You’ve made the switch. You’ve chosen to bike to work in an effort to take a healthier, environmentally-friendly commute option. While investing in the coolest helmet, biking shoes and cycling accessories to keep your bike looking stylish may be top of your list, keep your bike in top shape with a few beginner maintenance tips.
- Keep the drivetrain clean – That annoying rattling sound you hear as someone rides past you is actually metal rubbing against metal, grime and mud. It isn’t cheap to replace the chain and sprockets, so save yourself some money by regularly cleaning and lubricating the drivetrain.
- Keep your tires inflated – One of the top three things that effects the quality of your bike ride is tire pressure. If the pressure is too low, you may end up with a flat tire, especially when hitting a curb hard. Invest in a floor pump with pressure gauge and check your tire pressure at least every two weeks.
- Keep the nuts and bolts tight, but not too tight – Lose a screw, nut or bolt on your bike and you’ll end up with annoying rattling sounds your entire commute home.
- Adjust your brakes correctly – Being able to stop when you want/need to is pretty important, but that can be easier said than done if your brakes are out of whack. Test out your brakes by pulling the brake lever. If it touches the handlebar, adjust your brake pads closer to the rim. Be sure to keep your brake pads and braking surface clear of oil and dirt to avoid premature wear.
- Learn how to fix a flat tire – With two plastic tire rims, the right “how-to” video and some patience, you can become an expert in fixing a flat tire.
Whether you’re new to biking or an experienced cyclist, we’ve got a full list of local metro Atlanta organizations you can tap into for your future bike commuting needs: https://bit.ly/1Entblm
Getting tired of the same old boring commute to work? Spice your travels up with a landscape of metro Atlanta’s hottest summer art. Taking transit, walking or biking can be a great way to explore the city’s great public art scene.
Here are a few of our favorite art spots:
- Atlanta BeltLine- Take a walk or enjoy a nice bike ride down the BeltLine while exploring the numerous art installations scattered along the 33 mile trail. Be sure not miss Kyle Brook’s Faces of Friends, located under an overpass in Old Fourth Ward- one of our favorites. In need of a bike? Relay Bike Share is a great option for exploring the BeltLine.
- Path 400- Stroll along GA 400 through the heart of Buckhead and brace yourself for a whirlwind of inspiring street art. Check out the new mural series sponsored by Kaiser Permanente that stresses the importance of mental wellness. Hands down, a must see this summer.
- Krog Street Tunnel- If you’re into graffiti, prepare to be awed by the vibrant, ever-changing walls ofthe Krog Street Tunnel. Connecting Inman Park and Cabbagetown neighborhoods, Krog Street Tunnel has become one of Atlanta’s coolest spots for street art.
- MARTA Stations- Have your camera ready for two great Instagram spots when riding MARTA. Make a pit stop at the Decatur station and be blown away by the newly restored Larry Connatser murals. But don’t stop there, hop back on the train until you reach the Ashby Station, where you can see Fahamu Pecou’s The People Could Fly. You can also head up to Midtown and see the newest installation from local artist, Andrew Catanese.
Making the change to a clean commute option is easy, and summer is the perfect time to explore all of the incredible art metro Atlanta has to offer. Find a commute option that works for you at www.GACommuteOptions.com.
All metro Atlantans know how hot summer can be in the city. As temps begin to rise, you don’t want to show up to work looking like a hot and sweaty mess. No matter what your commute looks like—walking, biking, driving or taking transit, here’s some tips for how to stay cool during your commute this summer.
- Start your day off with a warm shower- Cold showers actually cause your body temperature to rise to compensate for the cold, meaning when you get out of the shower you’ll warm up quickly.
- Stay hydrated- Drink a glass of water when you first wake up, and continue to hydrate throughout the day. If you’re feeling thirsty, that means you’re already dehydrated.
- Take your time- If you’re rushing to get ready for work, your body temp is going to rise. For these summer months try getting up a little earlier to give yourself more time to get ready and make your commute.
- Dress in light layers and bring extra clothes- This is especially important if you bike or walk to work. Wear layers to go from the hot outdoors into a frigid office.
- Invest in a small portable fan- This will come in handy if you arrive at work still hot from your commute. A small desk fan will do the trick to cool you down!
Cool down this summer and enjoy your commute. Find an option that works for you at www.GACommuteOptions.com.
Are you stuck in a rut? It’s easy to get into a habit of driving alone to and from work each day, even if there are many benefits to making a change. But, by changing your commute habits, you can gain more time and money, while also reducing stress.
Bernie Guzman is a metro Atlanta resident living in Gwinnett County and working in midtown, a 90-mile roundtrip commute from her home. Depending on traffic, Bernie would spend an hour to an hour and 45 minutes getting to or from work each day. The excessive amount of time she spent sitting in traffic in the car and the gas money it cost her led Bernie to try a new commute option. Thanks to Midtown Alliance’s Go Car-Lite program, Bernie began her new commute with transit options in September 2017.
“Rather than sitting in my car or waiting for traffic to die down, I’m more efficient with my time by using a transit option,” says Bernie.
What’s even better in Bernie’s mind? The savings.
“I was spending $150 a month just on toll roads – so that didn’t even include filling up on gas twice a week, which was an extra $35-40 each time. Now I can go an entire week without filling up.”
With the extra savings, Bernie has a standing movie and dinner date with her husband twice a month. And with less stress, Bernie enjoys getting to work unrushed and taking the time to enjoy her coffee before starting the day.
Ready for a lifestyle change with a new commute option? Let us help you find one that works for you: https://bit.ly/1MN7YF3
For some metro Atlantans, the commute to and from work is the only “me” time they get all day. Taking transit or riding in a vanpool can be a great time to decompress by listening to music or reading.
