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November 15, 2011

Undriving and Undriver Licensing

by ebmeier

Undriving is an innovative program designed to reduce carbon emissions and oil dependency, ease congestion and parking, and encourage community connections. By increasing awareness of personal transportation options and eliciting individualized car-trip-reduction pledges, Undriver Licensing playfully engages people to make more informed and empowered transportation choices. Undriving is changing how people think about getting around.

You can learn more on their webpage: www.undriving.org

Everyone’s an Undriver or potential Undriver – whether they drive 100 miles a day or don’t own a car. To get licensed, people make a pledge (big or small) to experiment with walking, busing, biking, or carpooling for a specific activity in the coming month, and see what they discover. Car-free Undrivers can pledge to encourage or make it easier for others to Undrive more – by helping a friend learn the bus system or find a safe bike route to work, encouraging telecommuting, lobbying for a pedestrian-only street, or teaching an adult to ride a bike. Undrivers receive a customized Undriver License with their own photo and signature, as well as Undriving resources and free bus tickets courtesy of King County METRO.

UndrivingLogoColorWithTagline2In our follow-up surveys, over 70% of Undrivers report that their Undriving pledge led to a new transportation habit or pattern. They consistently discover one or more of the benefits of Undriving, some of them unexpected: less stress, more exercise, saving money, increased sense of community, more connection with the elements, no parking hassles, and even more time. The license itself also serves as an outreach tool: Undrivers report they enjoy showing their license to others and using it as a non-confrontational conversation-starter about the possibilities for reducing car use. “You gave us permission to raise the issue with others,” reported one Undriver. Yes!

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Undriving was invented in 2007 within Sustainable Ballard, an innovative neighborhood-based sustainability group. The Undriver Licensing Station made its debut at the 4th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival in September, 2007. Since then we have licensed thousands of Undrivers around Seattle and beyond, at Seattle’s Green Festival 2009, numerous neighborhood festivals, Loyal Heights Elementary School, and the 2008 International “Towards Carfree Cities” Conference. We are creating an Undriving movement! Our plans include developing an Online Undriver Licensing Station and a “kit” so that other groups can carry out this program. If you are interested in bringing Undriving to your event, school, or workplace, please contact Undriving.org.

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