today to stress the importance of a greener community, and express the fact that they care, is overwhelmingly pleasant and comforting to see; I am honored to have been a part of the event. I believe that the significance of today's event aids in leading the environmental front in the future so that a more sustainable, renewable, safer, and healthier society is achieved,” said Olivia Biggs ’23, a Civil Engineering Technology major, and Car Free Day Long Island youth ambassador.
“Our Car Free Day Rally and Sustainable Mobility Showcase is a great example of how FSC is dedicated to working with regional organizations to highlight a common cause,” said Maia Roseval, sustainability manager.
View more photos from the Car Free Day Long Island event on our Flickr Gallery.
For more information, please visit the Long Island Mobility Week webpage.