Need some book recommendations for your commute this summer? We’ve got you covered:
- Best books to read on vacation this summer from Travel + Leisure
- 25 best new books for summer 2018 from Good Housekeeping
- 22 new books to read this summer from TIME
Riding with a carpool group? Audio books can be a great option as well:
- Best Audio Books of 2018 from Paste Magazine
- Best-selling audio books from Audible
- Best audio books of all time from INSIDER
Making the change to a clean commute option is simple, and a great way to get back your “me” time – we’ll even pay you for it:
- Gimme Five – Choose a new commute option to driving alone and earn $5 a day, up to $150.
- $25 rewards – If you’re already a clean commuter, we have cash prizes for you to enjoy.
- Gas cards – If your carpool has 3 or more riders, you’re eligible to win monthly gas cards.
Pick your next read and find a commute option that works for you at www.GACommuteOptions.com.
Planning your perfect vacation this summer? You don’t need to go far—sometimes the best vacations can be found in your own backyard. Try a staycation this summer, and experience everything metro Atlanta offers. Check out our favorite fun activities and the best commute option to get you there:
- Stone Mountain Park- One of Georgia’s most popular attractions, Stone Mountain has a variety of family-friendly activities including hiking, interactive shows and mini golf. Carpool with friends and family or take MARTA there. MARTA even plans your trip to Stone Mountain for you.
- Atlanta Beltline- This 33-mile network of multi-use trails is a great place to walk, jog and bike. You can take a bus tour, walking tour, or bike tour!
- Piedmont Park- Metro Atlanta’s biggest city park, Piedmont Park has many summer attractions including bike paths, trails, playgrounds, a honey bee exhibit and an aquatic center. The park is a short walk from the Midtown MARTA station and Arts Center MARTA station. You can also rent Relay Bikes next to both stations.
- High Museum of Art- With more than 11,000 pieces of art, the High Museum is metro Atlanta’s premier art museum. Admission is free for Fulton County residents on the first Saturday of each month. The museum is across the street from the Arts Center MARTA station.
- Center for Puppetry Arts- Visit the museum, watch a show or participate in the Create-A-Puppet Workshop. It’s only a short walk from the Arts Center MARTA station.
For more information on commute options, visit http://gacommuteoptions.com/.
On June 21st, public transportation agencies nationwide will be encouraging commuters to “Dump the Pump.” Dump the Pump is an annual effort to get commuters to try public transit to avoid high gas prices. In metro Atlanta, dumping the pump saves commuters in more ways than one.
The average driver spends $2,250 annually* at the pump. Trying a transit commute puts that cash back in commuters’ pockets, and saves on the costs commuters spend for the daily wear and tear on their car.
Beyond the pump, commuters save in other ways. By taking public transit, commuters save themselves from the stress of driving in traffic. Studies show that drivers have the most stressful commutes, dealing with unexpected delays and traffic congestion. Public transit allows riders to unwind on their commute and relax.
Transit commutes also save riders time as they can multitask on the ride. Rather than focusing on the road, transit riders can answer emails, read a book, even nap on their way to and from the office. Commuters report this makes the ride seem faster as well, as they get more done on the ride.
Finally, riders help save themselves from the health risks of poor air quality. The majority of the air pollution in metro Atlanta is formed by vehicle emissions. Solo car commutes produce the most vehicle emissions per commuting person. And when these emissions “get cooked” by the heat and sunlight of our spring and summer weather, it can create levels of smog pollution that is unhealthy for some or all populations (sign up to receive smog alerts.) Taking transit reduces the amount of vehicle emission added to the air, reducing the amount of smog we breathe.
We encourage you to try transit as your commute option on June 21st to discover all the ways you save.
If you are trying transit for the first time, you can sign up to earn $5 a day for up to $150, just for taking a clean commute option. Learn more about our incentive programs here.
*This average is based on a vehicle that get 20 MPG driving 15,000 miles per year, with the average cost of gas at $3 per gallon.
Did you know the average driver spends $2,250 annually* just filling up on gas? While gas prices may fluctuate this summer, many metro Atlantans can save money by trying a more fuel-efficient commute option.
June 21st is National Dump the Pump Day, a day that encourages people to take transit instead of driving a car. Try transit as your commute option for just one day and see how the roughly $5 round-trip fare saves you not only the stress of commuting in traffic, but puts cash back in your pocket.
Whether metro Atlanta drivers choose walking, biking, carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit or trying a FlexWork arrangement, commuters can save money and spend it on festivals, game tickets and more.
Consider what you could do with the money you save from a clean commute:
Expense: With a 12-gallon tank, the average cost to fill up a vehicle’s tank per week in metro Atlanta is more than $35, whereas a 7-day MARTA pass is $23.75.
Savings: You can treat yourself to coffee and a donut on your way to work each day at one of these 20 Essential Coffee Shops in Metro Atlanta.
Expense: The average cost of car insurance for a metro Atlanta driver is $1,335 annually. You don’t need insurance to ride transit.
Savings: With the cash you save, your group of 10 friends could get tickets to Music Midtown or to a festival on this list of Best Music Festivals in Metro Atlanta.
Expense: The American Public Transportation Association reports that owning and operating a vehicle in metro Atlanta costs $9,583 annually, when factoring in maintenance, parking, insurance and fuel costs. Twelve 30-day transit passes would cost $1,140 – saving you over $8,400 per year.
Savings: With $8,400, you could purchase tickets to the Super Bowl or take a vacation to Greece.
*This average is based on a vehicle that get 20 MPG driving 15,000 miles per year, with the average cost of gas at $3 per gallon.
Cause: You’re sitting in traffic and a driver cuts in front of you.
Effect: Your blood pressure and frustration rise.
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.