Transit Thursday – Live Your Best Life

jump-1527153-1598x1061It’s easy to quantify the financial and health
benefits of taking public transportation, but what about just…happiness? Here at GoSmart, we are strong believers that if you take transit, you are living your best life.

Now I know that’s a big statement. And you’re thinking, “Sam, are you going to back this up?” Yes reader, I will. So read on!

Picture this, an uninterrupted period of time for you to organize, get ready for the day, catch up on work, or maybe just close your eyes and meditate? Now imagine that zen time replacing your frenzied and stressful commute via car. You can go from tense to relaxed, and drop some worries, with a new commute!

Public transit is a great time to catch up on reading, plan for the week, or just take a little time each day just for you! And it gets better, because there are life benefits, such as weight loss, increased economic opportunities, and an overall safer commute. Using transit may even make you more inventive since many bus commuters walk the first and last mile, and a study done at Stanford found walking to boost creative inspiration and output by up to 60%!

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If the creativity boost and the mental health break doesn’t get you excited, how about prizes? With GoPerks and Share the Ride NC you can track any commute that you walk, bike, bus, carpool, you name it…just not driving alone! Your tracked miles turn into points which can be redeemed for some pretty awesome prizes…hint hint, gift cards! So head over to GoSmartNC.org/GoPerks right now to learn all about it!


It’s not too late to get started on your resolutions, so head over to GoSmartNC.org/NewYear to learn more and join the conversation with #NewYearNewCommute.

Two Link Tuesday – Your New Healthy Commute

UntitledHopefully, it should come as no surprise that transit has health benefits. But if you still need some convincing, read our two links below!

  1. Riders Who Take Mass Transit Regularly May Lose Weight – NPR

    A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that commuters who used the Charlotte light rails for a year lost around 6.45 pounds. Woah!  When you factor in the walk to and from the bus stop, it often adds up to more than a mile. That mile a day lends itself to substantial weight loss. Well well, I’m quite convinced!
  2. 6 Health Benefits of Public Transportation TransLoc

    Another study done found that public transit users get three times more physical activity a day than those who drive alone. Being active helps combat many serious ailments, such as diabetes, strokes, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and depression. Healthy mind, healthy heart, and healthy body can all be yours with a new healthy commute!

It’s not too late to get started on your resolutions, so head over to GoSmartNC.org/NewYear to learn more and don’t forget to track your commute! Join the conversation: #NewYearNewCommute.

Change your commute, change your life?

We are 2+ weeks into 2016. How are your resolutions going?

According to Time.com, the thing that most people want to do in this new year is “enjoy life to the fullest.” Other popular resolutions include living a healthier lifestyle, losing weight, reducing debt, saving money, and spending more time with family and friends.

Of the people surveyed, a little more than half are focusing on just one resolution, and that’s pretty smart. Trying to do too much at one time sets you up for failure. We support moderation, but what if you could make one change that can impact your life, your wallet, your waistline, and help others at the same time? Sounds pretty good, right? So let’s talk about how you get to work.

For the next few weeks we’re going to focus our attention on the benefits of not driving alone. Taking the bus, sharing your ride in a carpool or vanpool, walking, or biking can help you get more physical activity, save you some cash, and help you do more in your day, plus, you can win some actual swag when you use our GoPerks program to track your trips.

Now, if you’re already a GoSmart convert, THANK YOU, YOU ARE MY HERO. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is tell a friend or two or ten about how you get to work. Also, make sure you’re tracking those commutes.

If you drive alone and think there’s no way you can make a change, do me a favor, please. Check out gosmartnc.org/newyear to see just how rewarding going smart can be. If you need help figuring out your options, holler at us in the comments or online.

I’ll be back for Two Link Tuesday, so be on the lookout for more #NewYearNewCommute information. Have a great weekend! Oh, and I almost forgot– Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Stay up late with the BCC this NYE.

bcc-nyeAs a Durmite, I have to give props to Raleigh’s spirit of celebration. In addition to their holiday parade, Raleigh’s First Night® is a super big deal. Meanwhile, here in the Bull City, we haven’t even had a downtown Christmas parade since 2008 (though that might be changing). We also don’t drop a giant acorn from the sky.

