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When you share a ride with friends or co-workers, you create time to socialize and network, but you also emit less air pollution into environment, giving the ride to work a lot more meaning. For those who carpool or vanpool, getting real-time traffic information and construction alerts can save valuable time on the road.

If you’re a metro Atlanta carpooler or vanpooler, resources are available to you to help you quickly and safely navigate your commute.

  • Hear latest traffic conditions by phone. Georgia 511 is a free phone service from the Georgia Department of Transportation that provides real-time traffic and travel information. Store the 5-1-1 number in the contacts folder of your mobile phone and use it before you hit the road.

 

  • See traffic conditions instantly online. NaviGAtor is a website maintained by Georgia DOT that offers the latest information on traffic conditions, lane closures and more. You can view the NaviGAtor's maps, traffic cameras, trip times and more, and even set up an e-mail Traffic Alert to receive e-mail notification of incidents in your area. Bookmark www.511ga.org on your Internet browser. Or download the “NaviGAtor To Go” app for your web-enabled mobile phone at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/511/id388293125?mt=8.

 

  • Get roadside assistance in Atlanta from a HERO Unit. HEROs (Highway Emergency Response Operators) are part of the Georgia Department of Transportation's Incident Management program, responding quickly to incidents in metro Atlanta and clearing the roads so normal traffic flow can be restored. If you're ever involved in a traffic incident in metro Atlanta, dial 511 to request HERO assistance.

 

  • Stay up to date on upcoming construction projects. The Georgia Department of Transportation posts alerts about road closures and lane shifts that may impact traffic for several construction projects on their website. Check the press room for announcements and information on projects scheduled for the metro Atlanta area.

If your business is challenged with construction projects, contact us for free assistance in setting up commuter programs for your employees.

 

 



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.



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:

Riding with a carpool group? Audio books can be a great option as well:

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:

For more information on commute options, 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
  • Equifax
  • 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.



You know spring is here when the Atlanta Braves host their home opener. If you’re headed to SunTrust Park March 29th, consider taking advantage of transit to avoid traffic and parking costs. SunTrust Park has three commute options – CobbLinc, MARTA or the new Cumberland Circulator - designed to get Braves fans to the game quickly.

· CobbLinc – Cobb County’s CobbLinc bus departs from the Arts Center MARTA station and travels near SunTrust Park. Just exit the bus at Cobb Parkway and Windy Ridge Road, and walk 10 minutes up Windy Ridge Parkway to the stadium.

· MARTA – Three MARTA stations, Arts Center, Medical Center and Dunwoody, are all about a 15-minute car ride away. A MARTA bus departs from the Midtown MARTA station and travels to the Cumberland Mall Transfer center. From there, connect with the new Cumberland Circulator shuttle to reach the stadium.

· Cumberland Circulator – CobbLinc runs three routes – blue, green and red – that run within the Cumberland area.

Purchase your game tickets, wear your Braves jersey and hop on a transit option to get to the game before the first pitch.

To find other commute options in your area, visit www.GAcommuteoptions.com.



March Madness is underway. And with 64 basketball teams competing for the NCAA Championship, sports fans will be traveling across the country to cheer for their favorite teams. Charlotte and Nashville are slated to host games for rounds one and two and then the south regional final games will take place. As fans travel through Atlanta to get to these cities, there’s a big chance that traffic congestion will increase as a result.

If you’re heading to either south regional final game, consider taking MARTA to one of the stations near Phillips Arena. But if you’re commuting to work around metro Atlanta, especially on the days of the south regional final games (March 22ndand March 24th), multiple transit options around the city can still help you avoid traffic during your commute. Taking transit is a great way to save money for last-minute game tickets.

For those who want to avoid traffic completely on game-day but still get work accomplished, consider a flexible working arrangement through Georgia Commute Options FlexWork program:

  • Compressed work week or Flex time - If you can’t change how you get to work, try changing when you get to work. Adjusting the time you come in and leave the office can dramatically improve your commute. By driving during off-peak times, you can avoid sitting in traffic and get to work a lot faster.
  • Telework - Want to skip traffic entirely? Ask your employer about a telework arrangement, even its temporary. Telework is most effective as a part of a permanent program, but situational telework can help employers manage disruptions to improve business continuity. Employers who dip their toes in the telework waters might find that their employees are happier and more productive. Per the 2017 Flex Jobs and Global Workplace Analytics study, 77% of those who reported working remotely at least a few times per month had greater productivity while working offsite.  

Avoid the madness. Try a new commute option instead. To find an option that works for you, visit http://bit.ly/2pIvOO9.



Easier commutes. More exercise. Time with friends. Metro Atlantans had a range of reasons for participating in this year’s Biketober: 2017 Atlanta Bike Challenge. For Decatur resident, Dave Mathews, it was to raise awareness for safer roads in honor of fallen bikers.

For more than two years, Dave has participated in the annual bike challenge with colleagues who support Bike Friendly Atlanta (BFA), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for cyclists struck and killed by a vehicle. “Ghost bikes” are memorials created by the organization to represent fallen cyclists.

