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Posts tagged with clean commuting

“There is no downside to using transit,” says long-term Commuter Champion

We love our rock star transit commuters! Martin Chen became a Commuter Champion back in 2012 and is still taking transit like a boss.

When you take transit, you can delegate the driving to someone else and use your commute for some valuable me-time! Plus, you’re doing your part to take cars off the road and ease traffic congestion for everyone.

Read Martin’s story and consider how transit could improve your daily commute!

When did you decide to ride transit to and from work for the first time, and why?

From the very beginning when I came back to Atlanta after college.

Name the top five best things about riding transit to and from work.

Avoiding traffic, being able to do something else other than driving, predictability, mental health, and people watching.

How far do you live from the nearest train station or bus stop?

We chose our house to ensure that we were close to a MARTA rail station and on the bus route. I live less than .25 miles from a bus stop and within 3 miles of two train stations.

If you have children, has the possibility of emergencies influenced your decision to ride transit to and from work?

I have three children. All three are in a daycare that we chose because it was close to the MARTA rail line so that I would not need a car.

How often do you worry about the weather as a transit rider?

I can go door-to-door without ever being exposed to precipitation. On the elevated platforms at most stations, however, you are buffeted by the cold winds. On those extreme days, I just drive to another station that is not exposed to the elements, like Sandy Springs station.

Does riding transit really get you to and from work faster?

Not always, but I don't want to drive in traffic.

Are there five rules you wish all transit commuters should follow, if so, what are they?

No food or drinks, no music without earbuds, no occupying seats with luggage and bags during peak period, no proselytizing, and no panhandling.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in riding transit to and from work for the first time?

There is no downside to using transit.

Ready to give transit a try? You could earn cash and prizes for it! Let us help you get started and while you’re here, check out our new Live Chat for assistance!



Another great story from one of our enthusiastic bike commuters. Give biking a try and you’ll understand why our bike-to-workers are so upbeat! (Hint: It’s the endorphins.)

Laura Green works at Primal Screen, an animation studio in Old Fourth Ward with a very “animated” bike culture! With monthly bike-to-lunch days and extra bikes available at Primal Screen’s worksite in case people need an exercise break during the day, Laura’s workplace is definitely on board with our favorite 2-wheeled commute mode.

Laura is lucky enough to live close to work, making her bike commute easy. At 0.6 miles, her commute takes about four minutes to walk and two minutes to bike—making clean commuting a real no-brainer.  In fact, her commute is so short that, even though she walks or bikes every day, it took Laura ages to earn the distinction of a 25k Commuter Champion! After four whole years of biking to work, this is one milestone well earned.

Maybe your commute’s a bit longer than 0.6 miles, but is there a chance that biking could work for you? Georgia Commute Options and our partners are on hand to help with trip planning—and you could even earn extra cash for making the switch from driving alone! Take the first step today: email Info@GaCommuteOptions.com to find a better commute.



We love bringing you stories of real-life clean commuters in metro Atlanta! Check out this story from David Pedrick, who bikes to his to work every day.

David says…

I live in Adair Park. Minus a couple railroad tracks, the ride into Midtown is fantastic. I biked to high school once to illustrate how easy it would be for others to bike as well. I lived 17 miles from school while most of my classmates lived within a mile. Since then, I have been biking to work every day to show that it’s a normal way to get to work.  

I save lots of money on gasoline and parking fees. I fill my gas tank just once a month, and that includes an annual trip back to my family in Iowa. In addition to personal financial and health benefits, I really value the community that biking builds. Finally, the environmental benefits of biking to work are incredible. Driving a vehicle for short trips uses many more resources, whether it’s roads, parking spaces, energy, emissions, than biking.

Biking to work = huge savings on your commute costs. How’s that for a reason to switch?  See how much you could be saving by using our Commute Calculator. And on top of that, you can earn cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options by switching from driving alone to biking, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, transit or telework! http://gacommuteoptions.com/Save-Your-Commute/Earn-Cash.-Win-Prizes



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. 



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. 



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!



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.



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