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Georgia Commute Honors 

8:43  Lights down, Erin Coleman up—here we go, folks! 

8:45  They’re going to give awards in five categories: Ride and Shine for outstanding schools, Rising Stars for our up-and-coming partners, Georgia DOT Leadership Award for outstanding employer representatives, Road Warriors for outstanding individual commuters, and the Best Overall Programs for outstanding employers and property managers.

8:46   Here comes GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, for the intro.

8:49   Fun fact: Georgia Commute Options has helped more than 1,600 employers and property managers and more than 100,000 commuters switch to better commutes. Another fun fact:  Every day, Georgia Commute Options partners and commuters keep a collective 1.1 million vehicle miles off the roads, save a combined $500,000 in commuter costs, and keep 550 tons of pollution out of the air. 

8:52   Governor Deal beamed in to congratulate all of today’s winners and nominees via the big screen. Nice!

8:54   Next up: Doug Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, to give opening remarks.

8:55   "We have to find ways innovate if we want to remain competitive" Doug Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission

8:59   OK folks, it’s trophy time. Here comes Keith Parker, everyone’s favorite MARTA CEO, to present the first category:  Rising Star.  This is for partners that are new to the Georgia Commute Options game but are showing a lot of early promise. Two awards in this category: Employer and Partner Champion.

9:00   FUN FACT: Businesses that partner with Georgia Commute Options can take advantage of employee ridematching, help building a telework plan, pre-tax benefits for commute costs, cash & prizes for your alternative-commuting employees, and more! Learn more here

9:01   First up: Rising Star Employer. Winner: Citizens Trust Bank!

9:02   Citizens Trust Bank, nominated by Central Atlanta Progress, used their recent office move as a springboard to promote alternative commutes to their employees. Since launching their program last year, they’ve converted 15% of their drive-alone commute to alternative commutes. Off to a killer start! Congrats, Citizens Trust Bank!

9:04   Next up: Rising Star Partner Champion. (This one goes to an individual, not a company. Someone who’s been a great point-of-contact for his/her company’s Georgia Commute Options partnership.) 

9:05   Winner: Jerry Travers of Bank of America!

9:06   Jerry has taken a personal interest in spreading Georgia Commute Options programs to Bank of America

employees. He has ensured that Georgia Commute Options has the support it needs to succeed within Bank of America’s office culture. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes next for Jerry and Bank of America. Congrats, Jerry Travers!

9:08   Here comes GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry to present the Georgia DOT Leadership Award. This one’s for an outstanding individual at one of our partner companies.

9:09   And it looks like we’ve got two winners for this award:  Renee Carter of Primerica, and Willie Taylor of U.S. Housing and Urban Development! 

9:10   Renee Carter is Georgia Commute Options contact at Primerica and leads a very enthusiastic program. From helping arrange tabling events to organizing commute competitions between office floors, she has really taken on the task of cleaning up Primerica’s commutes. Congrats, Renee Carter!

9:10   Willie Taylor leads HUD’s partnership with Georgia Commute Options, and under his leadership, his workplace won Best Overall Program at last year’s Georgia Commute Honors. Not only does he promote clean commuting, he’s a regular clean commuter himself. Congrats, Willie Taylor!

9:11   Next up: Chris Tomlinson, Executive Director of both the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the State Road and Tollway Authority, to present our Ride and Shine Schools Award!

9:11   FUN FACT: Schools that partner with Georgia Commute Options can get help shortening the car-rider line while also participating in contests, activities and our original project-based learning curriculum!

9:12   Three categories in the Ride and Shine Schools Award. First up: Administration.  Winner: KIPP Atlanta Collegiate! 

9:13   Instead of providing school buses, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate provides 300 free or reduced-price MARTA passes to their students each week. Not only does this get students riding transit, but eliminating an idling bus fleet has also ensured cleaner air on school grounds.

9:13   Congrats, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate!

9:14   Next up:  Teacher/PTA Award. Winner: Imhotep Academy!

