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Think outside the (big) box and go for an art walk instead.

November 21, 2014
Shop, explore, and be inspired at the Durham Art Walk Holiday Market, Saturday, Nov. 22 & Sunday, Nov. 23 from  10:00am-5:00pm

Shop, explore, and be inspired at the Durham Art Walk Holiday Market Saturday, Nov. 22 10am-5pm & Sunday, Nov. 23 from 10:00am-5:00pm

Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you, too? I’m having  difficulty believing that at next week this time I’ll be recovering from massive amounts of pumpkin pie and family togetherness. Frankly, I am not in the mood. Luckily, I think there may be a cure for my grinchery.

This week’s TransitThursday post touched on the idea that there’s no better way to get to know a place than to get outside and go for a walk. Just in time for the weekend, here’s an idea to lift your holiday spirit and get inspired, all while getting acquainted (or falling in love again) with downtown Durham and supporting local businesses and artists.

The Durham Art Walk Holiday Market brings together an array of local artists and puts them all in Durham’s City Center for your shopping convenience. This year’s market happens Saturday, Nov. 22 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, Nov. 23 from 1 to 5pm. In addition to the items that are available for purchase, there’s also live music, food, and other fun events, including chances to earn BullCityBuck$.

Check out their page for full event details, including a map showing the fare-free Bull City Connector route. Pro-tip: Why not plan your Saturday around the BCC’s route for a full day of fun? Click here to start planning. If you need help figuring out where to eat, check out the BCC Dining Guide. If you just need help figuring out the bus, take a look at the other links on that page or give us a call at 919-485-RIDE.

Speaking of the BCC Dining Guide, be on the lookout for a roundup of other holiday happenings that are along the Bull City Connector’s route, coming next week!

Walk [Your City]… An Inspiring Example of Community Enrichment

November 20, 2014

Transit Thursday

Earlier this week we talked all about the great podcasts available these days.

One of the best sources, NPR, is popping up again today. WUNC is the North Carolina chapter of National Public Radio (91.5 FM) and brings great news and stories from around the state.

Recently “The State of Things“, a live show on WUNC, did a story about a Raleigh entrepreneur who is utilizing his creativity to encourage walkability in the area.

The Walk [Your City] Campaign

Matt Tomasulo created the Walk [Your City] campaign in order to encourage people to get out and walk their city and, in turn, encourage pedestrian access and mobility. What started as an illegal sign posting one night in January 2012 has caught local support and popularity and turned into a movement towards public health. You’ve probably seen the signs in various places and maybe even wondered about them.

Examples of Walk Your City signs that you can find in Raleigh.

An example of signs placed in Raleigh, NC by Matt Tomasulo for the Walk [Your City] Campaign.

They’re small and simple. Each sign tells you how many minutes it will take to walk to a specific destination and includes a QR code you can scan to get more information.

We’re so accustomed to driving from place to place that we often forget how easy it is to walk. Matt started asking people how long they thought it would take to walk to different locations and realized many thought walking to took much longer than the actual time necessary.

Thus, the Walk [Your City] sign was born. Making people aware of exactly how long it takes to walk to their destination became a super simple way to encourage them to hoof it instead of getting behind the wheel.

Walk [Your City] has even grown outside of Raleigh. Because the campaign was such a success, Matt and his team made them available for download and they have since been popping up in places from West Virginia to Europe.

Take a walk. You’ll probably be surprised at what you see, feel, and experience when you’re a part of your environment instead of just driving by it. Watch this short video to get a better feel for the project.

 

What Matt did with Walk [Your City] has been shared across the globe because it’s simple, effective, and achievable. What small efforts can you take to change the landscape of the communities you live in? It could be a lot easier than you think.

 

6 Podcasts You Shouldn’t Be Missing

November 18, 2014

Two Link Tuesday

We’re so thankful for our readers and especially the ones who come back every week for our Two Link Tuesday and Transit Thursday posts.

