Help Reduce Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emissions, Enjoy Physical and Cognitive
This week as you plan for back to school and going back into the office, consider changing the way you get where you're going.
“We encourage every family with school-age children to try mobility alternatives that will reduce emissions, offer physical and cognitive benefits, and may save money,” said Catherine Mirick, Climate Action Committee and Wellesley School Committee member.
With Wellesley Public Schools starting tomorrow, Town and School officials are partnering with Sustainable Wellesley to share this joint message - make a plan to walk, ride a bike or scooter, take a bus, carpool, or commute by subway or train when possible.
“Making changes in how we get from here to there will help reduce the nearly 34% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from transportation in Wellesley. To encourage this change, Wellesley’s Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies supportive policies, and infrastructure projects like more sidewalk connectivity, additional bike racks, more road crossing lights, bike lanes, and EV charging stations,” said Select Board member Colette Aufranc.
Grab your backpack and try some of these transportation options:
Walk. Cycle. Scooter.
Join with friends and neighbors to form a walking school bus or scooter group. Adults and guardians in the neighborhood take turns walking students safely to and from school, promoting habits of physical wellness they can carry with them for a lifetime.
Get a biking buddy or make a bike train and cycle to school with others. Every school in Wellesley has a bike rack. If you attend Wellesley Middle School, check out the new covered
bike racks in the Calvin Road upper lot.
Wellesley Public Schools is committed to the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program to support walkers and bikers. Support this movement and get involved in walking to school activities, setting up walking school buses or identifying a good bike to school route. Reach out to School Committee member Catherine Mirick and Select Board member Colette Aufranc via
email at email@example.com.
And mark your calendars for iWalk Day (International Walk, Bike & Roll) to School Day
on Wednesday, October 12, 2022!
If your bike needs a tune-up, there is a free bike repair station at the Wellesley Police Department and another soon to be provided at the Warren recreation building.
“It is fun to ride my bike to and from school each day. I don’t have to wait around for my mom in the carline. I care about the climate, and I like my independence.” said Elena Dudkina, a Wellesley High School student.
With a helmet and the use of hand signals, try on-road bike lanes, or the Town trails system for a quieter, more scenic ride. Wellesley is friendly to bicyclists on sidewalks, except in the downtown area. You may even reach your destination faster on your bike than in a car if there is traffic. Did you know that if you have AAA, bike service is included? They’ll pick you up and assist with disabled bikes.
Take public transportation:
Why fight crosstown traffic in Wellesley when your student can ride the school bus? Seats are still available on some school bus routes. Contact WPS Transportation Director Deane McGoldrick at firstname.lastname@example.org, to see if there is space available for your children.
If you are a commuter, try the MBTA Commuter Rail or ride the T. A no-cost option is CatchConnect, an on-demand service from the Metrowest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) operating between 6:45 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. weekdays. This service is available to all, but unaccompanied youth must be 12 or older to ride. Download the MWRTA CatchConnect app and request a pick-up anywhere in Wellesley, to the Woodland MBTA and to a few locations in bordering towns.
Carpool: Save gas and reduce emissions by carpooling to school, activities, and work.
Avoid idling: It is against the law in MA and may result in a $100 citation.
Consider an electric vehicle: Electric vehicles (EVs) are fun to drive, emit far less pollutants and may help you save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance when compared to a gas-powered car. Depending on the make and model purchased, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit and a MA state rebate. For EV advice, and more information about incentives and services, go to the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant Wellesley Drives Electric webpage.
Climate Action in Wellesley
In April 2021, the Town of Wellesley approved a goal to reduce the town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050, in concert with the state of Massachusetts and the nation’s carbon neutrality goals.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 4-5 p.m.
Free, open to all
Energy New England Drives Electric
Learn about new EV choices available this year and get your questions answered by EV experts at this National Drive Electric Week virtual event.
Thursday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Free, open to all
EVs, PHEVs, Hybrids: Car Options for Today
A Wellesley resident and EV owner will share her firsthand perspective on EVs and answer attendee questions at this Sustainable Wellesley virtual event.
Sat. Oct. 2, 1-4 p.m.
Free, open to all
Wellesley EV Showcase (part of Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend)
View different makes and models of EVs in-person and chat with Wellesley residents about their experiences owning and driving EVs. This event takes place at the Cameron Street parking lot in Wellesley. Come see and talk to owners of Chevy Volt, Chevy Bolt, Ford Mustang, Ford Fusion, Mini Cooper, Mini Countryman, Nissan Leaf, Tesla S, Tesla Y, Tesla 3, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen ID4, Chrysler Pacifica, and more!
Give input on Wellesley's Sustainable Mobility Plan (SMP).
As part of the SMP, the Town has launched a series of short surveys to gather more information on a range of mobility topics. Each survey takes five minutes or less to complete. Please respond to as many or few that apply to your travel and spread the word to friends and family.
The most recent survey asks about school travel and is designed for either students or parents. Your input is important as we seek ways to make low impact travel modes (walking, biking, buses) safer and more attractive.
In addition to the school survey, we encourage you to take any previous surveys that apply to how you travel, get deliveries, and plan for future travel.