9:14   Imhotep Academy reached out to Georgia Commute Options about setting up a carpool program for its students—and ended up being the pilot school for our new Pool to School online ridematcher.  Congrats, Imhotep!

9:15   Final Ride and Shine award: Students.  

9:16   Two winners in this category:  Pope High School and Craig Elementary School!

9:16   Pope High School’s Environmental Science Class took advantage of Georgia Commute Options’ original project-based curriculum to learn about transportation. Students then presented their projects to folks from the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Commute Options.

9:16   Craig Elementary School’s green team took on clean commuting in a big way when they dispatched to do a week’s worth of mode counts, school-wide. They’re now planning to a school-wide clean commute campaign to follow it up.

9:17   Congrats to Pope and Craig! 

9:18   Big moment:  Chris Tomlinson just announced that Clayton County Public Schools are partnering with Georgia Commute Options for the 2016-17 school year — and they’re the first district ever to do it!  Clayton becomes the second school district in the whole country to adopt a district-wide TDM program. Big news for Clayton County, and for us!

9:18   Next award: Road Warriors, our award for rock star individual commuters. Presenting the award: Becky Katz, Chief Bicycle Officer for the City of Atlanta.

9:19   Three winners in this category: Adam Shumaker, Daniel Harris, and Mike Jacobs.

9:20   You’ve seen Adam Shumaker’s work if you follow @marta_explorer on Instagram. He runs the MARTA Instagram feed and helped grow it organically to 2,000 followers. A long-time transit advocate, Adam even got married on MARTA! Congrats to Adam.

9:21   Dan Harris is an avid bike commuter nominated by Perimeter Connects. His regular five-mile bike commute accounts for his workplace, Verizon, having won the Atlanta Bike Challenge two years running. He also orchestrated a “Try-a-Bike” day at his office, arranging for loaned bikes and instructors from REI to school his colleagues in bike safety—with 100 riders participating! That’s a pollution-free fleet we can get behind. Congrats, Dan!

9:21   Judge Mike Jacobs takes MARTA every day from his home in Brookhaven to the Dekalb County State Court in Decatur—but this is old news to you if you follow @JudgeJacobs on Twitter. Judge Jacobs sends out regular MARTA selfies to his 1,177 Twitter followers. We’re loving the public display of transit affection. Congrats, Judge Mike Jacobs!

9:23   Final award of the day: Best Overall Program. This award recognizes workplaces that have implemented outstanding commute options programs for their employees and tenants. Five categories in this one: Small Employer, Medium Employer, Large Employer, Government Agency and Property Manager.

9:23   Small Employer winner: Georgia Natural Gas

9:24   Nominated by Midtown Transportation, Georgia Natural Gas contributes toward 50% of employee transit passes and has a robust telework program. 40% of staff telework at least once per week. Congrats, Georgia Natural Gas!

9:25   Medium Employer Winner: RentPath

9:26   RentPath worked with Livable Buckhead to promote commute options when it moved its office to the Buckhead area. It offers its employees a parking cash out pre-tax payroll deductions for transit. Nice work, RentPath! 

9:29   Large Employer winner: Primerica

9:29   In 2015 alone, Primerica’s Georgia Commute Options activities reduced 11,170 trips by employees—adding up to 280,233 miles not driven. Commute options saved those employees over $135,676. Those are some impressive numbers. Congrats, Primerica!

9:30   Government Agency winner: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

9:31   The CDC has made alternative commuting a priority to tackle traffic and parking issues for its 11,332 employees. It has over 5,000 regular teleworkers, 46 vanpools, 450 carpools and 100 bike racks. Not too shabby! Congrats, CDC.

9:32   Property Manager winner: Jamestown at Ponce City Market

9:34   Nominated by Midtown Transportation, Jamestown’s shuttles to nearby MARTA stations transport 6,500 tenants per month. In addition, they constructed a bridge to connect their property with the nearby Eastside BeltLine trail, promoting bike and walk accessibility to their property. Nice work, Jamestown!

