7th Annual Great NYC Commuter Race

Each year, Transportation Alternatives’ Great NYC Commuter Race looks to determine which transit mode is quickest—bike, bus, or car. This year, Jamie Favaro, April Green, and Emmanuel Fuentebella—travelling by bike, bus, and car respectively—raced over a route that took them from Fort Greene in Brooklyn to Manhattan’s Union Square. Who do you think prevailed? Watch the video to find out…

[via Streetsblog]

6 Responses to “7th Annual Great NYC Commuter Race”

  • Rick says:

    Great up until the “carbon footprint” part. The insinuation that carbon dioxide, a natural, life-giving gas that plants need to survive, is harmful to the earth is silly. The crux of Al Gore’s argument from “An Inconveniant Truth” is that when we increase the amount of CO2 in the air, temps rise and then catastrophic environmental impacts occur. However, when you look at the evidence closely, you will find the temperature always rises FIRST, THEN CO2 rises as a RESPONSE to the temperature increase. Sometimes the CO2 lags behind the temp increase by 800 years! Of course that doesn’t matter because most people see a polar bear floating sadly away on the ice cap and weep, thinking of how sad it is that the poor polar bear has to die because of our nasty carbon footprints. HELLO?! Did you know that polar bears regularly swim over 300 miles at a time?

    It is time we detatch ourselves from this new religion of global warming hysteria which likes to ride along with other legitimate envioronmental concerns like reducing mercury and other man-made pollutants like an urchen attatches itself to a whale. The global warming hysteria is a distraction that serves to derail our legitimate environmental efforts, and also make the common man the enemy. This fraud is dangerous to the environmental movement as a whole, and dangerous to our society, as this may lead to the first global tax. One must think about the implications taxing our very right to breathe…

    Way to go cyclist, though! She said it best when she talked about reducing stress and getting excersize at the same time.

  • Larry Guevara says:

    A December 18, 2005, article from the UK Times Online at


    says that “researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. ”

    Do you know of any articles that cite “polar bears regularly swim over 300 miles at a time?”

  • Alan says:

    Personally, I’m glad they mentioned the carbon footprint of each of the contestants. In my opinion, along with the other quality of life issues associated with car (over)use, it’s an extremely important factor.


  • Larry Guevara says:

    @ Rick,

    The Times Online article at :


    cites researchers that say

    “We know short swims up to 15 miles are no problem, and we know that one or two may have swum up to 100 miles. But that is the extent of their ability, and if they are trying to make such a long swim and they encounter rough seas they could get into trouble,”

    Do you know of any articles that say “polar bears regularly swim over 300 miles at a time?”

  • Rick says:


    You are right! I looked that fact up and I totally had it wrong. I apologize for not having that straight, and will surely never forget how far polar bears can swim, after looking it up so many times in the last few minutes! However, it is irrelevant considering we can’t really do anything about it!

    Like it or not, the earth doesn’t stay at the same temperature all the time. It is always changing, always has changed, and always will change. We are, in fact, a very small contributer to the warming effect, due to the fact that man-made CO2 does not affect climate change to a great degree compared to evaporation and incoming solar radiation:

    “Yet, the solar energy reflected by the clouds, or the energy of evaporation/condensation, are both about 78 Watts per square metre (Wm-2) worldwide. For comparison, the energy input ascribed to “post-industrial”anthropogenic CO2 input is ~ 1.5 Wm-2 and that of incoming solar radiation ~342 Wm-2 (IPCC, 2001).”


    The fact that CO2 is such a low contributer to the warming effect makes carbon footprints irrelevant.By the way, what WAS the carbon footprint of the bike from? Is it the air she exhaled?

    Why didn’t they compare the amount of real pollutants produced from the car to the transit rider to the zero pollution of the bike? This is a more important factor to me if I am living in a big city. Do you think that big grey cloud over Los Angeles is CO2?! I think not…

  • Rick says:

    I think another interesting comparison would be energy cost. You could figure out how much fuel the bus and car used on the trip per person, and how many calories the biker used on the trip. (Make sure to include calories the transit person may use walking to the busstop or from the bus to the location, and also figure out a fair way to divide the fuel among all the bus riders since they all simultaneously are using the fuel.)

    “The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon.”
    — Bill Strickland

    My observation that my food is my fuel originated on a tour, and always comes back to me when I am out there. I am always astonished that I can eat so much food, and more so are the people who wait on me! No calorie left behind!

    I think this principle meshes well with my favorite random quote of yours, Alan. I couldn’t find it, but it talks about the way a bike is the greatest thing man ever created because you get into better shape the more you ride. Of course, we cyclists have to put the right amount of high quality fuel into the engine when we are touring or commuting to ensure it runs well!

    (I found that other quote while looking for the one I couldn’t find. Lucky me!)

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