Though that’s hard to compete with, I contend that we have a lot to offer. So, in honor of the Bull City Connector’s Inaugural NYE Service, I present to you, in no particular order, the BCC Best Bets by Bus – New Year’s Eve Edition:

Cabaret Arcana: A New Year’s Eve Celebration
One of downtown’s newest hangouts, Arcana invites revelers to drop by this informal cabaret from 5pm-2am.
Arcana – 31 W Main St, Back Entrance Durham, NC 27701
Free

Cheap Date: A Queer NYE Dance party
Pinhook is having a dance party and everyone’s invited. Doors open at 9, the party starts at 10, and there’ll be a champagne toast at midnight. 21 and over only.
Pinhook –  117 W. Main St. Durham, NC 27701
$8

New Year’s Eve at The Durham
Celebrate 2016 in mid-century style. Start in the lobby with the tasting menu and end up on the roof with blankets and a movie.
The Durham –  315 E Chapel Hill St. Durham, NC 27701
$65 – Reservations available

Bull City Burger and Brewery Family Friendly New Year’s Eve BCCBB closes at 3pm on on Thursday and will reopen at 6pm for a special dinner. Get stuffed at this decidedly non-stuffy event where “proper attire is required – no ties, jackets, tuxedos or formal gowns”.
Reservations Required
BCBB – 107 East Parrish St, Durham NC 27701
Adults $38 plus tip, plus tax ($12 for beer pairing with each course)
Children (under 12 years) $12 plus tip, plus tax

16 Candles NYE Party
Slap on a sideways pony tail and a Members Only jacket and practice your 80s dance moves. There’s a DJ and a champagne toast at midnight.
Bull McCabe’s – 427 W Main St, Durham NC 27701
Free cover

Timeless: A NYE Event
The Art of Cool does it again with their Durham NYE bash. 
220 Foster St, Durham NC 27701
$50-$70, tickets required

Alivia’s
From Twitter: @BullCityConnect we absolutely are, we’ll have a DJ, midnight toast and other specials to ring in 2016! #NYE2016
900 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701


 

The Bull City Connector is a fare-free bus route that runs from Duke to Golden Belt. On Thursday, December 31, 2015 the BCC will run from 6:30am until 2am on Friday, January 1, 2016, with service every 17 minutes. You can use Transloc to see where the bus is in real-time. Click here and look for the BCC under the GoDurham routes.

Two Link Tuesday – Fortify & Holiday Reminders

 

I’m making up for not posting on Friday by dedicating this Two Link Tuesday to Fortify! -Brandi

  1. Fortify Friday, on Tuesday
    IT’S FINALLY HERE – no, not Star Wars – the final long-term pattern for the lanes.  Last Thursday the night crew completed the final lane shift for eastbound lanes near the U.S. 1/64 interchange, putting the entire work zone into its long-term traffic pattern of three lanes in each direction – with the right shoulder being used as a travel lane. Expect this setup to continue into Spring 2016.

    This week, crews plan to relocate a highway light pole in the median at the I-440 East/US 1/64 interchange. The work will require the closure of all three westbound lanes in the area on Thursday night. Traffic will be diverted to the collector lane that drivers use to access I-440 East and U.S. 1/64 South. It runs parallel to I-40 West so through traffic will rejoin the highway just past the interchange.

    Some parts of the rebuild project will also be resurfaced to smooth out rough spots and prepare the roadway for potential winter precipitation that can lead to potholes and more damage. The inside and middle lanes of I-40 East between Lake Wheeler Road and Hammond Road were scheduled for last weekend.  This week the work will shift to I-40 West between Rock Quarry and Lake Wheeler roads.

    Check here for the full press release, plus tweets, traffic information, and more: http://www.ncdot.gov/fortifync/

  2. Happy Holidays… what’s open?
    The end of the year is upon us, so naturally, the holidays will impact bus service and the Fortify project.  For Fortify, additional lane closures will be suspended Dec. 18-Dec. 29 and Dec. 31-Jan. 5. Work will continue day and night in the blocked-off section of I-40 where the inside lanes are being rebuilt. All  work on the project will be halted Dec. 24 to Dec. 27.

    For transit, how great would it be if you could go one place and see all the alerts? SO GREAT, right? Well, I’m pleased to announce, I can make that happen. The Holiday schedules for GoDurham, GoRaleigh, GoTriangle, C-Tran, and Chapel Hill Transit are available here:
    https://gotransitnc.org/service-alerts . Isn’t that convenient?