9:36   And that was the last award of the day!  Commissioner Russell McMurry is back to give us the sign-off.

9:38   Thanks for following along with us—that’s a wrap on the 2016 Georgia Commute Honors. See you all next year!



Expect Significant Delays: Bridge Work for NWC Express Lanes Requires Multiple Lane Closures and Night Time Ramp Detour at the I-75/I-285 Interchange

WHAT:          Weather permitting, day time and night time lane closures as well as a night time detour will take place for bridge construction within the NWC project corridor at the I-75/ I-285 Interchange:  Expect significant delays and avoid this area, if possible, as I-75 Northbound and I-75 Southbound will experience both day time and night time lane closures.

WHEN:          Beginning Friday, April 15th at 10:00 p.m. through Monday, April 18th at 5:00 a.m.

WHERE:      

Friday, April 15th

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

                        Detour: Night time only: the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

Saturday, April 16th

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Double left lanes closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 5 a.m. -10 p.m.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Single right lane closure on I-75 Southbound including the ramp lane between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit-259A) will remain open.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

                        Detour: Night time only the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

Sunday, April 17th:

I-75 Northbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Double left lanes closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Triple left lane closures on I-75 Northbound near I-285 between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.

 I-75 Southbound Impacts:

                        Day time Lane Closures: Single right lane closure on I-75 Southbound including the ramp lane between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit-259A) will remain open.

                        Night time Lane Closures: Double right lane closures on I-75 Southbound, including the ramp lane. The I-75 Southbound to I-285 Eastbound ramp (Exit 259A) will be closed (see detour information below). Closures will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. on Friday, April 15th, Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th.

                        Detour: Night time only: the I-75 Southbound ramp to I-285 Eastbound Collector Lanes (Exit-259A) will be closed between the hours of 10 p m – 5 a.m. on Friday, April 15th, Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th. Traffic will need to take the primary ramp (Exit-259) to access I-285 Eastbound from I-75 Southbound.

                        I-75 Night time Traffic Pacing: Both I-75 Southbound and I-75 Northbound lanes will experience intermittent traffic pacing between the hours of 10 p.m. – 5 a.m.  This will consist of police and project vehicles slowing the pace of traffic in order to have bridge beams safely placed over the interstate.

 

ADVISORY: Motorists are advised to exercise caution while driving in these areas. On-site message boards indicating dates, times and detour routes will be present in advance of these closures.

Additional construction and traffic impact information and detour maps are available at the NWC Project website at http://www.dot.ga.gov/DS/GEL/NWC.

  



Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?

We’ve been saying it for years, folks: you could be saving tons of money if you switched from driving alone to a commute alternative.  And now, to back us up, the folks at WiseBread have done some commute math:

Let's assume you're an average person driving that average 38 miles to and from work each day. And let's also assume you're paying an average amount for gas, which is currently about $2 per gallon. If you drive a car that gets 30 miles per gallon, you're spending about $2.50 a day on gas, or about $12.50 a week. Assuming you may take a couple weeks off throughout the year from driving, this adds up to $625 annually.

And if you think $625 isn’t that impressive, click through to see how WiseBread claims you could turn it into $281,000 over a lifetime of commuting. That number’s nothing to sneeze at.

Clean commuting: It’s where the big bucks are!

 

Transportation, commute options, transit

  How 10 U.S. Cities Use Public Transit

More than a fifth of U.S. city-dwellers use public transit on a regular basis, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

Huge shocker: New York City boasts the most transit riders. Some of the other rankings, however, are surprising—like Los Angeles coming in second place

Click through to learn more about the study—and don’t forget, taking transit here in metro Atlanta can earn you cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options. Learn how you can get up to $150 when you switch to transit from driving alone.

 

Five myths about bicycling

Now that we’re enjoying prime cycling weather (especially since the pollen is on its way out), people are pedaling their hearts out. But according to the News & Observer, there are still a lot of misconceptions about getting around on two wheels—related to everything from helmet use to average cyclist income.

