It's a fun, free competition where workplaces compete to see who can get the most people riding a bike.
Recruit coworkers to ride a bike to climb up the leaderboard and win the Challenge. People only need to cycle for 10 minutes or more! It’s easy and fun! The Atlanta Bike Challenge runs from September 28-October 19. To learn more and sign up, visit ATLBikeChallenge.com.
New transportation options are on the horizon for Atlanta commuters. This fall, the Georgia Department of Transportation will start construction on two significant Georgia Express Lanes projects which will add optional toll lanes alongside existing interstates. These new lanes will provide a choice for drivers to pay a toll to bypass congestion when they desire, offer a clear path for transit and registered vanpool operators and add an alternative to the roads that exist today.
- I-75 South Metro Express Lanes will stretch across 12 miles in Clayton and Henry counties from SR 155/McDonough Road ending at SR 38/Stockbridge Highway. The project is anticipated to open to traffic in winter 2017.
- Northwest Corridor Express Lanes will serve Cobb and Cherokee counties with almost 30 miles of express lanes being added along I-75 from Akers Mill Road to Hickory Grove Road and along I-575 from I-75 to Sixes Road. Planned completion for this project is summer 2018.
These lanes will be reversible, flowing into the city during the morning peak and away from the city during the evening rush hour. Georgia Express Lanes will rely on variable toll rates that increase during peak travel times and decrease during off-peak times. This means more reliable trip times for those using the express lanes.
And there is great news for people using transit or who are part of a registered vanpool. These vehicles will travel in the lanes for free offering their customers more consistent travel times.
During construction and implementation of the Express Lanes projects don’t forget that, Georgia Commute Options can help you find alternative transportation choices to keep you moving. Every commuter sharing the ride equals one less car on the road — and there are more options than you think. Carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit, biking, walking, and teleworking are great alternatives to riding alone.
Looking for more info on GDOT’s Georgia Express Lanes? Find regularly updated FAQs and details on the impact to your commute here. Plus, once construction begins, 511 — a free service that provides real-time travel information statewide and allows callers to report incidents 24/7 is a useful tool to help navigate our way to a less congested Atlanta.
Amanda Godo is a Communications Specialist for Georgia Commute Options. As a commuter and regular teleworker from Cobb County, she will be keenly watching the progress of the lanes project in Cobb. When not reading and writing all things transit, Amanda is a fiber artist who lives and breathes yarn. An avid crochet and knitter (yeah Ravelry!), she especially enjoys deciphering Japanese crochet motifs and adding hand painted wools to her ever-expanding yarn stash.
I consider myself to be a healthy person. I’m also an environmentally conscious person. I care about the world we live in and I try to make choices that will help reduce my pollution contribution. Unfortunately, one of the choices that I lean towards, riding MARTA, makes me very, very ill.
Hi, my name is Beth Ament, and I get car sick. I also get…MARTA sick. It’s unfortunate because I love MARTA. I like making the choice to not drive and avoiding adding to traffic congestion in Atlanta. Unfortunately choosing to ride MARTA also makes me nauseous but to be fair, so does my husband’s driving.
My car sickness started about five years ago. At first, I thought it was just my husband’s spirited driving. He tends be a very deliberate driver and also prefers to take the most winding and twisting route from point A to point B. It was not until I took the train to work from the Edgewood Station to Five Points Station, and in the 7 minute ride I almost threw up three times that I realized that I had a problem. The motion sickness, or kinetosis, was debilitating. I felt dizzy, tired and nauseous. It was not a pleasant commute.
I was not willing to give up MARTA because in my mind, the pros still outweighed the cons. Taking the train for me was more convenient, cheaper, healthier, and it supported my passion for taking responsibility for our Earth. Thus, I needed to find a solution to my motion sickness dilemma so that I would stop showing up to work with a slightly green complexion and short temper. I get grumpy when I feel sick. Part of finding the solution was to first learn about what causes car sickness.
Through my extensive research (I Googled “car sickness”), I discovered that motion sickness is actually your body sensing a discrepancy between what you see and what you feel. The conflict (sitting still in a car vs. actually moving) triggers the production of a neurotransmitter that your body thinks is a signal of hallucinogenic poisoning. Your body then tries to rid itself of this which makes you feel all of the horrible side effects.
