Cause: You’re sitting in traffic and a driver cuts in front of you.
Effect: Your blood pressure and frustration rises.
Cause: You’re late for a work meeting and still miles away from the office in bumper to bumper traffic.
Effect: You’re more stressed than you were when you left the house.
We know the feeling. And these stressful commute-related situations are a daily occurrence for many of us. But did you know your commute impacts your health?
According to Business Insider, long commutes can have a negative impact on mental well-being. These commuters are 33 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Sadness and irritability, two warning signs for heart disease, is also more common among people with long commutes. So, it’s no surprise that people with longer commutes have higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety.
Worried about your health as you’re hopping in your car for your commute home? There are several ways you can reduce stress on your commute:
- Bike or walk to work: Studies have shown that people who bike or walk to work have a lower chance of becoming obese than those that drive. In addition, commuters who walk or bike to work report being happier than those that drive.
- Try transit: Not only is taking transit better for the environment, it also reduces stress levels. Let someone else do the driving so you can catch up on emails, nap, or simply have some time to relax.
- Carpool: Save money on gas, spend quality time with friends and family, and reduce air pollution. Health benefits all around; we can even help you find a carpool partner!
- Telework: Avoid traffic altogether and work from home. You’ll save money, reduce stress and you can put that time you would otherwise spend in traffic getting work done or doing something you love.
- Exercise: Sweating it out not only keeps you healthy physically, but mentally. And if driving to work is your only option, exercise is even more important to combat sitting the majority of the day.
For more information about commute options and incentives for switching your commute, visit http://gacommuteoptions.com/.
From long drives to work to congested on-site parking, morning and afternoon commutes can be challenging for metro Atlantans. As the region continues to grow and bring more job seekers to the area, the business community must consider other commuting options to alleviate stress, boost work productivity and improve air quality.
To jumpstart this thinking, Georgia Commute Options has launched the inaugural Clear the Deck Challenge, a regional initiative to reduce parking consumption through the promotion of alternatives to driving alone. During the week of May 14th – 18th, participating property managers and employers will challenge their employees to use cleaner commute options such as teleworking, biking, walking or taking transit for at least one day during the week.
During the initiative, property managers and/or employers will monitor parking consumption through their decks and lots to showcase decreases. At the end of the week, Georgia Commute Options will release data to showcase how metro Atlantans rose to the challenge of trying different commuting options and subsequently reduced the need to park at their worksites.
This year's participating employers include:
- Bank of America/Kennesaw Operations Center
- Bank of America/Southside Center
- CDC Chamblee Campus
- Colony Square
- GA Environmental Protection Division/Tradeport Building
- Emory University
- Sanctuary Park
- US Forest Service Region 8
Employees who participate in the Clear the Deck challenge and opt for a different way of commuting to and from work may also be eligible for incentive programs offered by Georgia Commute Options.
April showers may bring May flowers…and May concerts! What better way to enjoy the warm spring weather than by attending a concert around the city? From music festivals, country concerts and jazz festivals, to anything in between, metro Atlanta has a music event for you to enjoy this May.
But with fun concerts comes not-as-fun traffic, whether you’re attending a concert or not. Mark these music events on your calendar:
- Khalid, May 22, Infinite Energy Arena
- Kendrick Lamar with SZA and Schoolboy Q, May 25, Lakewood Amphitheatre
- Kenny Chesney, May 26, Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Dave Matthews Band, May 26, Lakewood Amphitheatre
- Atlanta Jazz Festival, May 26-27, Piedmont Park
- U2, May 28, Infinite Energy Arena
Then check out these commute options to get there:
- Take transit —all the concerts listed above are accessible through MARTA or Gwinnett County Transit.
- Carpool with friends—chances are you’re all going to the concert together, so save money on gas and parking by riding together.
Want more commute options? Find one that works for you.
From carpooling to transit, multiple commute options are available for metro Atlanta’s commuters. With so many options, most are still opting to drive alone- what’s holding you back from switching your commute?
“My post-work schedule is inconsistent and unpredictable, but I want a consistent commute option.”
“My home or my workplace isn’t located near a transit or MARTA station.”
“I have early-morning or late-afternoon meetings, so my unusual schedule makes it difficult to carpool.”
“I don’t know anyone living near me who could ride with me to work.”
If any of the above sound like an issue for your commute, we have you covered. Multiple commute options are available for you to use – and we can help find the best option for you.
- Biking or walking – More than 25 percent of all car trips are less than a mile. Choose human-powered commuting to squeeze in exercise on your way to and from work. And if you’re new to biking, we can help you get started.