Click through for a list of 5 Bike Myths out there, and let us know if you agree!

If you’re a regular bike commuter, you could win $50 in our Earth Week #cleangreencommute social media challenge. Learn more here



MARTA Uses Satire To Poke Fun At Atlanta Traffic

There’s a new movement for transit in the Atlanta region, and it comes with a hilarious new ad campaign. Click through for some good natured traffic bashing in the spirit of promoting transit.

And you know, commuting via transit can really pay off for you—in the form of cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options! Learn here about how you can earn up to $150 if you make the switch to transit or another alternative to driving alone.

 

PATH Foundation Seeks To Add 37 Miles of Trails Around Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA -- The PATH Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with plans to add 37 new miles of trails.

The PATH Foundation has spent the past 25 years building a network of off-road trails in and around Atlanta for walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters. Since walking and cycling are two of our favorite commute modes, we’re excited about more trail space coming to our region.

Click through to read about PATH’s goals for funding their trail extensions. Then consider making walking or biking part of your daily trip to work!

Working From Home: How to Be a Productivity Ninja

It’s no secret that we’re totally on board with telework. It gets cars off the road, improves work-life balance, and gives you back the time you’d normally be stuck behind the wheel.

But how do you go from Telework Novice to Telework Ninja? This article has some tips—everything from streamlining your office space (feng shui, anyone?) to dressing for the day (tuck in that shirt, Gary), to scheduling regular breaks (long live the sacred hourly cupcake ritual).

Paying attention to the details is the best way to make telework work for you and your boss. And if your workplace doesn’t yet have a telework policy, we can help you build one! Learn more here.



Atlanta Region 2040: Gazing Into the Crystal Ball

Our Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is spreading the word on the Atlanta Region’s Plan, a long-range vision for metro Atlanta’s growth. Click through for the current snapshot and learn about highlights like:

  • 2.5 million people and slightly more than one million jobs projected for metro Atlanta by 2040.
  • Gwinnett County growing faster than any county in the Atlanta region.
  • The 20-County area is growing older AND getting younger. How? Read the plan to find out!

And don’t forget that as more people flock to Atlanta, we’ll be here to help match them all into carpools, vanpools, transit routes and more. You can get the jump on a better commute by starting at GaCommuteOptions.com.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month Reminds Drivers to Stay Alert

Pay attention, folks: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month—so you’d better not be reading this post from behind the wheel.

Last year, our Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) launched its #ArriveAliveGA program encouraging people to ditch the distractions while driving—distractions like texting, apps, eating and anything else that takes your eyes off the road.

GDOT estimates almost 80 percent of traffic fatalities come as a result of drivers not paying attention and engaging in activities like texting and driving.

 If you can’t bear to be out of the loop on your commute, we’ve got a perfect solution: Add a carpooler! Carpoolers can do more than fill seats; they can navigate, act as commute DJ, and take dictation for those important texts and emails. Plus, carpooling can earn you cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options. Learn more here and consider carpooling for real.



Let This Hilarious New Zealand Campaign Convince You Not to Text & Drive

Texting and driving, tweeting and driving, snapchatting and driving—they’re all dangerous, and we know it. Distracted driving causes so many accidents that our own Georgia Department of Transportation has launched its own #ArriveAliveGA campaign to promote phone-free driving, and other cities are doing the same.

That’s how we discovered New Zealand’s outstanding contribution to the effort. (Thing we love: it features carpoolers!) Take a look at the video above, and hand your phone to a passenger while behind the wheel.

(Carpooling to work would give you more passengers to rely on. And we’ll pay you to try it out! Learn more here.)

National Walking Day is April 6! 

Walking is a solid way to get from Point A to Point B. It gets you moving, it’s pollution-free, and it gives you a chance to enjoy Atlanta’s amazing (and possibly short-lived) spring weather. We’d love it if you incorporated it into your daily commute—but if you need a smaller commitment, how about just giving us a day?

National Walking Day is this Wednesday, April 6! Sponsored by the American Heart Association, it’s designed to get us more active via a few hundred extra steps. Click through to learn more about the event, and consider walking to work sometime. We’ve got resources to get you started here.

