CLEVELAND (Thursday, May 11, 2017) – The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), health, sustainability, planning and transit professionals today unveiled a new interactive trip planner which could change the way people in Northeast Ohio commute, reduce congestion, and improve the quality of our air.
This new tool, Gohio Commute is an exciting, interactive, mobile-friendly website that provides more transportation choices, helps save money, and helps each of us do our part for cleaner air.
“You simply open Gohio Commute on your computer or phone, enter your starting point and your destination, and see all your options for that trip: drive, walk, bike, transit, or carpool,” said NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci. “With each option, Gohio Commute gives you detailed directions, and shows you the costs and benefits, in both dollars and emissions, so you can make smarter choices.”
According to a 2013 study, air pollution from cars and trucks causes almost 400 premature deaths per year in Greater Cleveland, and this region had the second highest mortality rate from mobile emissions.
According to Dr. Kristie Ross, Clinical Director, Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Immunology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, the type of pollution emitted by vehicles can contribute to lung and heart conditions. Vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and people with chronic medical conditions are at especially high risk.
A recent report shows that air pollution causes as many as 9,320 deaths each year in metropolitan areas in the U.S., similar to the number of alcohol related traffic deaths in 2014.
“The Greater Cleveland area was included in the list of the top 10 metropolitan areas in which reducing air pollution would have the greatest impact,” said Dr. Ross. “Employers and individuals can make a real difference to help improve air quality in our region when they take advantage of resources such as NOACA's free Gohio Commute platform. Every choice we make that helps to avoid or decrease emissions of these types of air pollutants is important.”
Dr. James W. Campbell, Director of Geriatric Health at The MetroHealth System, echoed that sentiment. “The MetroHealth System supports the innovative Gohio Commute initiative. The model is designed to improve the environment and the health of those who live and work in the region. Vulnerable populations like the elderly have the potential to experience better health in a cleaner air environment."
Mike Foley, Director of the Department of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, also announced that the County will partner with NOACA to create an employee subsite on the Gohio Commute platform to move thousands of County employees toward more sustainable commute modes. “Cuyahoga County believes that Gohio Commute is good for all 1.3 million residents in our County,” Foley said, “but also for the roughly 8,000 County employees who commute to serve our citizens and communities. We are thrilled that we have this new tool to advance more efficient and economical travel options in Cuyahoga County.”
According to Freddy Collier, Planning Director for the City of Cleveland, commuting patterns have a direct relationship to health outcomes and air quality. “From a planning standpoint, tools like Gohio Commute help to communicate this fact to the public in an interactive way,” Collier said.
“Using a bus, the rapid or an RTA Park-N-Ride lot just got easier with NOACA’s new Gohio Commute planning option,” said RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese. “Coupled with the real-time Transit App (available for free download here) and RTA’s trip planning feature on riderta.com, transit users and all commuters can easily get real time information and coordinate riding, walking or biking to get where they want to go.”
For more info – or to sign-up for Gohio Commute – visit www.gohiocommute.com/noaca.
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About NOACA: The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is a transportation and environmental planning agency that represents state, county, city, village, and township officials in Greater Cleveland. NOACA addresses the transportation, air quality, and water quality needs of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties. The agency and its partners cooperatively develop and implement plans to ensure that travel throughout the region is safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound. NOACA’s vision is to STRENGTHEN regional cohesion, PRESERVE existing infrastructure, and BUILD a sustainable multimodal transportation system to SUPPORT economic development and ENHANCE quality of life in Northeast Ohio.