Biker Profile: Darcy Downs

IMG_6109Darcy 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

Think Transit – C-Tran Spotlight

As a part of Think Transit, we’re excited to take some time to draw attention to the incredible operators and riders who make our work so special. Today’s spotlights are from C-Tran.

C-Tran Operator Spotlights

Annette Whitley

Annette Whitley

Since September 2001, Annette has been a tremendous asset for C-Tran. Notably, she received a Katherine McClary award in 2014. She maintains a safety-focused mindset, has an excellent driving record, and is always eager and willing to help citizens or fellow workers. She is constantly recognized by her fellow workers, supervisors, and customers as an outstanding fixed route driver. She always has a smile, maintains a positive attitude, and dependable.

Outside of work, Annette enjoys spending time with her family; she has two sons, two grandchildren, and one on the way. 

Congratulations, Annette! C-Tran is thankful for your outstanding work and service dedication.

Mariana Dulguerov

Mariana Dulguerova

Since January 2003, Mariana has been a tremendous asset for C-Tran. Notably, she received a Katherine McClary award in 2014; in addition to numerous awards she received in driver’s safety. She is acknowledged as someone who goes above and beyond her call of duty – and genuinely cares for her passengers. She always maintains a positive attitude and demonstrates professionalism at all times.

Outside of work, Mariana enjoys spending time with her family, especially her granddaughter. She always looks forward to the summer as she gets to spend a lot of time with her.

Congratulations, Mariana! C-Tran is thankful for your outstanding work and service dedication. 

Think Transit – GoRaleigh Spotlight

As a part of Think Transit, we’re excited to take some time to draw attention to the incredible operators and riders who make our work so special. Today’s spotlights are from GoRaleigh.

 

GoRaleigh Employee Spotlight

Marie Parker

 

Marie Parker - Think Transit Employee SpotlightWhere do you start?? Marie has been with GoRaleigh for almost 14 years and has now risen to Assistant General Manager/Director of Operations.

From Kathy Molin – TDM Coordinator, City of Raleigh – Three words I’d use to describe Marie – passionate, caring, and respectful. Marie loves what she does and it shows. Even on a crazy, busy day, she will make time for you. She is a great person, and a true friend.

From Tierany Griffin-Purdie – Operations Support Specialist, GORaleigh – The thing about Marie that makes her so special is her passion for people and transit. She displays a genuine respect and care for everyone she comes in contact with and you can tell she truly loves what she does. She is one of the most optimistic, positive people I have ever met. If you ask her how she is, she always answers ‘I’m Fantabulous!’

Marie has been a great asset to the operations team; providing a structural, yet transparent, management style; allowing operators and staff to build trust and approach issues with a team effort.


 Rider Spotlight

 James Wise

James Wise - Think Transit Rider SpotlightOne of the things that you will notice about James Wise is his passion for transit.

James is not only well known around GoRaleigh and helping folks at Moore Square Station or on the bus, James makes paper replicas of transit buses. When James found out that I was from the Toronto area, he made me four paper replicas of the Toronto Transit Commission buses, which sit on my desk.

It doesn’t matter which transit agency in the Triangle you visit, you will more than likely see one of James’ paper buses. From what I understand, James gets calls from all over to make buses for other agencies. With our recent rebranding in the Triangle, James quickly went to work and made buses for GoRaleigh with our new brand.

One of my coworkers, David Walker, wrote this about James.

“James Wise has been actively involved in the City of Raleigh’s transit system as long as I can remember and I started working with GoRaleigh in 2001. He has always been available to help citizens by answering their questions at Moore Square. When we started the Ambassador program in 2013 James was one of the first to sign up and we knew he would be great for this Volunteer position. We regularly get compliments about his assistance with riders such as “he will walk up and down the aisle asking if anyone needs help and handing out schedules” if needed. James is a real asset to GoRaleigh’s transit system!”

James is a true transit buff, and it shows in all he does in and around the Triangle.