History of Transportation in GA

Atlanta transportation nerds, rejoice: The Georgia Archives in Jonesboro is opening a History of Transportation in Georgia exhibition starting on April 23. Take a look back through old streetcar systems, travel and trade, and the politics of road building. Free and open to the public! Click through for details.



6 Tips for Making Telework Work for Your Team

Want to let your employees telework, but not sure how you’ll manage them? This list has some tips for you. (Granted, it’s written about sales teams — but we think it’s valuable advice for all telework managers and employees.)

Maintaining relationships, embracing technology, establishing communication ground rules—these are all key elements of a solid teleworking practice. Click through for the full list. And if you’d like some help drawing up a teleworking policy for your team, we’re on hand for you! Learn more here.

Clayton County cities honored by ARC

Clayton County is getting some love from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC): three Clayton cities have been presented with the 2016 CREATE Community Award for Regional Prosperity and economic Development.

Lake City, Forest Park and Morrow formed a “Tri-Cities Initiative” two years ago, and this partnership brought on the recognition.

Way to go, Clayton County!

Cherokee Students Share Ideas To Improve Atlanta Region

Speaking of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), let’s talk about how teens are taking an interest in city improvement thanks to the Model Atlanta Regional Commission (MARC) program.  MARC, a six-month youth leadership program, focuses on regional challenges and asks local high school students to submit their ideas.

Five MARC participants come from Etowah High School in Cherokee County, and they’re already making waves (in a good way).  Click through to read more about their awesome ideas for improving our region.



City of Atlanta Partnering with Waze to Reduce Traffic Congestion

While there’s some friendly dispute over which traffic-navigating app reign supreme over all, it’s no secret that Waze has gotten hugely popular with those trying to find a quick way home. Since it provides real-time traffic data and offers alternative routes for skirting around congested areas, Waze has really caught on with metro Atlanta commuters—and the City of Atlanta has joined them.

Using Waze’s Connected Cities program, Atlanta will now partner with the traffic app to share information on real-time construction, crashes, road closures and slow-downs.

“Through this partnership, we will be better positioned to support additional viable solutions, promoting a better quality of life,” said Mayor Kasim Reed.

Of course, it’s safest not to focus on a mobile app from the driver seat, so hand that phone to a carpooler while you’re on the road. Not carpooling yet? We can help you get started—and even throw a little cash your way for trying it out. Learn how carpooling can earn you up to $150 here.

 

Construction Underway on Westside BeltLine Trail

We’re pretty excited about more miles of the Atlanta BeltLine, because it means more chances for people to walk and bike to work—pollution-free commutes that help us get active and take cars off the road.

Take a look at the newest photos of the BeltLine construction to see what’s coming to west Atlanta!

Atlanta Among Nation’s Fastest-Growing Metro Areas

Metro Atlanta has been drawing in thousands of newcomers over the past few years. Between 2013 and 2015, our region’s population grew by more than 255,000 people, according to U.S. Census data studied by the Brookings Institution.

And according to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), we’re set to will gain about 2.5 million more people between now and 2040.

(Seems like the rest of the U.S. is catching onto what Atlantans already know: that this is a truly awesome place to live and work.)

Of course, growing population means more people sharing our roads and resources—and one great way to adapt is to start sharing the ride to work! Try carpooling, vanpooling or transit to help reduce the cars on our roads and make the commute better for Atlantans old and new. Not sure how to get started? Georgia Commute Options can help.                 

 



Carpool Karaoke on the Way to World Domination

By now, you may have heard of J-Lo’s epic turn on James Corden’s hilarious recurring Carpool Karaoke bit.  Why do we love Carpool Karaoke so much?

The AV Club has theories about it tapping into the music industry’s success on YouTube in general, and points to James Corden’s comic talent in interacting with his passengers. And sure, we’ll hand it to them. That sounds smart.

