Free services to help improve how you get to and from work.

Her name was Alexandra. She was my best friend in first grade. We rode the school bus together every day that year. She sat by the window, and I sat by the aisle. We talked about everything. Why did Gary call the teacher “mom”? Did Matt eat the chicken nugget after it dropped on the ground? Is Santa Claus the same person as mom and dad?  

Anyway, it’s Back to School time again as school buses return to roads all around Atlanta. Students are too busy with homework to read this post — which is why I am writing to parents and teachers!

When you were a kid in a school bus, traffic is the best thing ever! It means more time with your best friend before you have to get off the bus and start homework.

Now that we are adults, our best friends don’t always sit next to us, and our priority is getting home stress-free.

We may be too old for those yellow school busses, but we are never too old to start carpooling to work. In fact, there hasn’t ever been a better time to start riding with friends to work!

  • If you carpool to work, you can earn monthly gas cards from Georgia Commute Options — $40 a month for carpools of three people, and $60 a month for carpools of four or more people —  for 12 months within a 3-year period.
  • Not sure who to ‘pool with? Georgia Commute Options provides a free ridematching service to help you find carpool partners. We have thousands in our database looking for the same thing, and some might live, work, or send their kids to school near you.
  • If you’re trying carpooling for the first time, you can earn $3 a day — up to $100! That’s a lot of school lunches.
  • If you couldn’t tell, Georgia Commute Options is here to help you save money and earn even more. For more information on all of the incentive programs available to metro Atlanta commuters, click here.

If car-rider lines are too long at your school, or if you’d like to get your kids thinking more about how cars affect healthy air, let us know! We have school partnerships all across Atlanta and would love to partner with your local school.

Chris Schneck is the School Accounts Manager for Georgia Commute Options. You can get in touch with Chris and get him out to your local school here.



Holidays and seasons sneak up on us every year like a predictable surprise. (But really, this summer has gone by faster than the others, right?)  Well, Back-to-School time is no exception, and it’s upon us!

By now, all metro Atlanta school systems are back in session. That means that almost 700,000 kiddie commuters have joined us on the road as they head to school. With over 700 buses in the metro school systems, in addition to teen drivers, vehicles from childcare facilities and parent drop-offs, that’s plenty of extra traffic. Last year, our friends at Georgia DOT gathered information about the impact of back-to-school traffic and found that surface street traffic grew by as much as 26.9% on some roads. Homeschool, anyone?

But there’s at least one commuter that’s not worried when kids head back to school this year. This gal! These days, I share the ride to and from work in a carpool. One leg of my commute will be stress-free as my carpool companion hops in the driver’s seat, leaving me free to do anything I want. When I drive, I have a passenger to chat with, an in-house DJ and someone absorbing half the cost of gas. I couldn’t ask for more!

Don’t be jealous; just explore commute options! Commuters can lighten the road load for the region by taking advantage of the different commute options available. And it’s not only about carpooling. Clean commuters can find the same benefits in a vanpool, swapping that school bus of yesteryear for an Xpress bus, teleworking, biking or walking. 

Also, Georgia Commute Options programs are available year-round! $3 A Day allows commuters to earn up to $100 over an assigned 90-day period. $25 Prizes is a monthly drawing for everyone that logs their commutes — and 1 in 10 commuters win! Carpools with three or more riders can earn $40-$60 Gas Cards. And with Vanpool Rider Referral, riders that refer a new vanpool rider can receive $50.

When headed to school, kids can keep their “commute options” in mind also. My Mom, a telework enthusiast, noticed last school year, the students in her subdivision created a “walking school bus” and walked the short distance to school when the weather was nice. Similarly, multi-family carpools and riding the school bus help to reduce traffic for all of us in the region. It’s never too early to get kids commute conscious!

Courtney is the Georgia Commute Options Administrative Assistant. You'll hear her friendly voice if you ever give us a call. She's a Pinterest and Netflix junkie, and loves baking and making lists. If you want to get in touch with Courtney, you can email her here.



