RIDE Solutions encourages community members to consider the economic impact of their transportation decisions with the Drive Small awareness campaign.
“The annual Shop Small movement is an excellent time to remember how our buying decisions affect our local businesses and economy,” says RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes. “Similarly, Drive Small is a reminder that the money we save by using sustainable transportation modes is money that goes right back into those same local businesses.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, about 90% of what consumers pay for a gallon of gas leaves the local economy. This includes the costs for crude oil, excise taxes, and federal and state gas taxes. What remains is the small amount of money retained by local gas stations and transportation companies. “Spending less on gas means that not only will consumers keep more money in their pockets,” says Holmes, “but will keep money from leaving central and southwest Virginia. Those dollars can now support local businesses and the local economy.”
Further, a 2012 article from CityLab reports on an Oregon study showing cyclists and pedestrians actually spend more at the local businesses they bike and walk by each day. While each individual purchase may be less, over the course of a month these consumers spend more than folks arriving by car.
“No matter how you look at it, sharing a ride, taking the bus, or getting out of the car altogether is good for consumers and good for local businesses,” says Holmes. “We hope shoppers will choose to Drive Small while they Shop Small.”
As part of the campaign, RIDE Solutions has partnered with Roanoke’s Upcycled Gifts
in encouraging folks to share their Drive Small story. Shoppers who use the hashtag #drivesmall on social media to let RIDE Solutions know how they supported small businesses in the Roanoke Valley by cutting back on their driving will have a chance to win an upcycled totebag from Upcycled Gifts. The bag is recycled from a banner used at this year’s Night Rider’s Ball event celebrating National Bike Month.
For more information, visit the Drive Small webpage