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We love bringing you stories of our partners. They’re employers and workplaces just like yours that have connected with Georgia Commute Options to give their employees better commutes and more productive work days. Take a look at the stellar telework program at Market Force:

Market Force became a Georgia Commute Options partner in April 2015, and more than 25% of its employees participate in our programs. Market Force offers telework to all employees, and many employees telework fulltime. Employees who aren’t working remotely full-time have the option of teleworking one to three times per week. The company offers flex scheduling for employees as well.

Since Market Force teleworkers use their own equipment to log into work, the up-front cost to the company stayed low. After all, telework doesn’t always require a huge technology overhaul. Often, an employee with a laptop is all a workplace needs to get started!

And the results speak for themselves:  In 2015, Market Force’s clean-commuting employees reduced more than 182,000 miles and saved almost 74 tons of pollution. Plus, their employees saved a collective $85,000 in fuel & car maintenance costs. Clean commutes like teleworking can really pay off, office-wide!

So what can a Georgia Commute Options partnership do for your office? Let us help you get started. Learn more here!

We like to bring you stories of commuters just like you who are loving their non-drive-alone commutes! Check out how Carolyn’s bus rides have changed her commute for the better.

My first transit ride was December 2010. I wanted to try it out during a slow period; the week prior to Christmas. I then went to Wednesdays and Fridays after my 5 a.m. workouts. I then realized how much I enjoyed the naps, mental rest from riding MARTA and not driving , and mostly the quiet of the bus! I’ve been a constant rider since. 

I drive a lot in and around town as well as out of town, so it’s nice to be able to sit back, relax and leave the driving to someone else – even for 45-60 minutes. Plus, I like the relationships I’ve built with the other commuters and the drivers. I’ve also limited the miles on my 2008 Honda Accord!

Ready to see if a clean commute like transit is right for you? We can help you pick a new commute mode that saves money, reduces stress and could even earn you some extra cash! 

All over metro Atlanta, commuters like you are choosing alternatives to driving alone. Check out how Jared’s life has changed since he started biking to his job at LeasePlan every day.

What clean commute mode do you use?

Biking is my main preference for commuting. I occasionally carpool with my wife because it’s easy.

When did you get started using that mode, and why?

I really enjoyed biking as a kid, and I biked in college, so it’s been a natural progression. It’s fun and it makes my commute enjoyable because I don’t have to sit in traffic. Plus, it cuts down on my carbon emissions and just makes me feel really good every day.

What do you like most about your commute?

It’s nice to not sit in line of cars — much more fun! I get to be part of my surroundings; when you’re in the car you’re closed off to everything. My commute lets me enjoy the small things, like riding over the Big Creek Greenway. It is all protected forest land and I can feel the temperature drop through the valley — so yeah, it’s getting to notice all the small things that people miss when they are flying past in a car.

What benefits have you seen from not driving alone?

I only have to get gas once in a while, which saves me a lot of money. I’ve had the same car forever, because I never drive it. I also don’t have the additional costs of new tires, oil changes, and maintaining it every single day.

Biking helps me mentally because I know I’m doing what I can to help combat global climate change and ocean acidification. Even though my impact is small, I know we can’t change other people’s actions, just change little things ourselves. Several years ago, I got so frustrated with the slow pace of social change related to the environment, and I had this thought that I can’t sit and point fingers at other people for not doing the right thing if I’m not doing the right thing. I have to do the right thing if I’m allowed to complain about it.

I like to think I’m an example to every person that sees me biking to work.

What did your commute look like before you started clean commuting?

Before this commute, I was frustrated and sat in his car. I did that for less than a year. I started getting very serious about biking to work about 7 years ago. Years ago, people would angrily pass by and try to knock me off the road — people didn’t know how to properly pass bike commuters. People have gotten more used to having bikers on the side of the road now.

We love to spotlight our clean commuters of all stripes.  Meet Jennifer Wilson, who works in sustainability office at Kennesaw State University and goes for a multi-modal commute most days.

What clean commute mode do you use?

Bike to transit. I live in Atlanta and work in Marietta campus of Kennesaw State University. I bike on the BeltLine from my house in Candler Park to Arts Center MARTA Station, where I catch a CobbLinc bus that takes me to Marietta Transfer Center, less than half a mile from the Marietta KSU campus. When I go to the Kennesaw campus (1 day a week), I stay on the same bus and go to Town Center, then take the bike trail to campus (about 2 miles).

What do you like most about your commute?

I like to get some exercise. Also, on the bus you get the luxury of using the HOV lane. I can sleep if I need to. Catch up on email on the way in and get some stuff out of the way. I feel more caught up this way, and it makes for better work-life balance.

Sometimes it’s way faster than driving, especially in the evening, because traffic is so much worse. Taking the HOV lane and BeltLine — I’m not sprinting home, but I’m at a good, steady pace.

What benefits have you seen from not driving alone?

Financial savings — I’ve done the commute calculator. My husband and I have 1 car. He bikes to work too, so our car has little mileage. We don’t have to fill it up with gas very often.

What are your tips for other bike commuters?

There are so many trails around the metro area. People may be surprised with how many bike trails there are. Cobb County has a lot of bike trails, and the KSU campuses are pretty well served by bike trails too. Biking on the streets is fine, but if you are new to it, you may not be comfortable. The Google maps bike section will show you which roads have bike lanes and where there are trails. I use it to find areas to try out.

Try out a half mile trip first. Have a change of clothes and extra snacks. Combining with transit opens up a lot of possibilities. 

We love our long-term clean commuters! They’re in on a secret we’re trying to share with all of metro Atlanta:  Ditching the drive-alone commute has long-term benefits for savings, stress levels and work-life balance.

We chatted with Jason Headley, Sean Savoy, Dale Wesson, and Ryan Walker who work in Chick-fil-A’s corporate IT department and have been carpooling together for more than 10 years. Take a look and think about how carpooling could change your work life!

Tell us when you got started carpooling, and why.

Our carpool was started back in 2006 as a result of high gas prices. We were looking for ways to stop spending so much money on gas. Jason Headley emailed several people in the IT department who live in the Newnan area and asked if anyone was interested in carpooling. A core group of five of us has continued carpooling for years. Three of our four guys live in the same neighborhood. The fourth guy drives about ten minutes to meet us each day at 8:00 am. We are back around 5:45-6:00 each day.

What do you like most about your commute?

Personally, I like the social aspect, the ability to bounce ideas off the other guys, and the occasional quiet days.

What benefits have you seen from not driving alone?

Saving money is, by far, the biggest benefit of our carpool to us. (Most of the guys in our carpool have a tendency toward being “cheap.”) We have better work-life balance than we had before carpooling. We are much more likely to leave the office at a consistent time each day. And we have become good friends over the years. You get to know someone pretty well after spending an hour a day with them for ten years. We take time to pray for each other and what is going on in our lives. We have unofficially elected one of our guys to be our “Carpool Chaplain."

What do you do while you carpool?

We talk about our families and what is going on in our lives. We have formed strong friendships over a ten-year period. Sometimes the commute is a quiet ride. We’re all drained from working all day and don’t say much of anything during the commute. Occasionally someone will fall asleep while riding.

A lot of times, one or more guys in our carpool are working during the commute; it’s not unusual to see one or more laptops open. With improvements in technology, we can connect into the office while riding in the car. We also have lots of work discussions or meetings that we just can’t find time for during the work day. Since we all work in the IT department, we can discuss current projects or issues. Carpooling allows us to bounce ideas off one another. It is safe to say the company gets several more hours of productivity from us each week as a direct result of our carpool. 

How does this setup sound to you, commuters? Would you like your commute to look more like this one — savings, naps, work-life balance and all? We can help. Take the first step toward finding your own carpool buddies today! Find a ridematch today.

Gentle Alexander, an Atlanta massage therapist and student, has been riding buses since he was 12 years old. A California native, he started navigating metro Atlanta’s bus system 5 years ago as soon as he relocated to metro Atlanta.

“The buses here weren’t what I was used to, but I figured out a way to make it work,” he says.

Now, CCT buses are Gentle’s primary mode of transportation, and he says the past 5 years have brought a lot of improvements to Cobb’s buses: more leg room, tinted windows, and blasting A/C—a special perk when commuting in the Georgia heat.

“Also, the new Cobb buses are shipped from California, so it makes me feel like I’m home.”

Gentle likes to stay calm, cool, and collected, and riding the bus helps. By riding the bus, he’s able to live without a car, which means he keeps his cost of living low.

For Gentle, taking the bus means putting the worry of the road in someone else’s hands. “I don’t have what other people have but I’m happy and enjoying it.”

What could taking transit do for your stress level? We’d like to help you find out. Check out the various transit options that may work for you. And if you need help planning your trip, we’re here for you. 

In your quest to find the best and rarest Pokémon, you will need to travel and explore beyond your house and neighborhood. Fans of the original Pokémon show and games know that exploration is the core of Pokémon. After all, the hero Ash couldn’t become the very best (like no one ever was) without leaving Pallet Town — and neither can you.

But, just like in the game and show, this exploration carries some risks. You probably won’t run into a wild angry Gyarados or a sleeping Snorlax blocking your path, but if you try to catch Pokémon while driving, you may get a ticket or cause an accident. So how can you cover the most ground in your Pokémon quest — not only in finding more Pokemon but also traveling enough distance to incubate eggs? Here’s an idea: Try transit.

Like Ash’s friends Misty and Brock, who help him along his journey to becoming a Pokémon Master, you too have friends who can help you on your quest to become the very best yourself! Their names are Train and Bus.

Known hotspots for Pokémon Go along MARTA rail routes:

-          Downtown (Five Points, Peachtree Center, GSU)

-          Piedmont Park (Midtown Station)

-          Lenox Mall

-          Oakland Cemetery (King Memorial Station)

-          Downtown Decatur

Pokémon are more likely to spawn in denser, historic parts of town. This means that you must explore the different neighborhoods of Atlanta in order to catch them all, and MARTA can get you to many of these hotspots quickly, cheaply, and safely. So, unless you’re satisfied catching Zubats, Pidgeys, and Ratatas forever, bring some friends along and go catch a MARTA train to your destination of choice and fulfill your destiny!

If you need any more help in finding good spots around town, you can use this map to find all the Pokémon Gyms and Stops around Atlanta. And if you find a rare Pokémon on a MARTA bus or train, take a picture and tag #itsMARTA when you upload it!


Join Georgia Commute Options and MARTA at the Midtown Station on Saturday, July 30 from 2 – 5 p.m. 

Walk up, chat, and get tips for taking MARTA to catch the best Pokemon. The first 50 people to visit will receive a free battery pack to keep that smartphone running! We’ll also be giving out MARTA cards, MARTA maps, and other swag.

Join us and catch ‘em all!

Metro Atlanta is growing — that’s no secret. But by how much?  According to a new study, we could possibly add the equivalent of Jacksonville, Florida’s population to our region by 2030. 

The numbers:

  • Metro Atlanta is projected to gain 1.4 million new residents over the next 15 years
  • Forsyth County is the fastest-growing county in the state — and the 11th fastest-growing county in the nation.
  • While the Atlanta region is looking at a 25% population jump, Forsyth County’s growth looks like it’ll be 58%! 

So how can we make sure there’s enough space on our roads for all our incoming neighbors?  Here’s a crazy idea: Share the ride!

Think about it: Our population is growing, but our space is staying the same. If we buddy up on the ride to work (by carpooling, vanpooling, or taking transit) we can free up extra space we need to grow! And luckily, Georgia Commute Options is on hand to get you started. Learn how you can find a ridematch or earn extra cash for sharing the ride to work!

So we all know that biking to work is great workout all by itself. But what if you want to turn that workout up a notch? Do you have to add more hours on the bike to get really fit? Do you have to hang on to that gym membership after all?  Heck no.

Our friends at Total Women’s Cycling have put together an awesome workout plan that can be worked right into your bike commute (don’t be put off, dudes—you can do it too).  Hey, if you’ve got to go to work every day, you might as well be crushing it at the same time, right? Take a look at the list below if you want to really go after those buns of steel.

(And if you’d rather keep your ride to work at a relaxed pace, we’re all for that, too. In fact, you’ll probably find us meandering down the bike lane, sipping a smoothie from our handlebar cupholders.)

(Remember, no matter how intense your bike commute is, you can earn cash and prizes for it! Learn about Georgia Commute Options rewards here!)

Total Women’s Cycling Commute Training Plan:

1. Burn Fat

Why it’s good: Low intensity exercise is perfect for burning fat, and therefore ideal for weight loss. It also doesn’t involve working so hard that you end up sweaty and out of breath.

What to do: Aim to ride at a steady speed and intensity for your entire journey, using your gears at traffic lights to maintain the level of effort. You are looking to be a little bit out of breath, but still able to hold a conversation. 

2. Interval training

Why it’s good: This is great for increasing your fat burning zone so you use your energy stores more efficiently, and it will give you a good workout.

What to do: Increase your exertion and ride hard for 2 minutes at about 80% of your maximum heart rate; just below flat out. Then return to your normal speed and gearing for 3 minutes. Aim to repeat this 4 or 5 times over your commute where possible.

3. High-cadence spins

Why it’s good: Cycling with a higher cadence (which is essentially how fast your legs spin the pedals) is much more efficient than pushing hard gears with a low cadence, particularly when climbing. It can be hard to get used to though so training your legs into it is a very useful activity.

What to do: Drop down to an easier gear, and spin your legs as fast as you can for 2 or 3 minutes, then return to your comfortable gear for 8 minutes. Aim to do this several times during the journey. It’s surprisingly hard the first few times!

4. Sprints

Why it’s good: This will help improve your explosive power, giving you a better turbo boost when you need it for breakaways or overtaking. You can try this when you are moving away from traffic lights if the way is clear, or on long obstacle-free road sections.

What to do: Increase your cadence and gearing so you accelerate as fast as you can, and keep it up for 1 minute. Then return to your regular comfortable speed. Aim to repeat this 4 or 5 times over your journey where possible.

5. Strength training

Why it’s good: Get your legs ready for those hard uphills by improving your strength and building those shapely thigh and calf muscles. This will also give you power for pushing over obstacles on MTB trails.

What to do: After warming up, shift your gearing three places higher, so you have to push harder to move the pedals. Keep riding on this harder gear for 2 minutes, then switch back down to an easier gear for 3 minutes. Aim to repeat this 4 or 5 times over your commute where possible.

6. Distance and Endurance Training

Why it’s good: If you are training for an event or race, you need to get used to doing long rides. It will also give you the opportunity to work out what you need to fuel your ride and how to pace yourself.

What do to: Try and add an extra hour to your ride home. You may need to take a longer detour to fit this in; pick a nice quiet or picturesque route, and enjoy the ride.

7. Rest Day

Why it’s good: You’ll give your muscles a gentle stretch through riding, but won’t make them work hard.

What to do: Just ride your whole route at an easy, relaxed pace.

It’s Bike to Work Week, so what better time to sing the praises of city cycling? Biking to work is great because it’s pollution-free and takes cars off the road—lightening traffic for everyone.

And while we know it’s hard to give up your air-conditioned privacy pod in favor of a commute that breaks a sweat, we have a feeling you’ll find it worth the effort. In fact, we’re confident that before too long, you’ll be a bona fide bike snob for life.

Why is biking to work the best? We grabbed a few pointers from Bike NYC:

Save money. Quit the gym!

In New York, it’s the bridges. In Georgia, it’s the hills. Pedal this terrain a couple times a week and you can cancel that gym membership. #ThighsofSteel

Biking is good for the planet

We’ve been saying it for years: When we reduce cars on the road, we reduce emissions and smog too. Some of you guys do it by carpooling, vanpooling or transit—and others do it by bike.

Get places fast

This one might be debatable in some neighborhoods—but hey, wouldn’t you rather be zipping downhill with the wind in your hair than sitting still at a red light? Case closed.

It's fun!

Again, we say: Downhill. There’s nothing like it.

See the city from a new perspective

With the windows up and the radio blasting, there are so many Atlanta sights, sounds and smells that you miss. Take a whiff from a bike seat and your worldview shifts.

Make new friends

You know who cyclists love? Other cyclists. Metro Atlanta’s got tons of trails and group rides that can give you a whole new crew. Find a few of them here!

Check out Bike NYC’s post for the full list. Then dig your bike out of the garage and take it for a spin in the general direction of your office!


And don’t forget, making the switch from driving alone to biking to work could earn you cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options! Learn how here.