7 Things To Do On The Bus

We think the bus is awesome. (But we might be a little biased!) People choose a bus commute for different reasons, maybe to catch up on emails or zone out after a long work day.

How do you spend your time on the bus? Take to the comments or let us know on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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It’s Bike Month! #GoSmartBike

Happy May (aka Bike Month)! We believe bicycles are an integral part of creating a more environmentally-friendly world, filled with sustainable transportation. Here are a few ways to get involved this Bike Month:

BikeQuote11.Attend An Event
We have bike rides, pit stops, raffles, and much more. Check out our handy-dandy event calendar.

2. Learn the Rules of the Road
Our resource page is filled with great info, such as safety tips and how to put your bike on the bus correctly.

3. Share With Us
We will be sharing tips and tricks, as well as event reminders, on our social media. So hurry and follow us on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! And don’t forget, share your bike selfies and event photos using #gosmartbike!

We hope you are feeling the Bike Month excitement like us! Feel free to share our infographic on 2015 bike data from ShareTheRideNC. Keep pedaling!

Bike Stats Graphic

The 7 Habits of Successful Commuters

We know that altering your daily car commute is not simple, and we want to make it as easy as possible. Here are the top habits of successful smart commuters!

1. Be Proactive

Okay, so you are thinking about changing your commute. Yay! But you should know, this is not an overnight project. If you want to be a sustainable commuter, it’s time to take a hard look at your current commute. Single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) contribute to roadway congestion, air pollution, and oil consumption.

destination-1465110-640x4802. Start With A Clear Motivation

Ask yourself, “What is my perfect commuting life?” There is not one answer to this question. Some people want their commute to include exercise, to be more Earth-friendly, more social, or just to get out of the driver seat. What is it for you?

3. Prioritize What’s Most Important

Just like New Year’s resolutions, if your new commute is not a priority, it will easily drop off your plate. You may have to reorganize your day-to-day and shift your schedule for this new commute. Are you willing to do it?

balancing-rock-1316378-639x8714. Balance Is Key

Changing your commute may have a bigger effect than you imagine. It’s important to make sure the commute is mutually beneficial to your schedule, your job, and your mental and physical health.  Over committing will only lead to burn out.

5. Understand All Options

It’s important to not prescribe a solution before you diagnose the problem. Just because your neighbor has found success biking to his job everyday, doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a bike. A bike commute is not a practical solution if you’re new to cycling and would have a monster commute that takes you through roadways not suitable for novice riders. Educate yourself on all possible solutions with GoSmartNC.org!

6. Let’s Do This Together!

Big changes tend to go over easier when you have strong support. It’s even easier when others are making the change with you! Joining a carpool or vanpool helps ease the stress of doing it alone.

7. Continue Learning

photo-1453282716202-de94e528067cLearning how to commute smartly doesn’t end the minute you make the change. There’s always room for improvement. The extra time you gain with your new commute is a perfect time to work on physical, mental, and social improvements!

Once you think you got this commute thing down, it’s time to inspire others! You can be the catalyst for someone to be proactive about a new smart commute!


Still on the fence about a new commute? Reach out to us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! (We love talking transit!)

Transit Friday – Donuts and Surfboards?

It’s only been three days and March is shaping up to be a transit-filled month! Here is a list of all the exciting things happening in transit this month:

1. #TransLocUber is live in the Triangle!

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Find more pictures on Facebook!

Thanks to everyone who made the TransLoc-Uber launch event a huge success yesterday morning at Durham Station! Donuts and coffee kept everyone warm, Wool-E-Bull joined in on the fun, and Mayor Bell spoke to the audience about the future of multi-modal transportation.

The TransLoc and Uber app integration hopes to help bus riders with the first-mile/last-mile problem! To become a beta tester, head to hub.transloc.com/uber.

2. Let’s talk transit!

 

So I posed a question to my Anchor followers: what is your work commute like? My followers on the social media application are from all over the world, so I was interested in the variety of answers.

One Boston native loves her train commute because she can listen to NPR. A car commuter in Northern California wished he could change to a bike commute. Other answers included a 7 minute walk, a frustrating daily drive, and a short streetcar ride. You can listen here!

3. BONUS: California surfboarders, listen up.

The Santa Monica Expo Line will be opening in May and the question on everyone’s mind has been answered: “Yes, you can bring your surfboard on the train!” Whew, I was worried.

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Want to hear more from us? Check GoSmart out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! And don’t forget to track your miles with GoPerks!

Transit Thursday: The 24 Project

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In 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out to create a visual map of New York City residents, but the project began to take on a life of its own once he started interviewing his subjects. Opening with broad questions like, “What’s your biggest struggle right now?” or “What is one good piece of advice?,” Brandon suddenly found himself capturing the stories of the people he met, not just their photographs. Today, he is now the creator of one of the most visited sites online: Humans of New York. “Everybody has a story,” he says, “it’s not really the visual things I’m looking for. There are eight million people, there are eight million stories, and those eight million people are constantly refreshing and changing over.” 

While our Triangle doesn’t have New York’s eight million, it is home to 2,037,430 people. And hey, we don’t like to brag, but the cities within it have topped countless “best of”  lists. No wonder our  metro area is experiencing some of the largest population growth in the country. More and more people call the Triangle home every day, and last year,  1.76 million of them rode Triangle Transit. But who are they? Are they students, parents, workers? How does public transportation shape their day-to-day lives? What are their stories?

We think it’s time someone heard them.


