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City of Eugene receives EPA grant to combat greenhouse gases

Release Date: 02/25/2010
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

Project among 20 nationwide receiving funds to fight climate change

(Seattle, Wash.—Feb. 25, 2010) A project that will promote environmentally-friendly commutes in Eugene, Ore. just got a boost of financial support from the Environmental Protection Agency.

An initiative to encourage Eugene residents to use transit, walk and bike to get around town will be supported by a Climate Showcase grant worth more than $100,000. Only 20 communities in the country were chosen by EPA to receive these prestigious grants.

Eugene has comparatively good transit services, walking and biking pathways, and a pedestrian-friendly downtown, but nearly half its residents still drive alone to work each day. By addressing the “information and habit gap”, the City of Eugene’s SmartTrips program enables residents to find climate-friendly travel options. The program will provide:

  • A customized outreach program for 12,000 residents
  • A Transportation Masters leadership program
  • Improved signage for bicycle routes
“Eugene is on the right track," said Anthony Barber, EPA's director of Operations in Oregon. "With this program, the City is making it easier for people to make greener transportation choices. We know that cars are a major source of air pollution and this program will help people reduce emissions and improve the air quality in their own communities."

As part of the program, Eugene will host weekly events to familiarize residents with alternative travel models, and to help them practice new travel habits. The city also plans to use social media to introduce the program.

The city will work to raise the communities’ awareness of bicycle routes, show people how to get to important destinations, and how long trips will take. Signs will show the distance and average travel time to popular destinations in the city. The carbon dioxide emissions savings from the program is equal to 19,797 gallons of gasoline.

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy program, which provides technical assistance, tools, and guidance to help state, local, and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

For a list of the 20 Climate Showcase Communities and profiles of each recipient, visit: http://epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/

For more information about the program, visit: http://epa.gov/statelocalclimate