Once I armed myself with the knowledge of why the sickness occurred, I was then able to put together a plan. Below are some tips that I’ve found through reading and personal experimentation on preventing MARTA sickness along with car, sea, or air sickness:
- Don’t talk about it. The first rule of preventing motion sickness is you do not talk about preventing motion sickness.
- Close your eyes. When you don’t see anything it prevents the conflict that occurs when your body thinks you are still but you are actually moving.
- Get fresh air. There is no scientific reason behind why this helps but trust me, it does. When I ride MARTA I make sure that I sit or stand by the door so that when it opens I get some outside air. In a car you can roll the window down.
- Face forward. It helps to sit in the direction that your vehicle is moving. If you are in a car, try to sit in the front seat. If you are riding on the train, pick a seat or stand in the direction of the movement.
- Try acupressure. Apply gentle pressure on your forearm, between the two tendons, about an inch back from your wrist joint. This should temporary delay nausea until you are out of your vehicle or at your next MARTA station.
- Breathe. With your eyes closed, take deep breaths and focus your attention on the inhale and exhale.
I’ve found that incorporating all of these tips helped me rejuvenate my relationship with MARTA. Don’t let motion sickness prevent you from all of the benefits of carpooling or riding transit. As a special bonus, it will also enhance your relationship with any spirited drivers you share the ride with.
Beth is a Project Manager for Georgia Commute Options and helps lead the Outreach Team. She is proud to have a job that she believes in and is passionate about improving the air quality in Georgia. Beth’s commute involves a combination of carpooling and teleworking. She is a certified yoga teacher and enjoys hiking with her husband, John (who loves taking MARTA to work) and her daughter, Penelope (who enjoys carpooling to daycare) and her dog, Fenwick Island (who does not commute currently but is looking for work – he needs a job)
Looking to connect with Beth? Get in touch with her here.
I think we can all agree that we look forward to summer for the easier commute, amazing weather, and vacation. My best friend flew me to Boston to take the city with her and her 15-month old son. Once I arrived at the airport, I made a pact with myself to use as many commute alternatives as possible while I was there. Since I had done no prior research of how to get around, I had to wing it. I also learned some valuable lessons along the way making it easier to use commute alternatives to and from work.
- How to get from the airport to the hotel? The hotel website said to use the Back Bay Logan Express. I wasn’t sure if this would get me close to my friend’s hotel, so what did I do? I called the hotel concierge for confirmation. You can always rely on locals to know how to get around. Like hotels, your employer’s intranet or monthly newsletter can educate you on the options available at your worksite and Georgia Commute Options reps can assist with custom trip planning.
As soon as I arrived, we hit the pavement and started walking to find lunch.
- Seems silly to advise you to wear comfortable shoes when you are using walking as a form of transportation, but someone missed the memo when they packed sandals for this trip. Luckily we had a stroller where I could have stored an extra change of shoes, but commuters going to work can also bring a backpack or extra bag to store heels or dress shoes.
With a limited amount of time on our last day, we asked the trusty concierge for a recommendation for how to spend the last two hours of my trip before heading to the airport. She immediately suggested the North End, which is easily accessed by the subway.
- No one will judge you for carrying around a map. Yes, you can try and memorize every direction and landmark, but why not use the color-coded highlighted map the concierge provides you to guarantee 100% success? In Atlanta, there are lots of apps to help you navigate the transit system and an even greater blog post by my pal, Emily.
Take the opportunity to get out and about on your last bit of summer vacation. Trying an alternative to driving alone can allow you to see our city in a brand new light. And we’re always here if you need some help.
Allie Velleca is an Account Manager for the 75N corridor including Cumberland, Marietta, and Kennesaw. When she is isn’t at work, she is teaching dance, paper crafting, or filming Snapchats of her two greyhounds, Charlie and Larry. If you are trying to find Allie at the Georgia Commute Options office, just look for the desk with Atomic Fireballs, washi tape, and a dinosaur.
You can email Allie here.