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Updated Alert: Success! Go Electric MTD #driveclean

Original Alert: Sign the petition to urge the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District to transition to 100% electric buses by 2030. Setting this goal will lead to cleaner air, cut climate pollution, improve the health of our region’s residents, and increase jobs.

Result:Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District voted unanimously to set a goal of 100% all-electric buses by 2030, joining Los Angeles and seven other California Transit Agencies.

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Biking Messages

Updated Alert: Improve safety of SB roads and bike lanes

Original Alert: Stand with CEC to help close critical gaps in the Santa Barbara Bike Network that create unnecessary danger of bicyclists and drivers by attending the City Council hearing and signing a letter of support.

Result: Over 130 community members showed up to the initial hearing for the latest Bicycle Master Plan, and 300 CEC followers signed our letter of support. After months of further meetings and public input, the Master Plan was approved thanks to community support.

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Tour de Farms

As a clinical nutritionist, registered dietician and cooking instructor, Gerri French knows a few things about food. And as host of the Santa Barbara Food and Farm Adventures Meetup Group, which meets every two weeks at various locations throughout the county, she also knows something about farms.

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The Creative Commuter

Last March, Kent Epperson bought a house in Ojai after months of fruitlessly searching for an affordable place in Santa Barbara. With that move, his short bike commute to his office near the intersection of Calle Real and North San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara abruptly changed to an hour and a half drive every day between the two cities.

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The Baby Boomer Bikers

Recently, Eva Inbar and her husband, Michael, purchased a set of road bikes. Avid cyclists, the two have been biking for decades, and they don’t have plans to quit anytime soon. No matter that they are in their late 60s.

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Using Film and a Brompton Foldable Bike to Preserve the Planet

Most mornings, Beezhan Tulu hops on his bright green bike and rides down Highway 101 from his home on the Gaviota Coast to the most westerly bus stop in Goleta, where he folds up his bike, pays the $1.25 bus fare, and completes the last leg of his 20-mile trek into Santa Barbara. Beezhan, a local filmmaker, purposefully does not own a car, and his Day-Glo bike is his sole means of transportation.  

But that hasn’t always been the case. 

 

 

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Ingenuity and Volunteerism at Earth Day

Fourteen-year-old Catalina Russell has grown up with Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival. Since before she can remember, her mom has been bringing her to the celebration that strives to inspire the community to protect and preserve the world we live in. Five years ago, when she was just nine years old, Catalina decided she wanted to do more than passively enjoy the festival. She signed up as a volunteer to help the event she had come to love – and she’s kept coming back to volunteer every year since.

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Commuting in “Kelleafy”

When Kelly Schmandt Ferguson took a job in Santa Ynez last year, commuting to work by bus was no longer an option for the Santa Barbara resident. Concerns over increased gas expenses and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions as well as the desire to “support a technology that [she] believed in” led Kelly to research leasing an electric vehicle.

 

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Five Ways Colleges Are Coaxing Students Out of Their Cars

Like other schools across the country, the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has its own program to entice students, faculty, and staff to reduce driving and choose more sustainable modes of transportation. The Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, seeks to reduce traffic congestion, traffic emissions, and the demand for parking on campus and serves those who commute to UCSB by foot, skateboard, bicycle, bus, carpool, vanpool, or train.

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Bus-Bike Commuting—Not Chicken Scratch

John Bailey, a Spanish language teacher at Santa Barbara Junior High, takes the Clean Air Express every weekday from Lompoc. The bus driver fits John’s bike underneath in the luggage compartment, and on arrival at State Street and La Cumbre, he pulls it out and John rides over one of the old stagecoach routes, State Street, to teach class at the junior high school. At the end of the day, he hops on his bike and rides back to State and La Cumbre, where he rides the bus back home. During the ride he can sleep, chat, listen to a book or music, read or catch up on work.
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Use pedal power to cut your carbon emissions

As the cost of hybrid and electric vehicles continues to decrease, the switch to fuel-efficient cars becomes more appealing – but the purchase or lease of a new car isn’t right for everyone. While a hybrid or EV may be on your horizon, an easy way to bypass the fuel pumps today is, of course, to dust off your bicycle. Just riding your bike one weekday out of five can help to significantly increase your effective mpg rating.

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Most popular personal stories of 2013

Santa Barbarans are leading the way in the clean energy movement. We've met locals who are installing solar panels on their homes and helping others go solar. We've heard from people who are driving electric vehicles and powering them with energy from the sun or commuting to work by bike or bimodally. Read our most popular personal stories from 2013 for a dose of inspiration going into the new year.

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Not Your Father’s Carpool: Part 2

Recently in Not Your Father’s Carpool Part 1, CEC reported on new findings by U.S. Pirg indicating that young people are buying fewer new cars and driving less – demanding a new American Dream that is less dependent on the one-car-per-person model.

Coupled with this is another trend: the rapid development of social media and mobile technology that make it easier for people to connect directly with someone who has something they need.

 

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Not Your Father’s Carpool: Part 1

When 18-year-old Lauren Mok leaves her apartment in Isla Vista for classes across town at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) and uses an iPhone app to offer a ride to a student she doesn’t know, she occasionally reflects on something a professor recently said:

We’re in the middle of a social revolution, where technology is changing the way we do everything. Even, it seems, activities as mundane as driving.

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