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Motorists in Wairarapa can join people around the globe by leaving their cars at home on Wednesday 22 September to celebrate World Car Free Day.
World Car Free Day encourages car users to choose an alternative mode of transport. Although there were unofficial car free days in the 1970s, World Car Free Day began in 2000 with hundreds of cities around the world taking part.
School Travel Planner Holly Hullena said "although cars can be useful to get around in, if everyone uses one, then it congests areas where people often travel - especially outside schools and town centres. Cars minimise the chances of people (our tamariki) from being spotted trying to cross the road, or a scooter zipping across the side street". 
"The Greater Wellington region was tops for public transport. Almost 4 in 10 of all students were passengers in cars, bus, trucks, or vans to their place of education, so World Car Free Day presents an ideal opportunity to try other modes of transport we have available in our region.
“Over the past 18 months through COVID-19 lockdowns we’ve seen how pleasant it is to be out walking or cycling when there are fewer vehicles on the road.”
Fewer vehicles on the road also contributes to lower carbon emissions, better traffic flow and more parking availability.
“Some people have to drive, but there are many of us who can change – even if it is just once a week,” said Holly.
One way to get around is to switch four wheels for two, strap on a helmet and cycle to work. If you choose to cycle, make sure to be bright, be safe and be seen
If your commute is too far to walk, mix it up and bus some of the way and walk, bike or scooter the rest of the way. A 15 to 20-minute walk twice a day is a great way to help improve both your physical and mental health.
If you choose to travel by bus, check out Wairarapa bus timetables here:
Working from home, as many people are under Alert Level 2, also provides a good opportunity to leave the car at home.
Workplaces can also get involved in World Car Free Day by promoting the benefits of walking, cycling or catching public transport to get to work.
World Car Free Day not only promotes healthy lifestyles, it also promotes vibrant cities where people like to live and work.  
Encouraging your staff, students, colleagues or whānau to commute car free is beneficial for all, so join in World Car Free Day to help make Wairarapa a better place to live and work.

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