 

 

 

Greenlights: August 2015 Issue

American Tobacco, a Best Work “SITE” for Commuters

What does your commute look like? Perhaps you’re a cyclist that enjoys the cool morning air as you ride in, or a transit rider that prefers reading your book, or connecting with your neighbors in route to work. Here in the Triangle, we know what a difference a high-quality commute can make in your day. This is why we participate in a national certification program that recognizes the best workplaces in the region for providing exemplary commuter benefits. This program has recently begun the certification of work sites to recognize places and spaces in our community that are creating more vibrant and more fulfilling job centers for us all.

American Tobacco Campus (ATC) is the first certified location in the Triangle to join as a Best Work Site for Commuters. ATC offers onsite amenities such as bike parking, transit amenities and comprehensive wayfinding signage to help direct visitors and staff to available resources.  Instead of just a worksite, American Tobacco has become a destination for staff. Incorporating multiple modes and making transportation easy through site planning and development, American Tobacco is leading the way and raising the bar for what a workplace should look like. Notably, as a property manager, ATC recently incorporated a transit GoPass for American Tobacco staff and their tenants’ employees.  The ATC GoPass is the worksite for approximately 4,000 employees who are now eligible for a free commute by bus!  The ATC GoPass program enables individuals to easily commute via the regional transit system with routes serving much of the Triangle stopping a block away at Durham Station.

Learn more about becoming a certified Best Workplace or Best Worksite location by contacting Mary Sell, Best Workplaces for Commuters Coordinator for the Triangle Region at msell@tjcog.org or 919-558-9400. Get more program information at www.bestworkplaces.org


Commuter Spotlight: Cyndi Booth

DRX Express Bus

 

“I just wanted send you a note of thanks for all of the work that you do with the GoTriangle buses. I have been taking the Durham-Raleigh Express (DRX) to work for about a week and a half and I LOVE it. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner! What a win-win for all. I am helping preserve the environment, meeting new people and saving gas at the same time! AND – I don’t have to deal with the traffic so I am not grumpy when I get home (smile). Keep up the great work!” Happy TTA (now GoTriangle) Customer! Cyndi, City of Durham

 

Commuter Tips:

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What is a fampool and does it qualify for the Emergency Ride Home program and GoPerks?  A “fampool” is a group of family members that could have driven to work separately but decided to carpool instead.  The only qualification is that at least two of the people in the car be of driving age.  This means you can’t count dropping the kids off at daycare or school on the way to work unless your spouse, partner or other adult live-in relative is in the car too.  Your “fampool” must be reducing road congestion by at least one car.  This opens a world of possibilities for the FREE Emergency Ride Home and GoPerks incentive program.  It is advisable to have all employees in a carpool register for the Emergency Ride Home program.  Encourage your employer to register as well so that you all can track your trips and redeem prizes like those listed in this month’s list of winners.  Click on the links for more information about carpooling, Emergency Ride Home program and GoPerks.


GoPerks Sponsor Spotlight: RTI International

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Environmental sustainability is one of RTI International’s many areas of expertise and practice.  We are dedicated to improving the human condition through our work and within our organization.  Supporting the GoPerks program was a logical extension of our efforts internally to promote a more sustainable community and act as a model for others.

We have also partnered with GoTriangle to establish vanpools for our employees and provide them with subsidies for using mass transit. For employees who choose to bike, we offer a number of amenities to make biking to work an easy option such as showers in the buildings and convenient bike racks.  For electric vehicle owners, we have installed charging stations on campus.  We recognize that employee commutes represent a portion of our overall greenhouse gas emissions as outlined in our sustainability reporting, and we seek to further promote alternative commuting methods which reduce this environmental impact.


GoPerks sponsors …

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This month’s GoPerks winners are…..

Nick Baldino – Cisco – Durham Bulls 2 ticket special

Andy Throgmorton – Digitalsmiths – Cary’s Amphitheatre 2 ticket special

David Matesanz – Duke – $25 Faire Restaurant Gift Card

Mirta Mihovilovic – Duke – $10 Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Gift Card