    Thanks for riding with us and we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

 

 

Fortify Friday – Look for More Lane Shifts in I-40 Fortify Work Zone

This just in from NCDOT! Remember, if you deal with the Fortify construction traffic, check out My40Ride.com to see if you can find a better way to get around.


 

RALEIGH – With a break in the recent rain, contractor crews might soon have final lane shifts in place on the I-40 section of the Fortify project and could begin working to preserve the crumbling roadway from further damage caused by winter weather.

  • An additional lane shift could be in place as early as this weekend on westbound I-40 West – from the Hammond Road exit to the off ramp for South Saunders Street – with the shoulder being used as a regular travel lane.
  • A lane shift on the U.S. 1/64 North ramp onto I-40 East is planned for the middle of next week.
  • A lane shift for I-40 West between the South Saunders off- and on- ramps will also take place next week. The following night, the shift will be extended to the Lake Wheeler Road interchange.

Once the shifts are in place, crews will put up barrier walls in those areas to complete the process.

Early next week, crews also plan to start sealing rough spots and cracks on the inside two lanes in both directions between Lake Wheeler Road and the I-440 split in southeast Raleigh.

The work will help prevent precipitation from getting into the roadway through the winter months, which could help prevent further potholes and damage to the road surface.

Crews will also put down new travel lane markings and reflective markers in those improved areas.

With the upcoming holidays, no additional lane closures can take place for most of the time from Dec. 18 until Jan. 3. There will be work, however, in the blocked-off section of I-40 where the inside lanes are being rebuilt.

All construction will be halted for a few days around Christmas.

 

 

Greenlights: November 2015

 

 

GreenLights is a monthly roundup of transit news you can use to make your commute work for you. If you know a commuter or business that should be featured, please email us at info@gotriangle.org.


 

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The Wake County Transit Plan will be released to the public for the first time on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Interested residents should come to an open house on Dec. 8 from 4–8 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center, located at 500 S. Salisbury St. in downtown Raleigh, to learn more about the plan.

There is no formal presentation planned; drop by any time during the event to ask questions of staff and gain a better understanding of the benefits the plan offers.

The plan promises to change the face of public transportation in Wake County and the Triangle Region. Highlights of the plan will include:

  • Significantly Expanded Bus Service: With an improved and expanded bus system, buses will run more frequently over a longer period and cover a wider area.
  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): These buses will provide riders with reliable, fast transportation using a mix of technology, dedicated lanes, and other tools and techniques to move around congestion and stay on schedule.
  • Commuter Rail Transit (CRT): This method offers a way to use existing rail corridors to create train connections around the community and region.

Employer Spotlight

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Growth, it is a great problem to have as an employer in the Triangle. It usually means that you are doing something right, especially if you’re in the banking business. So, when the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU)* decided to grow their footprint in downtown Raleigh with the beautiful headquarters on South Salisbury Street, it came with a few concerns that their other Triangle locations did not have to consider – PARKING constraints. There simply was not enough parking for the number of employees being relocated to the worksite.

SECU began their GoPass program in November 2014 to provide free transit access to their employees as a part of their overall Commuter Benefits program and solution to parking demands.

Amber Stroupe, SECU Human Resources Specialist says, “SECU has provided all employees with free GoPasses to ensure that every employee who made the move to the downtown location has the option of riding the bus. We have grown close and worked with GoTriangle and GoRaleigh representatives who have provided us with all the latest information on updated bus routes, activities featured in the downtown area, carpooling options, etc. It has been a great experience, made easier by our employer, SECU, in providing us with the means and knowledge.”

One of their great success stories and Golden Modes nominee is SECU employee, Tammy Rhodes. “She was one of the first employees to use the GoPass for her daily commute from Zebulon. She has spread the word to other employees about how great it is to use the bus to commute to work and has encouraged other employees to try it and they have.” says Bob Woodson, SVP of Payroll/Benefits.

Consider offering GoPass as a Commuter Benefit to your employees and contact your GoSmart Employer Outreach Coordinator for details about the program. All consulting services, materials and programming are free.