The 2017 Atlanta Bike Challenge began Oct. 1 and after a few days, Dave’s team was at capacity, so a second team formed. Ranging from professional bikers to novice athletes, the team members woke up each workday of October to ride and log their miles throughout the metro area.

“Our organization travels throughout the Southeast in hopes of promoting our cause and creating a safer environment for all cyclists,” said Dave. “We’re always open to new challenges and welcomed the opportunity to participate again in this year’s Atlanta Bike Challenge.”

As a professional tennis player, Dave uses biking as cross-training. And along with other colleagues on his team, Dave will bike about 4 to 5 days a week. While the activity levels range, Dave insists that no interested rider is left behind regardless of skill level.

“Some members of the team ride about 1,300 to 1,400 miles a month as part of their commute,” said Dave. “But whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or a casual rider, speed won’t dampen my enthusiasm to bike each morning.

Whether you choose to bike for exercise or time with friends, consider biking as a clean commute option to help reduce traffic while making it a bit easier for everyone to breathe!

Visit www.GAcommuteoptions.com for more information and check out www.ATLbikechallenge.com to keep up with the latest team rankings.

      



Whether or not you are participating in the Atlanta Bike Challenge with the explicit goal of getting healthier, here are some helpful tips to keep you moving through Biketober!

  • Drink lots of cool water. When cycling, drink before you get thirsty. Sip on the water and electrolyte drinks, even if it’s not hot outside on those hot days.
  • Take breaks. This sounds like common sense, but it is important.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Hydrate and replenish after each and every bike ride.
  • Check the weather: Determine what type of gear and clothing you should pack for your ride. Remember that bike lights will always make you more visible in the rain
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Ditch the headphones. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when riding. Listening to headphones will block out ambient traffic noise. Consider a small portable stereo if you want to listen to music.

Pack a Snack

  1. Powered by the Peel: Bananas are snacks ready to roll; they are famous for their potassium and contain carbohydrates that may enhance your muscles' abilities to use the fuel efficiently.
  2. Peanut Butter Jelly Time: PB&J's are perfect pocket fuel. The bread and jam (or honey) provide carbohydrates and the peanut butter offers protein and fats. Allergic to peanuts? Try almond butter if you can tolerate tree nuts or sunflower butter if not. Swap a tortilla for bread to prevent having a squashed sandwich. Cut your sandwich into quarters and have one piece at 15- to 20-minute increments.
  3. Trail Mix: Dried fruits and nuts are a concentrated source of carbohydrates. Dried apricots, prunes and raisins have the added benefit of potassium. Mix your favorite fruits with nuts and seeds to keep your body supplied with energy, vitamin E and magnesium. If you have a heavy sweat rate, you may want to choose salted nuts and seeds.
  4. Water Works: In general, if you're planning to bike for an hour or less, water is the best way to stay hydrated and to prevent drinking the calories you just burned. If you're going to be rolling for more than an hour, have a heavy sweat rate or the weather is exceptionally hot, consider having two bottles with you — one for water and one for a sports drink. You may purchase a sports drink for the sake of convenience, but making your own with black or green iced tea, a splash of juice, some sugar and a pinch of salt is easy and provides an added antioxidant boost. Take sips of fluid often to maintain hydration and alternate between the two drinks if packing both.

Track your progress at ATLBikeChallenge.com and make sure to celebrate the strides your making.



To make the Atlanta Bike Challenge: Biketober! A fun experience, here are just a few things to keep in mind as you plan your rides.

Ride with confidence - Don't worry about holding up other traffic. Being more visible and taking a primary position is the best way to stay safe. Only let people pass when you feel safe (the law is on your side!)

Grab a bike buddy – One thing you can do that is guaranteed to make your bike commute a better experience is to find someone to share it with you! Even if you just meet up halfway, having someone else to share the joys and experiences of the road with can make bike commuting feel like you’re on an adventure and not headed to/from work!

Ride safely

  • Stopping – make sure you can stop quickly and safely if you need to.
  • Turning – practice turning quickly and confidently to avoid objects or make a turn while riding at speed.
  • Observation – practice looking over your shoulder and to your right and left while riding.
  • Riding with one hand – lift one hand at a time off the handlebars and repeat until you can control your bike with either hand (this is so you can learn to signal turns with your hands)

Dress normally - If your ride is less than 30 minutes (~4 miles), chances are you can just ride in your normal work clothes. Unless you want to ride fast, you can just cruise into work on your bike - no sweat! This will save you time and hassle, and if you find yourself a bit sweaty you might be amazed how simple it is to clean up with a few handy wipes.

Pro tip: roll rather than fold your work clothes to avoid creases.

Find the best route - Don't just take the route you would if you were in a car; try looking for routes through quiet neighborhood streets or other parallel/alternatives routes where traffic is naturally slower and safer. Adding a little bit of distance in exchange for a more comfortable ride is almost always worth it!

Keep your cool - Learn to keep calm and not to react to angry or impatient drivers-keeping a cool head will maximize your safety and make the commute less stressful and in the end a much better experience.

Check your Progress at ATLBikeChallenge.com.



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