Got kids heading to the bus stop this week?  We know what the first day is like for the school set: new clothes, new backpack, all swag.

We love it when kids take the bus to school — and we want to see how your little trend-setters are stepping out on their first day! (This much swag deserves to be shared.) Snap a pic of your kids at the bus stop and you could win a $100 gift card!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Follow Georgia Commute Options on Instagram: @GaCommute
  • Take a photo of your  kid(s) at the bus stop — or on their way to it
  • Post your bus stop photo to Instagram — and remember to tag @GaCommute!
  • Be sure to use one of our hashtags, too:  #backtoschool, #schoolswag, #yellowbuseshelptraffic2, #GACommuteSchools

Clean commuting’s not just for grown-ups, you know. Taking the bus is a great way to get kids to school safe and sound — AND put fewer cars in the school zone, cutting traffic and shortening that car-rider line.

Winners will be announced August 14, so post your photos soon to get in on the swag!

Lesley Carter is a communications specialist and the voice of Georgia Commute Options social media. You can get in touch with Lesley here.



In our previous blog, we discussed the various modes you can use to be a clean commuter. Now that you have everything you need to know about our programs, it’s time to learn how to create a profile and how to successfully log your commute.

  • Get familiarized with our programs at GaCommuteOptions.com and what we can do for you
  • On the home page click the “Log your Commute” on the right side of the screen
  • Sign in or click “Register” and fill out the required fields

Need help logging? We have a helpful quick-start guide and video that can walk you through it. If you’re still having trouble, feel free to call us at 1-877-9-GA-OPTIONS.

Remember, the more you log, the more opportunities you have to earn a monthly $25 Prize. 1 in 10 win!

Want to read Beginners Guide to a Clean Commute – Part 1? Click here.

Victoria is the Junior Communications Specialist for the Georgia Commute Options team - helping out with writing, editing, and maintaining all our important deadline schedules. She's a big fan of carpooling and Reese's. Want to get in touch with Victoria? Click here.



Having a long commute is one thing, but doing it alone is a completely different beast. When you ride alone, you lose money. But more importantly, you lose time — and let’s be real, time is money. If you haven’t noticed, you’re getting your fair share of sitting in, whether you’re already sharing the ride into work on a carpool or riding the bus or train, or if you’re driving solo. All that sitting means more time to get things done. So whether you’re already ridesharing or are thinking about it, here are five fabulous things you can do with all that sitting time:

  1. Find knowledge. Catch up for your book club or branch out to a new, unexplored genre. Some of the books topping the New York Times Best Seller list you might want to check out include The Girl on the Train, The Wright Brothers, and Leaving Time.
  2. Make your menu. Use your Food Network, Pinterest, or AllRecipes app to plan your menu for the week. No more last-minute grocery runs for you!
  3. Stay connected. Haven’t talked to your college roommate in ages? Or do you need to plan who is taking who to the gymnastics meet and soccer game this weekend? Text or email whoever you need to get caught up since you can’t do that behind the wheel.
  4. Go on an adventure. Your commute will fly by with this Twitter throw-back to the interactive “Choose your own Adventure” books.
  5. Netflix. This site accounts for 35% of U.S. internet traffic, so why not hop on board during your commute? They have a slew of original shows as well as all of the oldies but goodies.

Look at all you can do instead of sitting behind the wheel. And we can help get you on the road to an improved and happier commute. Reach out at Info@GaCommuteOptions.com to see what commute mode is right for you.

Jenny Schultz is a Communications Specialist working on the Georgia Commute Options program. When she's not at work, she spends most of her time baking, dancing, and pretending to paint her house. Jenny has a pretty sweet telework space complete with Ikea furniture, a stability ball, and a fantastic view of her backyard.



Looking for easy ways to save money or be less stressed? Why not switching up your commute a bit? A new, cleaner commute can be super fun, save some money, put more dough in your pocket, and help relieve some of your daily stress. And it’s just a mouse click away. Georgia Commute Options can help get your started with a variety of options for clean commuting.