But we have another theory. We think people love Carpool Karaoke so much because, deep down, they’d rather be carpooling themselves. We all long to stage karaoke bouts of our very own—maybe on a daily basis, on the ride to work.

And Georgia Commute Options is here to tell you that dreams do come true. You can find a carpool partner right on our home page! Just go to GaCommuteOptions.com and click “Find a Ridematch” to get matched with dozens of potential carpool karaoke buddies near where you live and work. Get matched (and start singing) today!

 

Pedaling Towards Happiness: 7 Mental Health Benefits of Riding Bikes

It’s no secret that biking to work gets you more active, which is part of a healthier life. Plus, it’s a pollution-free commute, which makes for healthier air.

And if those weren’t enough, here’s a new benefit of biking to work: improved mental health.

This list points out that a non-competitive physical activity (like biking for errands and the commute) improves our subjective mood.

Physical activity is also tied to reduced stress, anxiety and depression. And exercising outdoors (hint, hint) boosts those levels even higher.

And yes, all the above benefits can come from lots of different physical activities. But here’s the kicker: Cycling is the one activity that gets you off the Downtown Connector at rush hour. Can’t argue with that.

Click the link for the full list—and if you’re ready to switch to cycling on your commute, see what cash and prizes you can earn from Georgia Commute Options here

 

By Bike or by Bus, Buford Highway Can Be a Wild, Tasty Ride

Buford Highway is everyone’s favorite haven of authentic international food. But if it’s your first time out, the prospect can be a bit overwhelming. Where’s the best place to start, and what’s the best way to navigate the seven-lane, traffic-laden highway?

Lucky for us, We Love BuHi is willing to take the lead. Known for their periodic Bikes and Bites rides along the 8-mile stretch, We Love BuHi is now rumored to be organizing a bus food crawl through the same neighborhood. If you’re cycling-averse (we forgive you) and still want to sample BuHi’s best, this could be your ticket.

And hey—if you’re new to transit, this might be the perfect chance to get the feel for bus riding in general. Maybe you could even work it into your daily commute. You know, there are Georgia Commute Options prizes in it for you if you do. 



MARTA Army Taking Aim at Chamblee

MARTA Army, a grassroots organization focused on boosting MARTA ridership, is making strides in Chamblee. Most of MARTA Army’s work focuses on the “adopt a bus stop” initiative which assigns bus stops to individual commuters and makes them responsible for posting valuable route and timetable information. But the Army has begun expanding its work by working with Chamblee officials to set up crowd-funding for transit amenities—namely, bus stop benches.

Find out how riding transit can earn you rewards here.

Singing Trees Coming to Your Commute

Do you use the Atlanta BeltLine to commute by bike or foot? If so, you could soon catch a glimpse of the “If Trees Could Sing” project, coordinated by the Nature Conservancy and Trees Atlanta.

The project outfits trees along the path with signs bearing info and a QR code. Scan the code with your smartphone, and you’ll get a little testimonial from a popular musician.

“I am happy to capture the interest of Atlanta BeltLine enthusiasts with the importance of forest conservation in such a creative way,” said Deron Davis, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Georgia.

And don’t forget, you walk-and-bike commuters could earn cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options. Learn more here.

MARTA Board Chair Discusses How to Fund New Projects

So, the bill allowing voters to approve funds for a MARTA expansion in Atlanta and Fulton County cleared the General Assembly last week. Now what?

According to MARTA Board Chair Robbie Ashe, the next task is making the case for voters.

Step one: Develop a project list that can be made public by May 31.

Step two: Get the word out. “I am sure the fall will be full of community meetings,” Ashe said. “Public opinion surveys tell us Atlantans want more transit, and they want it now. That’s why what happened at the General Assembly is such a powerful thing, because this give us the opportunity to deliver it to them.”

Why do we love this news? Because MARTA expansion means more chances for metro Atlanta commuters to take transit and get cars off the road! (You know, you don’t even have to wait if you don’t want to. Switch to transit and we’ll give you $5 a day for giving it a try. Learn more here.)