The first five of 10 surveys are available at this link under the “Wellesley Wheelhouse” Tab. So far the topics focus on:
Survey 1- Work from Home trends
Survey 2 - Biking and E-bicycles
Survey 3 - Use of Ridehailing Services (e.g. Uber and Lyft)
Survey 4 - Use of E-commerce
Survey 5 - School Travel
In the future watch for surveys on autonomous vehicles, bikability, use of food delivery services, microtransit, and electric vehicles.
If you have questions, please email email@example.com. Thank you for your help with this community project!
Wellesley's Sustainable Mobility Plan working group is asking for your insight.
Their weekly surveys will gather input on topics related to mobility and allow a plan to be developed to reduce the impacts of transportation.
Take the first survey here.
The main goals of the Sustainable Mobility plan are to:
Residents can fill out as many surveys that apply. Encourage your whole family and friends to share important information.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If electric vehicles (EV) prices still give you pause, or if your steadfast mantra is “reuse,” then read this blog “Affordable Used Car Roundup,” which highlights where to find used EV deals in and around Wellesley. For example, a 2014 Chevy Volt priced at $10,699 before rebates and incentives, and a 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf for $13,998 are listed. It's part of Energy New England’s Wellesley Drives Electric program offering useful nuggets of information for all things EV. If you want to be an EV driver, or already are and want to do even more to fuel the trend, read these 3 insider tips.
1. EV interested residents as well as existing EV drivers looking for home charging incentives and installation info can connect with a Wellesley Drives Electric EV specialist via the website, which has a contact form, email address (email@example.com) and toll-free telephone number (1-833-443-8363). This 1-on-1 help and support is a free service available to all Wellesley residents. Specialists can even help you to set up a local in-person first test drive of an EV (as health and safety allows).
2. The site is also home to the Wellesley Drives Electric EV Action Committee, a group of EV Ambassadors that meet quarterly to provide a forum to ask questions and make suggestions for new program initiatives, according to Alex Banat Wellesley Drives Electric EV Specialist.
3. Wellesley Drives Electric is also co-sponsoring a virtual Earth Day event on April 22 at 6 p.m. Register here and join a drawing to win a $250 gift card. Several area town Drive Electric programs are partnering for the event, which will teach some EV basics and highlight how EVs can help the earth and benefit consumer pocketbooks. An interactive Q&A will follow the program.
Last week after the Massachusetts Legislature put its climate bill on the Governor’s desk for the second time, Governor Baker signed it into law. This sweeping and historic statute is the first piece of climate legislation passed in Massachusetts in over a decade, creating the foundation for bold and robust statewide climate policy for years to come.
Specifically, the Roadmap Bill strengthens Massachusetts’s emissions reduction targets to establish a 50% reduction by 2030, a 75% reduction by 2040 and a goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Having targets like these will hold the Commonwealth accountable to reduce emissions in our energy, transportation and building sectors.
To make these goals, the act stipulates the development of a Net Zero Energy stretch building code, which it empowers communities to adopt by 2022. It also mandates energy efficiency standards for appliances by 2025, and authorizes another 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power. It also provides protections for Environmental Justice communities.
What does this mean for Wellesley?
Later this month, Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) will be updating the Town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals and bringing them to the Annual Town Meeting (ATM) 2021. These goals, contained in Article 24, call for reductions in town-wide GHG emissions of 50% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2030, 75% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2040, and net zero town-wide GHG emissions by 2050.
These science-based goals follow State policy, are in line with The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, support Wellesley’s Unified Plan, and echo similar climate actions taken by an increasing number of Wellesley’s peer communities across the Commonwealth. Residents are encouraged to contact their Town Meeting Members letting them know they support these emissions reductions goals for our community.
The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority has replaced the Route 8 Bus with an on-demand app based, curb to curb service that runs within the town of Wellesley, and other select destinations.
The vehicles travel Monday - Friday 6:45 am - 6:45 pm, there is no weekend service. This service is currently free, but fares will be re-evaluated shortly.
Use the CATCH phone app to get a ride on the fully accessible vehicles. One party of up to 3 people is permitted to travel at a time, or 2 single person parties. Masks/face coverings required when on board an MWRTA vehicle.
For more information on this new service visit www.MWRTA.com/Catch.
Just a reminder to shift your charging times to off peak hours -- after 10 PM through noon, Monday through Friday. Charge whenever you want on the weekends. Get 2,000 free miles of driving per year by enrolling into the BYOC program!
Shifting electric vehicles to charge during these hours will have an impact on our grid. Especially if you have a Tesla, or other larger battery cars that use more energy, it’s important to reduce the peak load impact on the grid. Peak hour loads cost more, and during some seasons come from plants that are inefficient, disproportionately located in low-income neighborhoods of color, emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and harmful pollutants.
If you are not enrolled in Wellesley Municipal Light Plant’s BYOC (BRING YOUR OWN CHARGER), please do so to keep electric rates low by reducing peak energy costs. Plus, you will earn $8 per month in the form of a bill credit from the Municipal Light Plant.That is about 2,000 free miles per year.