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

View all posts

Posts tagged with clean commute

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!

POKEMON GO MEETUP!

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!



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.



Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?

We’ve been saying it for years, folks: you could be saving tons of money if you switched from driving alone to a commute alternative.  And now, to back us up, the folks at WiseBread have done some commute math:

Let's assume you're an average person driving that average 38 miles to and from work each day. And let's also assume you're paying an average amount for gas, which is currently about $2 per gallon. If you drive a car that gets 30 miles per gallon, you're spending about $2.50 a day on gas, or about $12.50 a week. Assuming you may take a couple weeks off throughout the year from driving, this adds up to $625 annually.

And if you think $625 isn’t that impressive, click through to see how WiseBread claims you could turn it into $281,000 over a lifetime of commuting. That number’s nothing to sneeze at.

Clean commuting: It’s where the big bucks are!

 

Transportation, commute options, transit

  How 10 U.S. Cities Use Public Transit

More than a fifth of U.S. city-dwellers use public transit on a regular basis, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

Huge shocker: New York City boasts the most transit riders. Some of the other rankings, however, are surprising—like Los Angeles coming in second place

Click through to learn more about the study—and don’t forget, taking transit here in metro Atlanta can earn you cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options. Learn how you can get up to $150 when you switch to transit from driving alone.

 

Five myths about bicycling

Now that we’re enjoying prime cycling weather (especially since the pollen is on its way out), people are pedaling their hearts out. But according to the News & Observer, there are still a lot of misconceptions about getting around on two wheels—related to everything from helmet use to average cyclist income.

Click through for a list of 5 Bike Myths out there, and let us know if you agree!

If you’re a regular bike commuter, you could win $50 in our Earth Week #cleangreencommute social media challenge. Learn more here



Let This Hilarious New Zealand Campaign Convince You Not to Text & Drive

Texting and driving, tweeting and driving, snapchatting and driving—they’re all dangerous, and we know it. Distracted driving causes so many accidents that our own Georgia Department of Transportation has launched its own #ArriveAliveGA campaign to promote phone-free driving, and other cities are doing the same.

That’s how we discovered New Zealand’s outstanding contribution to the effort. (Thing we love: it features carpoolers!) Take a look at the video above, and hand your phone to a passenger while behind the wheel.

(Carpooling to work would give you more passengers to rely on. And we’ll pay you to try it out! Learn more here.)

National Walking Day is April 6! 

Walking is a solid way to get from Point A to Point B. It gets you moving, it’s pollution-free, and it gives you a chance to enjoy Atlanta’s amazing (and possibly short-lived) spring weather. We’d love it if you incorporated it into your daily commute—but if you need a smaller commitment, how about just giving us a day?

National Walking Day is this Wednesday, April 6! Sponsored by the American Heart Association, it’s designed to get us more active via a few hundred extra steps. Click through to learn more about the event, and consider walking to work sometime. We’ve got resources to get you started here.

History of Transportation in GA

Atlanta transportation nerds, rejoice: The Georgia Archives in Jonesboro is opening a History of Transportation in Georgia exhibition starting on April 23. Take a look back through old streetcar systems, travel and trade, and the politics of road building. Free and open to the public! Click through for details.



   

Driving Alone is Hurting Georgians’ Health

We’ve all read articles about how long commutes are bad news for health. But those studies have never been Georgia-specific…until now. A recent study ranked Georgia’s healthiest (and unhealthiest) counties, and as it turns out, sitting alone in the car for an hour each day has a pretty disastrous effect on your well-being. Yikes.

In a fascinating turn, it’s not just the sitting that’s making us unhealthy—it’s the “alone” part of “drive alone commute.” Interacting with people is a significant health-improver, and the solo drive to work isn’t cutting it.

Lucky for metro Atlanta, it’s easy to add some human contact to your commute. Carpooling and vanpooling are just what the doctor ordered! Find a ridematch here.

Rockdale Teens Have Ideas for a Better Atlanta

Rockdale County’s awesome crop of high schoolers jumped in to the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) youth leadership program and presented ideas for improving metro Atlanta to the ARC board last week. Impressive.

Think your child’s school would be interested in showing kids the value of a clean commute? Get to know our Georgia Commute Schools program!

Don’t Block Intersections — Ever.

Ever misjudged the amount of time you had before a light changed, pulled forward with your line of cars, and suddenly found yourself blocking an intersection at rush hour?

Yeah, you don’t want to be that guy.

And in fact, it’s illegal to be that guy. Georgia law says you can be fined up to $500 for entering an intersection without enough space to clear it.

