Monday, October 18, 2010

A Better Alternative to AAA


AAA has been getting a lot of bad publicity lately regarding its negative stance towards bicycle lanes. Recently the American Automobile Association argued that the new Pennsylvania Avenue bicycle lanes will increase congestion, even though the District of Columbia Department of Transportation's modeling has predicted the bike lanes will actually reduce traffic congestion.

But thankfully there is a greener alternative to AAA and it is called the Better World Club, which labels itself as "America's environmentally friendly auto club."

While they don't yet offer the major discounts for Amtrak and vacation spots that AAA offers, they do offer roadside bicycle assistance, something AAA would never dream about offering in their car-first thinking.

And Better World has special rates for eco-friendly cars such as hybrids, electric and biofuel vehicles. Here is more info from their website:

"BWC has benefits that you won't find anywhere else. We aren't a member of the Highway Lobby. We donate 1% of Gross Revenue to the environment, and provides a free carbon offset to insurance clients. We discount membership fees for hybrid drivers... AND we have the only nationwide bicycle roadside assistance!"

Of course BWC has a long way to go to even begin to compete with AAA -- 20,000 members as of 2006 versus 53 million members of AAA. But as people demand more bike-friendly communities this number is poised to grow if AAA continues to disrespect bicycling as a commuting option.

And the list of partners is growing as well. BWC currently partners with Adventure Cycling Association, Car Talk, League of American Bicyclists, National Wildlife Federation, Organic Consumers Association, Washington Area Bicycle Association, and Working Assets.

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