New Haven’s campaign to promote alternative transportation as a choice for all is reducing CO2 emissions by removing the stigma associated with public transportation users. 

In 2014, New Haven, Connecticut, launched an initiative to promote the use of public transit and active mobility in an effort to make alternative modes of transport available, accessible, and attractive for all residents and contribute to the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Projects under the initiative include pedestrian wayfinding, pop-up bicycle infrastructure, and tabling at open streets and community events, reaching hundreds of New Haven residents each year. Furthermore, the campaign encourages businesses and their employees to use alternative transportation by running car-free commuting challenges and providing information on transit pre-tax benefits, custom trip planning, ride-sharing platforms, and free bike rack installation.

The campaign has an added focus of taking on the negative social stigma associated with public transport and creating a culture of widespread transit use among all city residents. In creating this culture, the campaign is improving air quality and reducing transit-related emissions, high rates of asthma, and transportation inequity. In just one year, 73,604 single-occupancy vehicle trips were avoided due to the initiative’s efforts.

424 metric tons of CO2 reduced under goNewHavenGo since the September 2014 launch

The challenge

Transport accounts for 40% of Connecticut’s CO2 emissions. The high rate of air pollution in New Haven directly impacts residents’ health. Meanwhile, New Haven experiences some of the most extreme income inequality in the USA. Prompted by the need for a solution that addresses environmental, health, and socioeconomic concerns, goNewHavengo encourages the shift from driving to using public transportation and walking and biking, helping to reduce class divisions and stimulate transit improvements through increased demand.


Economic With fewer cars on the roads because of goNewHavengo, the city has avoided an estimated $71,532 in road maintenance.

Environmental At the current rates, the campaign will reduce CO2 emissions by 2,099 metric tons annually by 2020.

Health Participants together burned more than 2 million extra calories from June 2015 to June 2016 as part of the initiative.

Social The initiative has launched a photo campaign to reduce the stigma associated with the use of alternative transportation.

About New Haven

New Haven in the U.S. state of Connecticut, is the principal municipality in Greater New Haven, which had a total population of 862,477 in 2010. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern shore of Long Island Sound in New Haven County, Connecticut, and is part of the New York metropolitan area. New Haven is the home of Yale University. The university is an integral part of the city’s economy, being New Haven’s biggest taxpayer and employer. New Haven had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave New Haven the nickname “The Elm City”.

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