Here at GoTriangle we get asked a lot of questions about transit schedules, bus etiquette, future projects and much more. Sometimes we get asked the same question, concern or compliment many times over. In our latest blog segment we talk about one of our most frequently asked question: Does GoTriangle have a lost and found? Continue reading
Last week, GoTriangle joined GoDurham, GoRaleigh and Chapel Hill Transit in donating buses and operators for transportation at Valor Games Southeast, a three-day Paralympic sports competition hosted by Bridge II Sports.
Read more about the Valor Games here and watch the video below to see the amazing service members and veterans in action!
Darcy Downs, Transportation Planner at GoTriangle, ditched her car in April for a full-time bike/bus commute. As we celebrate the last day of Bike Month, we asked Darcy about her first month as a bike commuter!
1. Describe your everyday commute:
DD: From my house in West Raleigh I bike 3/4 mile to the bus stop. If I’m going to our Raleigh office, I will take Route 300, 301 or 305 to downtown and bike the rest of the way. If I’m headed to RTP, I take Route 300 to the Regional Transit Center.
2. Why did you decide to become a bike commuter?
DD: I was only using my car to drive to work, so I decided to sell it. My husband and I are now a single-vehicle household. With only one car, we save money on maintenance, gas and other fees. Continue reading
Every day, over 200 GoTriangle employees provide high-quality transit services to a growing region. From the service attendant who makes sure the vehicles are clean, to the call center employee who helps riders plan their trips, to the operators who safely deliver passengers to their destinations and the planners working to expand services in Durham, Orange and Wake counties, each is part of GoTriangle’s success.
Today the GoTriangle Board of Trustees recognized 43 employees with service awards. General Manager Jeff Mann told the board and employees, “Congratulations to all honored for their service to GoTriangle. We are proud of our team, their hard work and their dedication to provide the best transit services in the Triangle to thousands each day.” Continue reading
Looking to buy a personal, useful or beautiful gift for someone who loves to bike? We asked some of our avid bikers to tell us about their favorite gadgets, and here are some of their picks.
1. High Energy Enterprises LED Multi-color Wheel Lights—These waterproof motion-sensitive automatic color-changing lights are designed to make your bike wheels visible, but they’re also fun to watch. “I can never have enough lights or gloves or water bottles. They are easy to lose,” says Paul Black, Senior Transportation Planner with Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). “Anything that helps with side visibility is good. I have these ‘firefly’ things that go on the tire valves that are cheap and fun. When I pass little kids on the greenway, they always comment.”
2. Safe Zone Bicycle Helmet Mirror by EVT — This large mirror has an adjustable linked arm that allows you to see what’s behind you. “It’s super nerdy, but the utility and safety win over fashion,” Black says.
3. Topeak Modula Java Cage—A few months ago, Dale McKeel, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator with the Department of Transportation for the City of Durham, bought this bottle holder. “It is nice because it can be modified to carry a wide range of bottles,” he says. “Some people also use it for speakers.”
4. Phone Holder/Digital Speedometer—Wondering how fast you’re going so you can keep up your speed when you’re doing timed rides? Having a phone holder on your handlebar, like this Topeak RideCase, allows you to view apps that track speed changes using GPS. You can also opt to buy a digital speedometer.
5. Bike Repair Stand—If you’re looking for a bigger ticket item, a bike work stand is probably a good bet as it comes in handy. A gadget like this Park Tool PCS-10 Work Stand could be on many bikers’ wish lists. “If you’re on the road, a bike stand is useful to fix or clean anything,” says Brendan Burns, a recreational cyclist. “To have your bike mounted is like putting your car on a jack. That’s why many people invest in it because it makes maintenance easier.”
6. Biking Bags— Biking bags some in all sizes and shapes, so getting the right one means doing a little research in advance to see if your biker is inclined to picnic and carry a load or to travel light. Type in “biking bag” on amazon.com and you’ll find a range of choices, from backpacks you wear to those that fit on the handlebar, crossbar or behind the saddle. A garment bag pannier is useful for those who ride to work.
7. Cycling Apparel: Biking Shorts and t-shirts—Padded biking shorts, like these Eco-daily Men’s 4D Padded Cycling Shorts, act as shock absorbers to cushion riders on long or bumpy rides. Some riders like wearing t-shirts that are made out of Coolmax fabric because they wick moisture well on hot days, unlike a regular cotton t-shirt. Opt for biking clothing that is as bright so it’s visible.
Don’t forget to check our Bike Month calendar to find fun events throughout May!
Heading to work, school or home by bus or simply planning a transit trip for fun? There’s a team of GoTriangle staff working to ensure that you get to your destination and have a nice day on the way! On National Public Transportation Career Day, meet those who work behind the scenes and behind the wheel to make rides run smoothly in the Triangle. They arrived at their jobs from different paths and places, but all share the same love—people.
