Transit and Trails: Connecting People to Nature on Public Transit

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Don’t own a car, but want to get out to one of the Bay Area’s hundreds of parks and trails? Or perhaps, you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint and wondering how to get to your favorite hike without using your car?

Transit and Trails is a new resource for outdoor enthusiasts who want to leave their cars behind and easily get information on how to take the bus (or ferry) to reach Bay Area hiking trails and campgrounds.

A project of the Bay Area Open Space Council (BAOSC), the new interactive website identifies hundreds of trailheads and 150 campgrounds to explore across the Bay Area’s 1.2 million acres of preserved lands. Just enter your starting location, and roughly how far you want to venture, and the site suggests possible hikes and featured trips. Once you decide where you want to go, it connects with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s 511 Transit Trip Planner to provide a detailed trip itinerary, complete with a map, transit times, fares and walking directions to and from the transit stop.

BAOSC a collaborative of more than 55 member organizations actively involved in permanently protecting and stewarding important parks, trails and agricultural lands in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. They are committed to connecting people to the land.

According to Bettina Ring, Executive Director of the BAOSC, “Transit and Trails is the first ever trip planner focused on parks and trails…It brings all the needed information to your fingertips so you can easily plan your outing.”

The ROI of Not Driving

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The site also calculates the cost of driving to your destination and estimates the pounds of carbon you would save by using public transit, so you can calculate the ROI of leaving the car at home.

Wouldn’t this make a great iphone application?

Transit and Trails makes it easy for you to access all the amazing parks and open spaces in the Bay Area while minimizing costs (save on tolls, gas and parking) and reducing your carbon footprint. Give it a try!  Since I live in Marin and can reach many trails from my front door (or if I need to travel, I have the dog along)  I have not tried the service yet.

Deborah Fleischer is founder and president of Green Impact. She is a LEED AP with a Master in Environmental Studies from Yale University and over 20-years of direct experience working on sustainability-related challenges in both the public and private sectors. You can follow her at @GreenImpact.

Deborah Fleischer is founder and president of Green Impact, a strategic sustainability consulting practice that helps companies walk the green talk. She helps companies design and launch new green strategies and programs, as well as communicate about successes. She is a GRI-certified sustainability reporter and LEED AP with a Master in Environmental Studies from Yale University and over 20-years of direct experience working on sustainability-related challenges in both the public and private sectors. She brings deep expertise in sustainability strategy, stakeholder engagement, program development and written communications.Deborah has helped to design and implement numerous successful cross-sector partnerships and new green initiatives, including the California Environmental Dialogue, Curb Your Carbon and the Institute at the Golden Gate.She has helped create lasting alliances among such organizations as Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy with companies such as Disney, Arco, Bank of America and Passport Resorts.You can follow her occasional tweet @GreenImpact or contact her directly at Deborah@greenimpact.com.