Whether your organization wants to reduce parking demand, equalize benefits received by your employees regardless of how they get to work, have a robust sustainability plan, or achieve another goal, a Commuter Benefits Plan is an organized, professional approach to being effective.

*SECU received two Honorable Mentions at this year’s Golden Mode ceremony for Employer Commute Champion and Employer Commute Honors.


Golden Modes 2015

In case you missed it, the 2015 Golden Modes was an awesome display of commitment to reducing single occupancy vehicle travel in the Triangle from employees, employers and organizations around the region.

Check out the social media coverage and review the videos shown during the ceremony here:

http://www.gosmartnc.org/awards-and-recognition
https://www.youtube.com/user/GoTriangle/videos
https://twitter.com/gosmartnc


Commuter Spotlight: Tom Ed

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Tom’s Xooter helps him solve the “first/last mile” problem of bus commuting.

Tom Ed uses the bus combined with a “Xooter” scooter (for the last mile+) to travel just about everywhere. He’s a fiddler too, so he often has his violin strapped to his back.

 

When he first started riding a bike, he was out of shape and struggled to get up hills. He trained up to it by walking his bike up hills he couldn’t ride. Now, he can go anywhere! Because he gets exercise during his daily commute, he doesn’t need a gym to maintain his high level of fitness.

Tom Ed is an ambassador for transit and mobility options — he’s always willing to help someone on the bus or to show off his Xooter, which starts conversations and helps people see how a little creativity can go a long way toward making sustainable travel possible. He’s friendly, approachable, and helpful.

Tom Ed commutes in all sorts of conditions and all over the Triangle by bus and scooter. He says he uses the scooter a lot less nowadays with recent improvements to GoTriangle bus service. Even so, he’s one of the most consistent and dedicated transit users around.


 

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Need some help navigating the transit system in the Triangle?

Give the GoTransit Regional Information Center a call at 919 485-RIDE (7433) to speak to an actual person who can help. Our agents can assist with planning your bus trip, help you locate free park and ride lots, and answer any other question you might have about taking the bus to work. The center is staffed 7 days a week, 364 days a year (closed December 25).


 

GoPerks is proudly sponsored by:

Echelon Experiences Raleigh

Eschelon Experiences: Raleigh

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GlaxoSmithKline

The latest GoPerks winners are…..

First Last Initial Prize Company
Michael A $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! Pfizer, Inc.
Derrick C $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! Pfizer, Inc.
Lindis C 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas UNC Hospitals
Kathy C 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas City of Raleigh
Beth C $10 Sweet Frog Chapel Hill NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Peter D $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! City of Raleigh
Tim F 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas Pfizer, Inc.
John G 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas NCSECU
Patti H 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas Duke University
Lindale H $10 Dickey’s Barbecue Pit City of Raleigh
Arne J $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! SAS Institute
Elizabeth K $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! UNC at Chapel Hill
Robert L $25 Johnny Carino’s Gift Card NC State University
Krista L $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! UNC at Chapel Hill
Brenton L $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! Red Hat
Brian L 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas Pfizer, Inc.
Barbara M 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine
David M $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! Duke University
Michael M $50 Medlin Davis Cleaners UNC Student Stores
Erin M $10 Cafe Carolina and Bakery – Cameron Village NC State University
Dustin N $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! UNC at Chapel Hill
Dustin N 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas UNC at Chapel Hill
Denise O 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas NC State University
Douglas P $10 Brixx – Cameron Village State Employees’ Credit Union
Candace R $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! City of Durham
Patricia S $10 Shop Downtown Raleigh Gift Cards UNC Hospitals
Shane S $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! Town of Chapel Hill
Amber S $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! City of Raleigh
Amber S $25 North Hills Gift Card City of Raleigh
Heather T $10 Sweet Frog Chapel Hill UNC at Chapel Hill
Sara T 30 Minutes Free – Sky Zone – $10 Value UNC at Chapel Hill
Chris U 2 Complimentary Passes – Regal Cinemas NC Department of Commerce
Alecia W $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! City of Raleigh
Julian X $28 Value – IMAX at Marbles – SPECIAL – 2 Tickets Duke University Program on Global Health and Technology Access
Nathan Y $15 Great Outdoor Provision Company Gift Card – SPECIAL OFFER! RTI International