Thousands of people across Chicagoland will declare themselves car-free in favor of transit, walking and biking for Chicagoland Car-Free Day, Sept. 22. The event is part of World Car-Free Day--when people around the world pledge to go sans auto. For the 2011 Chicagoland Car-Free Day, the Active Transportation Alliance is again partnering with RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace to shine a spotlight on green, convenient, healthy, fun and affordable ways of getting around.

Anyone can declare him or herselfcar-free for the day at www.chicagolandcarfree.org and be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate to REI or an iPod Shuffle.

Communities around the region are also taking part in Chicagoland Car-Free Day. Skokie, Evanston and the Village of Wood Dale have all passed Car-Free Day resolutions this year. On September 22nd they will be encouraging their residents to rediscover their community by transit, bike or on foot.

“The Village of Skokie is committed to promoting alternate forms of transportation and we are glad to partner with Active Transportation Alliance in promoting Chicagoland Car-Free Day again this year,” commented Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen. “In the next several months, the new CTA Yellow Line Oakton Station in Downtown Skokie will open to provide even greater mass-transit opportunities to both Skokie residents and others living in nearby communities.”

To celebrate the event, the City of Evanston will be sponsoring a commuter pit stop in front of the 909 Davis Building in between the Davis Metra and CTA stops 6-9 a.m. on Thursday, September 22.

“Car-Free Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the many options to getting around that do not involve a car. Evanston is lucky that about 40% of residents already use other modes of transportation to and from work instead of driving, according to the 2000 U.S. Census,” says Catherine Hurley, Sustainable Programs Coordinator for Evanston.

The website, www.chicagolandcarfree.org, provides commuters with biking, walking and transit resources that will make it easier to leave the car at home. Resources like RTA’s trip planner, www.goroo.com,and www.PaceRideShare.com will help commuters every step of the way. Find out more about Chicagoland Car-Free Day at www.chicagolandcarfree.org.

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With three transit systems and more than two million riders a day, there is always something interesting going on at the RTA. Get the latest scoop on everything all in one place. For all media inquiries, please contact Susan Massel, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at 312-913-3256 or at communications@rtachicago.org.