- Carpooling – Even carpooling just a few days a week can help improve congestion on metro Atlanta’s roads. A colleague who has a similar schedule as yours for one to two days each week can be a great carpool partner. Need help finding a partner? Our ridematching service connects more than 50,000 potential carpoolers interested in sharing the ride. And if an unexpected event comes up forcing you to leave work early or late and miss your carpool, our Guaranteed Ride Home program offers up to five free rides home.
- Transit – There’s more than just MARTA around metro Atlanta. Xpress, Cobb LINC and Gwinnett County Transit are all options that can get you to your workplace. And while using transit, you can reduce stress by reading, listening to music or getting a bit of work in, rather than sitting in traffic.
With multiple commute options available in metro Atlanta, more commuters can find an option that works with their schedule and lifestyle. Find an option that works for you: http://bit.ly/2pIvOO9
Your to-do list is growing: saving money, avoiding traffic, reducing stress. While you may think these goals can’t be accomplished, a new commute option, such as transit, can make it possible.
Georgia Commute Options is hoping that number will grow during the week of May 14-18th during its inaugural Clear the Deck Challenge, a regional initiative to reduce parking consumption through the promotion of alternatives to driving alone. Participating property managers and employers will challenge their employees to use cleaner commute options such as taking transit for at least one day during that week.
With multiple stations around metro Atlanta, MARTA can be a convenient and stress-free option for your commute.
From Atlantic Station to Palisades Office Park, multiple business centers are located within a 10-minute walk from a MARTA station. If a station is close to your workplace, you can also benefit by exploring restaurants, attractions and things to do near the stations:
- Arts Center – Get a dose of culture at the High Museum of Art, Woodruff Arts Center or the Museum of Design during your lunch hour.
- Buckhead – With an endless assortment of restaurants, Buckhead Station is your one-stop spot for trying some of metro Atlanta’s best cuisine.
- Dome/Phillips Arena – After work, head to some of metro Atlanta’s most popular attractions, including Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, easily accessible from the Dome/Phillips Arena Station.
- Midtown – On pretty days in the spring, take your office meeting outdoors at Piedmont Park.
Coming from a little further out of the city? Xpress offers 27 routes in 12 metro Atlanta counties, providing a connection between 3.4 million residents and 375,000 jobs. For an option around the Clifton corridor and the community surrounding Emory University, try Cliff Shuttles. Gwinnett County Transit provides express buses along six routes using the HOV lanes of I-85 as well as five local routes.
Is your employer participating in Clear the Deck? Switch up your commute and try transit. Find an option that works for you: https://bit.ly/2pZ0J7H
Commute (verb) – to travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis.
Regular. Consistent. Recurring. That’s the morning and afternoon commute we see every day in metro Atlanta, which drives congestion on our roads and leads to frustration among city residents. But the same cycle leads to the same results: take the same commute and you’ll see the same congestion patterns.
But road congestion in metro Atlanta can change and it starts with you. And rather than frustrating, your commute can be rewarding. Literally.
Ready to save yourself from stress and save money? Start with an option to driving alone – biking, carpooling, flexible working, taking transit, vanpooling – then sign up for an incentive program through Georgia Commute Options which will drive some change back into your wallets:
- Gimme Five: New program participants can earn $5 a day — up to $150 — for trying a new commute option other than driving alone.
- $25 Enter to Win: Existing clean commuters are entered to win monthly $25 prizes for logging their commutes.
- Monthly Gas Card: Carpoolers with three or more riders can earn monthly gas cards.
- Vanpool $50 Referral: Individuals can receive $50 for referring a new vanpool rider after that new rider has completed three consecutive months on a vanpool.
- Guaranteed Ride Home: Program participants are promised a guaranteed ride home when unexpected events occur. Participants can receive up to five free rides, by taxi or rental car, to their home or car in case of emergency.
We’re ready to help you drive change towards a better commute. Visit www.GAcommuteoptions.com.
You know spring is here when the Atlanta Braves host their home opener. If you’re headed to SunTrust Park March 29th, consider taking advantage of transit to avoid traffic and parking costs. SunTrust Park has three commute options – CobbLinc, MARTA or the new Cumberland Circulator - designed to get Braves fans to the game quickly.
· CobbLinc – Cobb County’s CobbLinc bus departs from the Arts Center MARTA station and travels near SunTrust Park. Just exit the bus at Cobb Parkway and Windy Ridge Road, and walk 10 minutes up Windy Ridge Parkway to the stadium.
· MARTA – Three MARTA stations, Arts Center, Medical Center and Dunwoody, are all about a 15-minute car ride away. A MARTA bus departs from the Midtown MARTA station and travels to the Cumberland Mall Transfer center. From there, connect with the new Cumberland Circulator shuttle to reach the stadium.
