Logos of America Walks, Front and Centered, Access Living and Disability Mobility Initiative

Mobility Justice Organizations Invited to Join National Coordinating Effort 

The National Coalition for a Week Without Driving announces the first-ever National Week Without Driving challenge, which will be held October 2-8, 2023. 

The #WeekWithoutDriving challenges elected leaders, advocates, and individuals to understand the barriers for nondrivers. Participants can get around however they want, but can’t drive themselves. This applies to all activities — not just work commutes. The challenge isn’t about not using a car, rather it’s to see what it’s like to not be the one able to drive, to better understand what it’s like to try to navigate their communities without the privilege of driving. 

For the past two years, #WeekWithoutDriving has been focussed on Washington State, and this year, the Week Without Driving will go national. The National Coalition is inviting mobility justice advocates across the US to invite elected leaders and transportation professionals in their communities to take the challenge to better understand what it is like to not be able to drive yourself wherever and whenever you need or want.

Organizations that sign up to collaborate will take part in national coalition organizing meetings, and be provided with templates and other resources to make their own #WeekWithoutDriving challenges a success. 

The National Coalition was convened by the Disability Mobility Initiative, America Walks, Access Living, and Front and Centered. 

In addition to organizations that would like to host a #WeekWithoutDriving challenge, anyone can sign up to learn more and participate as an individual at weekwithoutdriving.org. We encourage participants to understand the barriers nondrivers experience by reading the stories collected in Disability Rights Washington’s Transportation Access for Everyone Storymap, and to check out highlights from the 2020 and 2021 events.

Why #WeekWithoutDriving Matters – Quotations from Collaborators and Participating Organizations: 

“If you can drive, and can afford a car, you may not understand what it’s like to rely on walking, rolling, transit and asking or paying for rides. But for nearly a quarter of the people in our state – people with disabilities, young people, seniors and people who can’t afford cars or gas, this is our every day,” said Anna Zivarts, Director of the Disability Mobility Initiative

“We really encourage everyone to participate in the Week Without Driving, whether you’re a politician or community member. It’s important for legislators to participate so that they can understand who and how their decisions impact the public transportation system. But also, community members should participate so they can learn what non-drivers experience every day. We deal with extensive planning that has to be done ahead of time, missing events because there isn’t public transportation that can get us there and back in a reasonable timeframe, and many more challenges. The week without driving is a life-changing event that teaches participants what it’s like for people who have no choice but to do this on a daily basis, for their whole lives. Then maybe our legislators and community members can be more informed decision makers and voters,” – Tanisha Sepulveda, Coordinator,  BIPOC Mobility Action Coalition, a Front and Centered coalition member organization comprised of grassroots advocates that are also people of color with disabilities.  

“Everyone should be able to access their own communities safely, whether or not they own a car. We must acknowledge the harmful impact of car dependence when so many of us are nondrivers, or likely will be at some point in our lives. We urge policymakers and community leaders to partake in Week Without Driving to understand the restrictions and challenges nondrivers experience in their daily lives.” said Mike McGinn, Executive Director of America Walks

“Access Living is excited to partner on this endeavor because all modes of transportation need to be available, accessible, and reliable for all people regardless of if they have a disability or not. People with disabilities oftentimes don’t have the option or resources to access driving as a means of reliable transportation so it is imperative that other modes and options exist.” Said Laura Saltzman, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago