I’m not the most technologically proficient person, but I do have an extreme dependency on one of the most helpful and amazing technologies to grace mankind: the smart phone. With the omnipotent power of the internet in our pockets, we can find both the cutest puppy video and directions to dinner. But like all powers, we must wield it responsibly and with care—like learning which bike routes are the safest in Atlanta and how much extra time you have to curl your hair in the morning.
Metro Atlantans are constantly moving, whether we’re heading to a new restaurant, riding our bikes on the BeltLine, walking to our bocce league game, or our commute to and from work. Our smart phones can help us get from here to there, with a couple puppy videos in between.
- MARTA On the Go: Ever wanted to know exactly how long you should wait for a MARTA bus or train? Thanks to the real-time tracking on this app, you can see what street a bus is currently on and whether or not it is on time. I live only a block from my MARTA bus stop so I am able to check the app when I am getting ready in the mornings and decide when I should dash out.
- Cycle Atlanta: A project between the City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech, Cycle Atlanta allows you track your bicycle routes. A little nervous about giving biking to work a try? Ride on the weekends and test which roads you like. Cycle Atlanta allows you to easily report problem areas (obstructed bike lanes, pot holes, etc.), so that the city can improve bike infrastructure.
- 511 Georgia: Oh, Atlanta traffic. You have burned me so many times. My carpool partner and I need to make it home, but was there an accident? Which exit should I take? The 511 Georgia app can show which areas are slow moving, ongoing construction and traffic accidents. The app even updates every two minutes!
- Human: I thought I would try this new app after I read about the addiction involved when health meets technology by David Sedaris. Human encourages you to try alternative modes of transportation and then tracks and maps how much of each mode you do. An easy way to reach your fitness goals would be by trying biking or walking to work.
- Google Maps: Google Maps is a great resource for helping you find MARTA connections and bike routes. Unfortunately, Google Maps doesn’t have all the transit options available yet. If you are looking to ride transit to work, contact Georgia Commute Options and we can help you learn about your options.
Now you have the ability to use the power of the smart phone for good. With these apps you can reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality through a commute alternative! Onward!
Emily Estes is an Outreach Manager with Georgia Commute Options for Dekalb County, Rockdale County and the Airport area. Emily enjoys hot sauce, yoga, and discovering new parts of Atlanta. On any given weekend, you can find her at the Freedom Farmers' Market, walking or biking the Atlanta BeltLine, or enjoying a popsicle on her porch. Emily utilizes commute alternatives in all forms of her life, from carpooling to work to carpooling to her weekly bocce matches.
Want to connect with Emily? Email her here.
Anyone can share the ride to work, but the very best carpoolers go the extra mile. How many items on this list can you check off?
1. Plan for preferences.
Have strong feelings about radio stations? Smoking? Eating? Talking? Don’t wait for something to get under your skin—talk them out before you’ve logged the first mile. Our free ridematching tool even lets you set your preferences before getting matched.
If you’re sharing driving duties, make a schedule and stick to it.
3. Watch the money.
Chipping in for expenses? Determine ahead of time who’s paying, when, and how much.
4. Keep it clean.
Riders, don’t muck up your driver’s car. Drivers, don’t make your riders step over your gym clothes and old Filet o’Fish wrappers. Make a “clean car” policy and stick to it.
5. Avoid side trips.
Don’t make your riders come along on your errands. Stick to your carpool’s purpose of getting to and from work.
6. Watch the clock.
Don’t make your carpool buddies late; honor the departure schedule. Agree on how long the rest of the carpool has to wait for you before driving on.
7. Have a backup plan.
The unexpected happens, so prepare for how to pass info along to your carpool buddies. Establish a chain of communication for when emergencies occur. And if you can't make your carpool home because of overtime or a family emergency, you have access to the free Guaranteed Ride Home program.
8. Drive safely.
You’ve got human cargo now; take care of it. Don’t speed, take your eyes off the road or text from behind the wheel (it’s illegal anyway).
9. Get covered.
Find out how your riders are covered by your car insurance. (Many insurance providers offer reduced rates for carpoolers!)
10. Clear the air.
You’re sharing a small enclosed space, so do your part to keep it pleasant. Brush those teeth. Wash those clothes. Don’t overdo it with the cologne or perfume.
11. Compromise, cooperate.
Sometimes sharing the ride means shifting your personal habits a bit—like holding off on that first cigarette until you get to work, or eating breakfast earlier instead of en route. Be sensitive to what bothers your ride mates.
Georgia Commute Options can help you find carpool partners near you — and we’ll pay you up to $100 just for trying it out! Save money, save time, save stress — all by sharing the ride. Go to GaCommuteOptions.com to start now.
Elaine Mayo is an Outreach Manager for Georgia Commute Options servicing the Cumberland and 75N areas. She knows long commutes can be hard on the mind, body, and family as she used to have a 90-minute one-way commute. As a yoga teacher and runner, she feels extremely connected to our planet and believes Georgia Commute Options efforts start with each of us as individuals. Elaine is looking to make our region a healthier place for her, her daughter, and future generations.