Meet the 24 Project. Inspired by the lives and faces captured on Humans of New York, we plan to hear the stories of 24 riders on 24 different Triangle Transit routes over one 24 hour period. 24 portraits, 24 routes, 24 hours. The 24 portraits will then be displayed along with their stories at Artsplosure 2014

So whether you hop on the bus for a quick ride downtown or use it to commute to work every day, we want to hear from you. Own a business near a bus stop? We want to hear from you too. It can be as simple as sharing your favorite place to sit or telling us about the guy who always comes into your shop to grab a coffee before he catches the bus. We might ask, who’s your favorite bus driver? What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen on the bus? Most importantly, what can we be doing better to get you from place to place?

We each come from different walks of life, and our skills, passions and hobbies all contribute to the Triangle’s dynamic culture. And just like our modes of transportation, our stories are ever-growing and ever-changing.

Click here to share yours. 

– Grace

Transit Thursday: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

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Since last week’s  Transit Thursday: The Age of the Selfie post received the highest blog views for that week, I decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

So for this Transit Thursday…drumroll please…

You get the chance to be featured on the GoTriangle Instagram! Just Triangle Transit’s ridership for the month of January was 149,000 and statistically speaking, I know somebody out of 149,000 has to be taking selfies – and that’s not including our GoTriangle transit partners!

How does it work? Just Instagram a photo of yourself on the bus or in a vanpool using #transitselfie and tag us with @gotriangle. We’ll share your photo and caption with our followers on a first-come basis. So tell us how you move or tell us why. Think transit in the Triangle is awesome? Let us know. Think something could use improvements? We want to know that too. If you take transit and selfies, here’s your shot at showing us a slice of life. 

Hope to see your #selfie soon,

– Grace

Transit Thursday: The Age of the Selfie

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The numbers are in, folks! According to a Triangle J Council of Governments of report, the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program in the Triangle had the following impact in fiscal year 2013:

  • Reduced 237,412 daily commute miles traveled, which is the equivalent to a trip to the moon every day.
  • Saved nearly 2.5 million gallons of gasoline in FY13 and eliminated 22,225 metric tons of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions, which is equivalent to removing 4,679 passenger cars.
  • Encouraged 27,470 new alternative transportation users—that’s about the same as the population of Garner, N.C.

These increases in ridership aren’t only in the Triangle. The overall use of public transportation in the US has reached its greatest high since 1956. During 2013, 10.65 billion trips were taken on transit systems compared to the previous peak of 10.59 billion in 2008 (NYTimes.com). And who’s taking these  10.65 billion trips? Although exact demographics of the 2013 ridership weren’t available, they doubtlessly included a generation of millennials and digital natives. In a generation of over 80 million, nearly 70 percent of them (people currently ages 18 to 34) use public transportation to get around. So why aren’t they getting behind the wheel instead?

Jill Hennessy, clinical professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, explained to NPR, “When we’ve talked to millennials, they actually answer that question quite thoughtfully. While they do still want to own a car — not as much as they want to own a smartphone, by the way, that’s the physical possession they’re most attached to — they are thinking about, ‘Do I need a car or not?’ in a way that I think five years ago or 10 years ago we wouldn’t have seen to the same extent” (NPR.org).

Thoughtfully, indeed. Just like their motivations to take a selfie, millennials appear to be choosing public transportation for a host of reasons interwoven into their personal identity. Some ditch the car for monetary well-being (46% of millennials use public transportation as a way to save money) while others do so for individual wellness (44% want the additional exercise). Additionally, 46% prefer public transportation for convenience and more than one third say “they live in a community where it just makes more sense to use transit” (Millenials & Mobility APTA Report).

Not only are millennials opting for available public transportation, they’re actively moving to said communities in search of it and avoiding others. A previous GoTriangle blog post, “The Day We Became Atlanta,” referenced an interview between the News & Observer and Citrix vice president Jesse Lipson. At the time, Lipson was focused on expanding the Citrix payroll and office space in downtown Raleigh, but finding it difficult to hire a younger generation of workers. “They’re interested in things like living close to work, walking to work, biking to work, taking the bus – and taking trains a lot more than most people do,” Lipson said. He understood the growing reality: more transportation options in the Triangle, including the Durham-Orange Light Rail, meant more employees (News&Observer.com).

The reality is also this: I began by referring to millennials as “they,” but they are also me. I’m a millennial, and although my current living situation requires me to drive most days, I’m researching places near park & rides and direct bus routes for my next move. I’ve lived in Washington DC and commuted daily on the Metro, not because I didn’t have a car, but because I wanted to. I’m part of a generation that’s made the front cover of TIME magazine. You probably know us well – we’re narcissistic, fame-obsessed, and still living with our moms. But the same article that landed us on the front cover also referred to us as “earnest and optimistic” and a generation that could be “a great force for positive change.” Transit Thursday is about positivity, and millennials are a great force for positive change. Seventy percent of us out of 80 million – that’s 56 million – are choosing public transportation over our cars. The thousands of us that live and work here in the Triangle contribute to the statistics I introduced at the beginning of this post.

Even if you’re not a millennial, if you live in the Triangle, we also have you to thank for saved gas and car miles. By taking alternative transportation, you’re helping to reduce negative impacts on the environment and reducing traffic during the Fortify Project. You may not have gone completely carless like John, but you’re making the Triangle a little greener and your commute a little easier. You’re choosing every day to make a change, and we can continue to do so together.

But first, let me take a selfie.

– Grace