Julian Xie – Duke – $10 The Oxford Restaurant Gift Card

Holly Leddy – Duke – $10 Only Burger Gift Card

Chandi Quigley – Duke – $10 Saladelia Café Gift Card

Elisa Arevalo Perez – Hazen and Sawyer – $10 Mura at North Hills Gift Card

Kendra Bridges – NC DOT – $5 Cameron Village Gift Card

Pamela Taylor – NC Legislature – $10 Cuban Revolution Gift Card

Kerry White – Parsons Brinckerhoff – Durham Bulls 2 ticket special

Tim Falco – Pfizer – $5 Cameron Village Gift Card

Terry Burns – Pfizer – Cary’s Amphitheatre 2 ticket special

Donna Schaeffer – City of Raleigh – Cary’s Amphitheatre 2 ticket special

Amanda Carroll – State Employees’ Credit Union – $10 Shop Downtown Raleigh Gift Card

Barbara Massey – UNC – $25 Johnny Carino’s Gift Card

Christine Stachowicz – UNC – Durham Bulls 2 Ticket Special

Desere’ Cross – UNC – Durham Bulls 2 ticket special

Elizabeth Kunreuther – UNC – $25 Cameron Bar & Grill Gift Card

Ed Purchase IV – UNC – $5 Tobacco Road Sports Café Gift Card

Ed Purchase IV – UNC – Cary’s Amphitheatre 2 ticket special

Janet Stevens – UNC Health Care – $5 Cameron Village Gift Card

Krista Latta – UNC – Durham Bulls 2 ticket special

Lindis Chetwynd – UNC – $5 Only Burger Gift Card

Lori DelNegro – UNC – $10 Mellow Mushroom Gift Card

Michael McKay – UNC – $50 Medlin Davis Cleaners Gift Card

Nely Dicheva – UNC – $10 Café Carolina Gift Card

Nely Dicheva – UNC – $10 Café Carolina & Bakery – Cameron Village Gift Card

Peter Chow – UNC – $10 Sweet Frog – Chapel Hill Gift Card

Peter Chow – UNC – Durham Bulls 2 ticket special

Phyllis Lee – UNC – $10 Café Carolina & Bakery – Cameron Village Gift Card

Rupali Aggarwal – UNC- $10 Brixx – Cameron Village Gift Card

Sara Tinkham – UNC – Cary’s Amphitheatre 2 ticket special

Sara Levinson – UNC – $25 Zinda Restaurant Gift Card

 

A huge thank you to all of our GoPerks riders, making the Triangle better one trip at a time!

 

 

 

Transit Thursday – When You Don’t Commute At All

Telework Week has been a great reason to discuss the pros & cons of alternative working styles and methods, but telework is something that’s discussed all the time in our offices.

GoTriangle is one of those great employers that encourages people to work from home if it suits them. I am one of those lucky employees. On Tuesdays and Fridays you can find me on my couch, in a coffee shop, and occasionally even a college library. (Shhh. Don’t rat me out!)

WHY I LOVE TELEWORKING AND THINK YOU MIGHT, TOO

Slow mornings:

When you don’t have to use mornings to get ready for the office you can replace that time with some pretty good stuff. Slow breakfasts, waking up with some loud music, yoga, 3o minutes of extra sleep,  or coffee with a friend. It’s time during the week that I can use to pump other joys into my day and makes me a feel a little more… me. (*Bonus: getting to dress however you want. HELLO sneakers and flannel.)

A picture of what I wear on telework days: flannel, jeans, and sneakers.

A Schedule Change-Up

I’m NOT a morning person so I have to work out after I leave the office. Sometimes this can be difficult. On telework days, I can go to the gym during lunch. It’s less busy, gives me a jolt of energy for my afternoon hours, and leaves my evenings (which are commute-free) open for fun things.

I Eat Better

When I can cook a big breakfast or make a super fresh salad without having to think about packing it up for the office I end up making better, tastier food choices.A big breakfast with bacon, eggs, fruit, yogurt, and coffee that I cooked on a telework day.

Fresh Extroversion Outlets

I am an EXTREME extrovert. (Sorry if you’re an introvert. I have no advice for you.) Lucky for me, some of my coworkers have also become great friends over the last 6 months and make the office really enjoyable. So while teleworking can be lonely for me, I offset the loneliness by working from a coffee shop when I’m feeling stir crazy. It gives me the sense of being around people while also giving me the ability to work distraction-free which is a huge benefit of teleworking. *Bonus: A coffee here or a lunch there is a great way to support local businesses.

An image of my laptop and coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon while looking onto Geer St.