Check out this new campaign just launched in the north Perimeter area to get the word out about block-free intersections

(Also, remember that one solution to blocked intersections is fewer cars on the road! Learn how to start a carpool or vanpool here.)



One of my favorite things about biking for transportation is being able to interact with the people and places around me while I’m on the move. You can’t really do that as easily when you travel by car. I like arriving at intersections and being able to exchange a “good morning” with fellow bikers without even raising my voice. I like calling out to people I know walking down the sidewalk as I bike past them on the street.

One interaction I routinely relish is biking through my neighborhood and having encouraging words called down to me from a certain neighbor sitting on his porch, watching the activities on the street below. This particular neighbor is a big supporter of active transportation. Anybody riding a bike or jogging past his house can tell by the shouts of “Way to travel! Keep it up!” that issue from his front porch as you pass by.

Sometimes, I even have delightful verbal interactions with people who are inside cars. On one occasion, a driver stopped at an intersection beside my wife and me, rolled down his window, and told us how great it was that we were biking around town and thanked us for wearing reflective clothing to help him see us better. On another occasion, a driver rolled down her window while passing me to shout out a complement for the “great hand signal!” I had used to signal a turn. That was a moment of pride. I love effective hand signals.

There are many other great stories from the last several years of my life biking around Atlanta, and I am looking forward to more. Bicycling is such a joyful way to travel, and I am encouraged to see more and more people embracing it around Atlanta.

Jonathan lives in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta with his wife Katelyn. Jonathan bikes for transportation, for fun, and often times both at once. Jonathan is a transportation engineer and a nerd.



My commute is roughly 9 miles both ways. Now, I don't commute every day — work and family commitments prevent it — however, I do average about 3 - 4 times a week. I have also been known to cycle in the rain and, yes, a couple of times in the snow. Some of my more memorable rides have been 13 times participant of Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), Bicycle Across Magnificent Alabama (BAMA), and Bike Florida. The hardest ones were in the recent Alabama Back Roads Series, which I completed to celebrate my 60th Birthday, where I had this insane idea of doing six 100-mile bike rides in six months. I did it, but I had to agree with my wife that it was an insane idea, because Alabama has some hills. This is not to say that Georgia has no hills, as I have attempted to do the "6 Gap Century 3 Gap Fifty" out of Dahlonega three times and have been only able to complete the 3 Gap portion — and it's a misnomer. It's not 50 miles; I have clocked it and it's 61 miles.

We in Columbus have a great opportunity to cycle with the successful completion of our "Rails to Trail" project, the 11-mile "Fall Line Trace," which is exactly one mile from my house and runs beside the University on its way to downtown Columbus. It’s extremely convenient for me and my commute. We are also fortunate for our River Walk, which is another Multiuse trail that runs from our downtown location and parallels the Chattahoochee River all the way to Ft. Benning for a distance of 10 plus miles. This is my usual weekend ride; it is a very pleasant, and relaxing mostly shady ride. You will come across runners, walkers, Skate Boarders, couples, whole families utilizing the trace, and the River Walk at all hours during the day. This is my favorite ride as I can be as aggressive or as relaxed as I want depending on mood and motivation.

I don't want to come across as a professional "Roadie;” I ride mostly for my heath and as a way to maintain my weight. You see, I had my knee replaced courtesy of Uncle Sam, and the only exercises that I can safely do is bike or swim. I swim like a rock straight to the bottom. Another reason why I clean commute is because no matter how aggravated I get with the family, by the time I get to work I am calm cool and collected. The same goes for my commute home, because no matter how stressed I get at work by the time I am home all the stress is gone.

Edwin is a retired Army Veteran. After serving 20+ years, he started working for then-Columbus State College, now University. He has been working at the University for over 21 years, and has been an avid bike commuter for just about as long.



I am a new faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College and a bicycling fan. However, my commute to GGC is simply too long to be able to cycle. Even combined with public transportation options, it becomes too difficult and unreliable. However, since I had an extra bike at home, I brought it to the campus and keep it in my office. I use that bike to commute quickly between my rural office and classroom buildings for teaching my classes and attending meetings.

This is the funny part of the story. Students are really not used to seeing a professor on a bike on campus. I also get funny looks from other faculty members. However, I'm very happy to be cycling; it saves me time and I get a quick exercise, too. One day I forgot to bring my bike lock, so I had to take my bike inside my classroom. When the students saw my bike, they made a big noise and started making funny comments. Some of them were asking me whether I even had a car. They had the impression I am too poor to purchase a car. But, I hope by seeing me they now have a better view of the use of bicycles.

 Since then my students often tease me when they see my bike on campus somewhere. I don't mind and I'm happy that I'm a bike ambassador on the GGC campus.



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.



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.



help desk software