In 2003, Norman Elliott was trying to adjust to early retirement after his company was bought and his 30-year career as factory worker in Moncure, N.C., ended. He was riding the bus in Apex and knowing that he “gets bored easily,” decided to ask the operator, “ ‘Are ya’ll hiring?’ ”
“Yes, man!” was the response.
Elliott applied and was offered the job, where he’s been ever since working as an “extraboard,” a position with flexible duties that change each day according to needs. While he enjoys the variety of the work, he says it’s the daily interaction with people and co-workers that makes his job feel more like a “hobby.” He especially likes directing people where they need to go, whether it’s to the social security office, train station or museum. “It’s very interesting because you meet a lot of people,” he says. “It’s just a lot of fun, but at the same time, I see the need of people and take care of their need.”
Christal DeCastro spends her day making sure bus routes run smoothly, but she says the “biggest thing” she loves about her job as GoTriangle’s operations supervisor is working with employees and riders. “You’ve got all different types of people, all different socio-economic backgrounds, so it’s nice to work with the customers as well as to work with the different operators and dispatchers and supervisors that work here.”
DeCastro came to GoTriangle eight years ago after a downturn in the construction industry left her out of work at her job in the heating and air conditioning business. She had a lot of experience as a supervisor and manager but had never worked in bus transit. “I had never thought about transportation,” she says. “I went to college for history and education on my way to law school. So this was definitely not anything that was on my radar. When I came here, I knew absolutely nothing about transportation.”
GoTriangle gave DeCastro the opportunity to earn her commercial driver’s license, and she learned the rest of what she needed to know through her manager’s mentoring and on the job. “I’d go out on routes and see what it is that operators were doing, so I’d be able to supervise and dispatch.”
Transit Service Planner
Mary Kate Morookian enjoyed traveling on trains and buses when she visited other cities and chose graduate school in New York for that reason. “It was part of the experience of being there,” she says. “I decided to focus on planning and eventually move back home to North Carolina and try to bring some of those transit ideals home to planning. I think they go hand in hand. It’s nice to be a part of something that really affects people’s daily lives. It’s not just a route. It is how people drop their kids off to school. It’s how they get to work. It’s how people go shopping.”
As a planner, Morookian says her job begins with listening to what people need, especially regarding what’s working in transit and what’s not. “You also have to balance what you’re hearing with actual data. So we analyze ridership data. [We] look at a route, [to see] if it is on time. If it is not, or if it is not getting a lot of ridership, could we move it? Could we change the schedule? So we look at ‘where does it make sense to have transit?’ or ‘how do we make transit better where it is?’ ”
Customer Service Associate
Juan Alencastro also puts meeting people at the top of his list of what he likes about his job as a customer service associate. He was working in the tax office at the United Nations in New York when he decided to take a job at GoTriangle. Fluent in Spanish and English, Alencastro helps customers plan their trips, whether they are residents or tourists.
“People call from out of town and are just visiting the Triangle, and they actually will call in and find out if we go to certain locations—if they can take a bus to sightseeing, museums, to malls,” he says. “It’s good to be able to tell them, ‘Yes, we actually do go there. You can spend a day there and come back on public transit.’ ”
Sustainable Travel Services Manager
Shelly Parker says knowing that her work as a sustainable travel services manager helps others motivates her every day. “I know that working at GoTriangle truly makes a difference,” she says. “We help employees and students across the region find carpools that save money on parking fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars over the year. If someone has a medical condition that prevents them from driving or can’t afford a car, even if it is just a temporary situation, taking the bus can be an easy answer to get around town or across the Triangle.”
Marketing manager Wendy Mallon says people in the community make doing her job easy because transit advocates are everywhere!
“Marketing transit is such a pleasure,” she says. “We never have a shortage of fans to help tell our story. People are so passionate about transit and that’s what makes marketing it so much fun! Using marketing methods as a way to reach out to folks who may not have tried transit in the past, and showing them the possibilities, is what I love most. Our community changes as transit changes—and the results are told by everyday people who are living their lives and sharing what they’ve learned. It’s my job to help them tell that story. “
Interested in joining our team as an employee or intern? Visit our careers page!
Keeping their workers from streaming into their job sites steaming from a long, frustrating commute is what many government agencies and Triangle employers are happily accomplishing with assistance from GoTriangle’s transportation demand management tools.
Through its Share the Ride NC program, GoTriangle helps employers develop smart-commute plans that allow workers to telework or carpool, vanpool, use public transit, bike or walk to work so they can reduce their reliance on single-occupancy vehicles. That helps workers save money and reduces negative environmental effects as well. Continue reading