Berkeley Mayor Goes Car-Free

In order to reduce his carbon footprint, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is providing an excellent example for all municipal leaders by giving up his car.

"Some mayors tool around in Priuses and hybrid Civics. But Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has taken green transit a step further.

No more cars for him, at all.

The 71-year-old mayor is trading in his 2001 Volvo for an AC Transit pass and a sturdy pair of walking shoes.

'I'm trying to reduce my carbon footprint to the absolute minimum," he said. "I figure, if I really want to go someplace I can just rent a car.'

Bates' long farewell to the Volvo began about a year ago, when he started walking to work as a way to lose weight and stay in shape. The 18-minute trek from his home in South Berkeley to City Hall was so invigorating he started walking everywhere he could - to Berkeley Bowl, the BART station, city council meetings."

Thanks to Jeff Wood

Full Story: Berkeley mayor gives up his car for the bus



Good example

It's hard to exhort your community not to drive when you do. Now, he will have a bit more moral ground.

On the other hand, people are saying that his wife (a state official) should ride Amtrak to Sacramento instead of driving, regardless of the fact that she drives a Toyota Camry HYBRID.

Seems to make the most sense to not drive back and forth daily. Maybe live where you work, and commute to your weekend digs?

I've ridden ACTransit off and on when needed. In the east bay, bicycles and BART are also good alternatives. But cars really eat bus systems' lunch. We need bus-only lanes such as in Bogota!

She Doesn't Commute Daily

Seems to make the most sense to not drive back and forth daily. Maybe live where you work, and commute to your weekend digs?

The article seems to say that she just comes to Berkeley on the weekend and drives to Sacramento for the week:

His wife, State Sen. Loni Hancock, owns a Toyota Camry hybrid, which she uses to commute to Sacramento. Hancock and the Camry are at the Capitol four days a week, however, leaving Bates with nothing but his TransLink card and his Rockports.

If the car is at the Capitol leaving Bates with no car for four days a week, that means it stays there and doesn't come back to Berkeley on those four days.

Charles Siegel

Symbolism counts

This is good. Now take another step and tell everyone how we are paying billions to subsidize the wasteful private-auto system. We should stop charging people who ride the bus and gradually reduce the congestion.

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