Carpooling

  • If you have a carpool of three people, you can earn a $40 gas card, and if you carpool with four or more people, you can earn a $60 gas card — each month you carpool for 12 months within a 3-year period.
  • Georgia Commute Options provides a free ridematching service to help you find carpool partners. We have thousands in our database looking for the same thing, and some might live or work near you.

Vanpooling

  • Vanpooling allows you to ride in a van along with 7-15 other clean commuters.
  • Referring a new vanpool rider earns you $50 after the new rider has completed three consecutive months in a vanpool. And you can refer as many new riders as you want, for as long as you are vanpooling.

Transit

  • When you take transit to work and log your trips online, you are entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card each month.
  • Several employers offer discounted transit passes or help you purchase them with pre-tax dollars. Check with your HR department to see if you qualify.

Telework

  • Many employers allow you to work from home, which can increase your productivity and reduce your stress levels.
  • When you log your telework days with Georgia Commute Options, you are entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card each month. 1 in 10 win!

Compressed Work Week

  • Some employees work a Compressed Work Week, which means compressing a full 40 hours into fewer than five days, giving you at least one less day to commute to and from work.

Bike/Walk

  • Fit in your workout as part of your commute, enjoy an emissions-free trip, and avoid sitting in traffic.
  • When you log those trips, even if it’s just part of the way, you are entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift card each month.

If you couldn’t tell, Georgia Commute Options is here to help you save money and earn even more. For more information on all of the incentive programs available to metro Atlanta commuters, click here.

Victoria is the Junior Communications Specialist for the Georgia Commute Options team - helping out with writing, editing, and maintaining all our important deadline schedules. She's a big fan of carpooling and Reese's. Want to get in touch with Victoria? Click here.



I’m Baaack! I ride transit because it makes CENTS for me and can even be relaxing. Plus, I get to pocket the savings for my favorite hobbies – eating, traveling and clearance shopping (did someone say shoes?)! I even have curb service right in my neighborhood for those days I want to stay parked.  

You can find me on the MARTA line in my “cutie off-duty shoes,” as my colleague calls them, listening to music, reading, or daydreaming about my next splurge from my savings.

So, what is the big deal with having a calendar monthly or 30-day unlimited ride MARTA pass? Well let me tell you. I get to eat, work, and play all on MARTA. Just to show you, I chronicled my ventures, excluding my daily commute to the office, on MARTA for a month:

  • April 8: Business dinner with colleague
  • April 9: Stand Up 4 Transportation Rally at MARTA Five Points Station
  • April 10: Car left at Firestone (Lenox) for repair; take train to work
  • April 11:Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park
  • April 13: Commuter Event in Midtown
  • April 17:University Earth Day in Midtown
  • April 22: Lunch with colleagues in Midtown
  • April 28: Social outing in City of Decatur
  • April 29: Georgia Commute Options Commute Honors awards breakfast in Downtown Atlanta
  • May 1: Doc appointment at Emory
  • May 3: Atlanta Women’s Expo at Georgia World Congress Center
  • May 6: Business meeting at Starbucks in Buckhead
  • May 7: Quick run to the post office at Buckhead Loop
  • May 8: Business lunch in Midtown

What Next:

Try it! Remember to check the MARTA On the Go App for schedules and the electronic information signs in the rail stations to make sure you don’t get left behind. 

In the words of my favorite scholar, Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go… you can steer yourself any direction you choose.”  

Tanya is marketing lead for MARTA’s Partnership Program assisting metro Atlanta companies with transit commuting solutions. She is a 14-year MARTA rider and advocate. To learn how your company can offer MARTA passes visit: itsmarta.com/employer. Read her first blog article here: Confessions of a Reformed Car-holic!





May 11-15 is National Bike to Work Week, a time when everyone has the chance to ride their bikes to work, even if it’s just part of the way. To celebrate, Georgia Commute Options and other organizations across metro Atlanta to host events that introduce biking to newcomers, encourage new ridership, and reward those already riding their bikes to and from work.