Personalization

Is your office a boring space? Don’t feel bad. Mine is too. When I’m working at home I have to capitalize on developing a creatively stimulating environment that’s built JUST FOR ME. It’s amazing how little details can make your surroundings conducive to knocking it out of the park during your workday.

Check out my “Work Work Work” Pinterest board for some workspace inspiration.

 

Did we convince you to give teleworking a shot? Are you a pro at getting the most out of your telework days? Share your comments, photos, and stories in the comments!

#CarlessMarch – Week 2

If you read last week’s recap you already know that #CarlessMarch has been just as hard if not harder than I expected. I was surprised at how easily I handled long distances. Getting to my office or between cities in the Triangle was a breeze and I have really begun to enjoy those 20-30 minutes of downtime I have to catch up on things or just clear my head. The distances that have proved to be most challenging are those medium-length distances that are a little too far to walk but just aren’t convenient to reach via the bus.

I was surprised at how easily I handled long distances. Getting to my office or between cities in the Triangle was a breeze and I’ve really enjoyed those 20-30 minutes of downtime I have to catch up on things or just clear my head. The trips that have proved to be most challenging are those medium-length distances that are a little too far to walk but just aren’t convenient to reach via the bus.

My solution?

I bought a bike.

I ended up cheating a few times before it really hit me that this was the necessary piece for going carless successfully and painlessly (if you disregard how much pain my quads and glutes are in right now).

Picture of Eleanor in front of her new bike with the hashtag #CarlessMarch

Not only is this a great opportunity to show some love to local businesses but small, local bike shops are going to make this process as simple as possible. Folks in these shops know the area, the roads you’ll be traveling, and obstacles you may face. They’re also committed to getting people on bikes in their community which means you’re going to get way more help than at a huge store, online site, or someone on craigslist (which I’ve done but would only recommend if you have a decent amount of bicycle knowledge).

I chose to buy my Raleigh Rush Hour from Cycle Logic in downtown Raleigh. I’m familiar with the shop and knew they would get me set up on something awesome and within my budget. You can check out their website which lists all the new, sale, and used or antique bikes they have in stock before heading over to their eclectic shop.

I live in Durham so had to show some support here as well. I picked up some accessories at Bullseye Bicycle over on Morris and Chapel Hill Rd. I’d never set foot in the shop before but Rob was super helpful and even invited me to join their monthly casual ride.

The ride is going down next week on Thursday, March 27th! According to Rob, it’s not only a great way to meet people in the community but also to gain some road-riding confidence and learn best biking practices and routes. I, for one, can’t wait.

Route 105 Operator, Nate, stands in front of my bike on the bus' rack.

Once you get comfortable on your bike, pair it up with your bus route to really capitalize on some multimodal transportation. I put my bike on the Triangle Transit Route 105 out of Raleigh just minutes after purchasing it. I’d never used the rack before but my operator, Nate, hopped off and gave me the quick tutorial (after which he teased me for working for Triangle Transit and being such an amateur).

I can’t wait to see you on the road!

Share your biking and multimodal stories in the comments!

Eleanor

 

Transit Thursday: A Shout Out to George Walker

Every time we receive praise from riders about our services or our operators it makes us swell up with a little bit of pride. Today, we wanted to share a piece of that with you and give a shout out to one of our team, George Walker.

Picture of George Walker

We recently received this quote from one of our riders about George,

 

“Thank you for all your hard work in assisting us with having a
better ride with TTA (Go Transit). I wanted to take this time to praise
excellent service. I would like to recommend George Walker for any
operator award you have.  George drives the 7:25am DRX. He greets
everyone with a smile and good morning. If you are having a bad
morning, boarding the bus with George on it will brighten your day. 
He is also an operator who does not play when it comes to getting his
customers to their destination on time and safely. I told him the next time
he goes on vacation to let us know, because we missed him.
 

                              Thank you and Go Transit for employing operators like George.

                             Sincerely,

                             Kristen”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Kristen! Thank you, George, for being such a great part of our team!

If you’ve had similar experiences with our drivers, please share in the comments! Your riding experience is a top priority and we love hearing when your day is positively impacted by the staff that we’re so proud to have.