Looking to get in touch with Elaine? Email her here.
1. That extra hour of sleep in the AM.
Sure, you’d rather be in gridlocked traffic, trying desperately to merge over onto 285 (insert sarcasm here). But instead, you’re lying in your comfortable bed dreaming of tropical vacations and resorts for an extra 60 minutes instead. This is an experience privileged only to those who are able to work from home, and you know how valuable this experience is.
2. The art of to-do lists (and to-do lists FOR your to-do lists)
You are proactive. Your managers believe in results, and you deliver those. In order to oblige, you write tasks daily for completion. As a teleworker, you know how to get those to-do’s to-done.
3. Extra Income
As a teleworker, you spend less money on commuting daily to work because you aren’t using as much gas or putting wear and tear on your car. You have more money to save and spend exactly how YOU like. If you want to use that money you saved by working from home to backpack across Asia, you feel completely encouraged and free to do so.
4. Trouble-shooting for dummies
Sure, when you work from home you still have access to IT, but you’ve mastered the art of hard re-sets, upsets, and wiping and swiping to reboot. You may have never fancied yourself a technologically savvy person, but you have certainly taught yourself a very useful thing or to when working remotely.
5. Your Friendly IT-er
You may have taught yourself a lot, but still aren't a professional. So, you luckily have memorized Angie/Carl/Josh/Sarah’s phone number and have a good banter/dialogue established with them. You also know their exact schedule in a non-creepy, stalker-ish way…just in case your computer crashes.
6. Pets’ napping patterns
It’s true – you know these by heart. Because even though telework is NOT a substitute for child or dependent care, your furry friends share your home workplace. They may even keep you company in your home office as you work; enabling you to grow even closer to your fur babies. Also, inadvertently making you their favorite human ever.
7. Increased Productivity
Without every co-worker stopping by your desk five times a day to ask your opinion on “XYZ project,” you find yourself free to focus on tasks and work at hand. You have the ability to assess projects distraction-free and are able to knock them out more effectively and efficiently. You get things done!
8. Time Management
Because you are trusted and tasked to work remotely and independently, you know how to delegate time to certain projects. You are able to meet deadlines because you have mastered the art of balance.
9. Workplace Happiness. Seriously.
You have the ability to work without boundaries. You aren’t stressed about getting in the car at time A in order to walk in the door by time B. You aren’t stressed from awful traffic, exceeding this month’s budget for gas money, or office drama. You are free to set your own pace, to work as efficiently as you please with less interruptions, and you feel more confident and productive as a human (and worker) because of it. Cue happy dance.
Want to learn more about teleworking? Whether you're an employer or an employee, we have the resources to get you started.
Lettie Ongie is an Account Manager who works with Government Agencies to share Georgia Commute Options. She enjoys teleworking from Roswell, trying new restaurants/pretending to be a foodie, strong coffee, and everything ATL. She’s an avid blogger and social media enthusiast who spends her free time sharing embarrassing amounts of pictures of her family on all available outlets.
Want to get in touch with Lettie? Email her here.
A lineup of summer roadway development is launching soon, meaning closed lanes and crowded roads. How can you avoid the gridlock? Georgia Commute Options can help.
Every commuter sharing the ride equals one less car on the highway. And there are more options than you think:
- Compressed Work Weeks
Sample of upcoming projects:
- City of Atlanta roadway improvements and midtown water/sewer line replacement
- Highway 400 construction
- I-75 overpass construction in Cobb County
- I-285 interchange with Atlanta Road rebuild in WestSide Perimeter project
- I-285 replacement/repair in both directions between Paces Ferry and Camp Creek Parkway
- I-20 resurfacing between Douglasville and Villa Rica
- I-20 bridge/overpass work both ways between Downtown Connector and the Chattahoochee River
- SR 316 intersection improvements in Gwinnett County
- SR 347 widening in Hall County
- SR 20 widening in Gwinnett and Forsyth Counties
- SR 284/Clarks Bridge Rd pedestrian tunnel construction in Hall County (a detour of this route will be in place until July 26)
- SR 20 widening in Bartow County
East Central Georgia:
- I-20 bridge reconstruction in Newton County
West Central Georgia:
- I-75 restriping activities in Bibb, Crawford and Peach Counties
- I-75 interchange reconstruction at Jodeco Road in Henry County
- I-85 pipeline work in Coweta County
- SR 155 intersection improvements in Henry County
For real-time construction updates, call 511 — a free phone service that provides real-time travel information statewide and allows callers to report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lesley Carter is a communications specialist and the voice of Georgia Commute Options social media. As a car-free Atlantan, she knows how to get creative when getting from A to B — and she’s eager to help other commuters discover their non-driving potential. Lesley’s previous credits include ad copywriting, editing, blogging and youth outreach.