If you want to get involved in Bike to Work Day (May 15) in the metro Atlanta region, check out these opportunities near you:

  • Akers Mill Energizer Station: Celebrate National Bike to Work Day on May 15 from 7 to 9 a.m. in partnership with the Cumberland CID and Bike Cobb.
  • Recreation Center Energizer Station: Grab pastries, coffee, water, and breakfast bars along with cool bike gear giveaways on May 15 from 7 to 10 a.m.
  • Third Friday Decatur Fun Ride: Meet at the Decatur Recreation Center on May 15 at 6:30 p.m. for a ride with other bike buddies. The ride will be followed by a visit to a local pub or restaurant for refreshments.
  • Woodruff Park Reading Room Energizer Station: Grab high-fives and some grub on the way to the office as a reward for cycling to work between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on May 15. Find out more here.
  • Fix-a-Flat: Snyder Cycles will be parked in front of 55 Park Place to give Fix-a-Flat and bike cleaning/chain lubing lessons from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 15. Find out more here.
  • Colony Square Energizer Station: Join Midtown Transportation on Friday, May 15 in front of Colony Square at 14th and Peachtree Street for coffee and bagels between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Find out more here.

Did you know that every mile you drive alone costs $0.59 per mile? This adds up to thousands a year! Riding your bike to work can keep that money in your pocket — along with reducing air pollution and fighting traffic congestion. See how much you’re spending with our Commute Calculator here!

Happy Early Bike to Work Week!

Victoria is the Junior Communications Specialist for the Georgia Commute Options team - helping out with writing, editing, and maintaining all our important deadline schedules. She's a big fan of carpooling and Reese's. Want to get in touch with Victoria? Click here.



I am a reformed “car-holic.” I used to give my money, time and energy away freely. All of this happened during the most critical period of each day: my commute to work in my car. Driving alone (single occupancy) in my car, I would burn fuel, wear out my brakes, create tension and waste my time in traffic.

Then I began working at MARTA. Riding MARTA opened an entire new way of life for me. I start and end my day in peace as I listen to music, read books, play brain games and catch up on my emails. Decreasing my costs of car maintenance, fuel and insurance doesn’t hurt either. Being a MARTA employee has enabled me to work with metro Atlanta companies and commuters to provide this same serenity by offering transit benefits as a part of their compensation benefits package.

The personal benefits of riding MARTA to work far outweigh those of sitting in traffic. To name just a few:

  • More Money for Things I Love: I get to use the money saved for travel, a night out with friends or shopping.
  • Harmonious Work and Personal Relationships: Because I get to read and relax on MARTA I arrive to work and home in a more positive mood.
  • Melting the Pounds Away: Using transit contributes to my workout plan. Walking to and from my car and in the stations actually adds a mile of activity to my daily exercise.
  • Productive at Work: Because I don’t waste emotional energy dealing with the tension of driving, I arrive mentally clear.
  • More Informed and Intelligent: While commuting I get to catch up on news, reading, social media and the latest music. It also gives me time to organize my day.
  • Get Caffeine and Find New Eateries: I have found some great coffee spots to get a quick “cup of joe,” lunch or dinner right on the MARTA line. I have become the dining advisor for friends. 

  Companies love offering their employees transit benefits too. Some of these benefits include:

  • Recruitment/Retention Tool: MARTA as part of a compensation package is appealing to new hires and assists in retaining top talent.
  • Parking Lot Cost Reduction: More employees taking transit means less driving and parking, which saves on spaces and maintenance.
  • Health and Wellness Program Inclusion: Studies show commuting on transit contributes to increased physical activity.
  • More Money, More Money, More Money! Most companies contributing toward the cost of employee passes are eligible for a federal and state business tax deduction.

As the saying goes, “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” and it’s a MARTA train ready to start your commute and change your life.   

Tanya is marketing lead for MARTA’s Partnership Program assisting metro Atlanta companies with transit commuting solutions. She is a 14-year MARTA rider and advocate. To learn how your company can offer MARTA passes, visit: itsmarta.com/employer