· Cumberland Circulator – CobbLinc runs three routes – blue, green and red – that run within the Cumberland area.
Purchase your game tickets, wear your Braves jersey and hop on a transit option to get to the game before the first pitch.
To find other commute options in your area, visit www.GAcommuteoptions.com.
March Madness is underway. And with 64 basketball teams competing for the NCAA Championship, sports fans will be traveling across the country to cheer for their favorite teams. Charlotte and Nashville are slated to host games for rounds one and two and then the south regional final games will take place. As fans travel through Atlanta to get to these cities, there’s a big chance that traffic congestion will increase as a result.
If you’re heading to either south regional final game, consider taking MARTA to one of the stations near Phillips Arena. But if you’re commuting to work around metro Atlanta, especially on the days of the south regional final games (March 22ndand March 24th), multiple transit options around the city can still help you avoid traffic during your commute. Taking transit is a great way to save money for last-minute game tickets.
For those who want to avoid traffic completely on game-day but still get work accomplished, consider a flexible working arrangement through Georgia Commute Options FlexWork program:
- Compressed work week or Flex time - If you can’t change how you get to work, try changing when you get to work. Adjusting the time you come in and leave the office can dramatically improve your commute. By driving during off-peak times, you can avoid sitting in traffic and get to work a lot faster.
- Telework - Want to skip traffic entirely? Ask your employer about a telework arrangement, even its temporary. Telework is most effective as a part of a permanent program, but situational telework can help employers manage disruptions to improve business continuity. Employers who dip their toes in the telework waters might find that their employees are happier and more productive. Per the 2017 Flex Jobs and Global Workplace Analytics study, 77% of those who reported working remotely at least a few times per month had greater productivity while working offsite.
Avoid the madness. Try a new commute option instead. To find an option that works for you, visit http://bit.ly/2pIvOO9.
Finding a carpool partner is a lot like entering into a new relationship: it starts with compatibility. And while finding a carpool partner can be stressful, we’re here to help. Here are three tips to consider when finding your ride match:
- Honesty - Do you consistently work late or have early-morning meetings? Be honest about your weekly schedule to determine if carpooling together will work for you.
- Accountability – Gas, parking and wear and tear on your car add up. Decide if you want to split a set amount of money each week to cover these expenses, or if another way of splitting the costs is right for you. And there’s good news! Georgia Commute Options pays up to $60 in gas cards for new carpools.
- Personality – Some prefer country music. Others prefer pop. And some folks are chatty while others would rather ease into the morning with coffee and minimal conversation. Get a feel for your potential carpool partner by asking what they like to do in their free time or what kind of music they listen to. It’ll help determine if that commute will be the quickest 30 minutes you’ve ever spent in the car.
Ready to find your carpool partner? Visit www.GAcommuteoptions.com.
Winter weather can freeze Atlanta businesses’ productivity. And since winter isn't over yet, there's the possibility winter weather will strike again.
Instead of wasting another business day, Georgia Commute Options has tips to help metro Atlantans telework. Here are a few reasons why businesses should encourage teleworking for winter weather days:
- Safety: By keeping drivers off icy roads, you are not only keeping your employees safe but all drivers.
- Productivity: Telecommuting drives up employee efficiency. Forbes reports that two-thirds of managers see an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees.
- Health & Wellness: Allowing employees to work from home makes them healthier. In a 2014 study, 80% of remote workers reported higher morale and 82% reported lower stress levels. Working remotely also removes cars from the road, improving air quality for our lungs and the environment.
- Cost-savings: Studies show that unscheduled absences cost employers $1,800 per employee per year. That adds up to $300 billion per year for U.S. companies. The American Management Association found that organizations that implement a telework program saw a 63% reduction in unscheduled absences.
- Test for the future: Allowing employees to work from home during weather advisories lets employers test drive teleworking. If employers see positive results, GCO has worksite advisors who can help employers create a permanent teleworking program.
And, here are some tips for employees who may be new to teleworking:
- Set up your environment: Find a quiet space where you can focus. Experts say your workspace should NOT be at your kitchen table or in your bedroom. Ideally you have a comfortable desk and chair set up.
- Establish office hours: Create a schedule that delineates when you are “at work” and when you are off the clock. Establishing office hours helps separate your work life from your home life.
- Be reachable: Check in with your manager and co-workers at least once a day. Not only does it let them know you are available, it fosters healthy working relationship with your team.
- Move around: FEMA suggests standing for your calls and taking necessary breaks helps you stay focused and productive while working remotely.
Learn about all the benefits of teleworking before the next winter storm strikes. http://bit.ly/2rATPIx