Embrace the “modeshift” - Museum of Science Earthshift Newsletter

This May, MassBike teamed up with the Museum of Science on a column in their Earthshift newsletter from the Museum of Science Center for the Environment. These bicycling-themed updates covered everything from bicycling history to biking for climate. Thanks to the Museum of Science for being a 2024 Bronze-level Bay State Bike Month Sponsor and collaborating on this series! Below is the fourth column, "Embrace the modeshift", where we dove into how trading car trips for bicycling trips can help the environment.

Embrace the “modeshift”

Amid the climate crisis, the transportation industry must undergo a "modeshift" away from the heavy usage of greenhouse gasses to modes of transport that put less strain on the environment. 

We are in a climate crisis caused in large part by human actions that are making our planet warmer. According to the analysis by Massachusetts, over 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, and the biggest and fastest-growing source is motor vehicle traffic. It’s no hyperbole that every trip taken by an internal combustion engine (ICE) adds to the problem.  

To tackle this, we need to do everything we can to focus on “mode shift,” a concept to encourage changes in behavior by allowing for more options to travel around Massachusetts. This requires a confluence of systemic factors that impact how we live day by day so people can make an easy choice to leave the car at home. These include (but are not limited to) improving the road infrastructure to focus on safety for the most vulnerable, incentivizing biking and transit by lowering costs of trips and connecting multimodal facilities, focusing on providing holistic education on how to share the public ways, and encouraging local communities to support greener transportation modes. At MassBike, we see bicycles as one of the simplest steps to help people get out and about in a climate-friendly way. 

With so many reasons to bike, we want it to be easy for you to choose to ride to work, to school, to the parks, for fitness, for your mental health and wellness, to combat isolation and connect with your community, and generally to get from here to there. This is why every May, as part of National Bike Month, MassBike hosts Bay State Bike Month. We share the over 150 events on our statewide calendar, we provide prizes for friendly ride challenges, and we co-host meetups for you to get to know other riders in your city, town, and region. Bike Month helps us grow the movement, helping you make the world a better place. By riding together, we can pedal ourselves to a better future. We hope you’ll get out and enjoy life behind the handlebars, and celebrate bike month every month of the year! 

This is the final column in our Earthshift bicycling series, which also includes "Biking on the Wheels of Change""All Biking is Local", and "E-biking our way to zero emissions". For more from the Museum of Science make sure to sign up for their Earthshift newsletter.