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Will a taco discount get you to go car-free this week?

Bumper-to-bumper traffic is seen on Interstate 66 near the Capital Beltway. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated because Commuter Connections changed partners.

WASHINGTON — A regionwide effort to get you out of your car this week includes incentives such as raffle prizes, giveaways and $3 off a $10 online order at District Taco.

Monday kicks off Try Transit Week in Virginia. Friday and Saturday are Car Free Days in the D.C. area.

Both efforts ask participants to sign pledges to use transportation alternatives to be eligible to win prizes. The giveaways will be available at various gathering spots across the region throughout the week.

Choose to carpool or take public transportation, and organizers of the effort say it’ll help improve air quality and lessen congestion.

“It actually helps lessen the demand on our roadway system,” Commuter Connections Director Nicholas Ramfos said.

“The whole idea, too, is not just for that day,” he said. “It’s for individuals to try these options so that later on they can say: ‘Hey, on Car Free Day, I did use that bus or was on the Metro or was able to carpool with my neighbor so why not do it?’ You don’t have to do it every single day, but on occasion if you could use an alternative form of transportation — that’s really the idea behind it.”

You also can try an app for easy carpooling.

Much like hailing a ride with Uber or Lyft, the CarpoolNow mobile app gives real time information about other people looking to go your way. There’s no charge.

Choosing to telecommute also qualifies as participating in Car Free Day.

“Whether you’re in the private sector, public sector or nonprofit world — if you can telework that would be a good thing to do Friday the 21st,” Ramfos said.

To get the $3 off a $10 order at District Taco, you need to take the pledge and then go to order.districttaco.com/ or the District Taco app and sign in with Level Up and enter the promo code provided by Commuter Connections.


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