But today we’re going to do things a little bit differently:

1. Instead of talking about transit we want to talk about something you do while you’re in transit.

2. On this Tuesday, we’re going to give you way more than two links because sometimes rules are made to be broken.

We believe that utilizing public transportation is a decision that has many logical motivations and even more positive benefits. From saving you money to helping protect the environment, we believe you should stop driving alone in your car and hop on the bus with us instead.

That being said, we know your deciding to ride the bus with us doesn’t mean you actually want to talk with us. Ergo, we’ve thrown together some other great listening options for your commute.

GoTriangle’s Podcast Short List

Here we present to you, the GoTriangle Podcast Short List. These are some of the most popular podcasts and-if you are just diving into the world of podcasts-are a great jumping off point.

  1. Serial: Thursday mornings are now being dominated by the weekly release of this podcast. Each week it takes you through one piece of a non-fiction story. Get lost in this storytelling experience just like millions of others and join in the ranks that are raving about its greatness.
  2. This American Life: Brought to you by the makers of Serial, WBEZ Chicago, this oldie but goodie never goes out of style. If you love listening to stories This American Life is a great option. Every week a new podcast is released including multiple stories all connecting to a central theme.
  3. Ted Talks: Maybe you not only want to use your commute time to listen to something new but also to learn. Ted Talks are for you. You’ve probably heard of them or even listened to a few, but we want to encourage you to do that more often. Ted Talk topics are endless and enable us to learn and be challenged in just a few minutes. (A personal favorite is this talk on trying something new for 30 days.)
  4. Hound Tall: Do you find it interesting to explore mysteries of the universe while keeping the conversation light with some humor? Then make sure not to miss Hound Tall. This hour-long talk led by Moshe Kasher is definitely an interesting and refreshing departure from the popular storytelling style we’re so familiar with.
  5. Nerdist: If you are looking for some humor and find yourself enjoying Hound Tall then you should head over to Nerdist, the home for Hound Tall, and check out several other podcasts loaded with humor such as Terrified with Dave Ross.
  6. National Public Radio: Last but certainly not least is the wellspring of great talks: NPR. It goes without saying that this is a great source for expanding your mind to new things and the options are all so quality. From NPR Tiny Desk Concerts to classic podcasts such as Ask Me Another, your listening ears won’t be deprived if you stick with this source.

So hop on your bus, turn off the jams, and try to open your mind to some new voices and ideas. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Have podcasts you love and want to recommend or thoughts on the suggestions we listed? Please share with us in the comments!

Transit Thursday

November 13, 2014

Today’s Transit Thursday post comes in conjunction with our Golden Modes awards ceremony. We couldn’t be more delighted to share the awesome work that local riders and businesses are doing with transportation in the Triangle and we hope you’re just as excited.

One such business that works very closely with Transit in the area, Transloc, has gotten some attention for its work in transportation technology so we thought it would be a great day to give them a little extra kudos.

Picture of the Transloc Real-Time App in Use

The Triangle Business Journal posted an article this week that highlighted the work Transloc has been doing recently as well as some projects they’re currently working on. Our very own Triangle Transit was the first transit system to utilize Transloc’s real-time bus tracking system and they have since served 130 transit systems globally.

But they have bigger fish to fry than real-time tracking.

Transloc has their eyes set on solving the issue of missing information within transit. They want to move beyond bus tracking and help transit systems understand where riders are coming from, where they’re going, how long they’re waiting for buses, and more. A rider’s time on the bus is only a portion of their trip. Whether they’re walking 3 minutes or 30 to their stop completely alters the experience they’re having with transit.

Transloc believes that the data surrounding these gaps are key to creating solutions to many other problems keeping pubic transit from being the first choice to travel.

We’ve loved working with Transloc so far and we can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

What type of information or technology do you think transportation needs in order to progress? Share our thoughts in the comments!

 

Two Link Tuesday

November 11, 2014

It’s a super exciting week here at Go Triangle.

No, we’re not talking about the approaching holiday season, the low gas prices we’ve been enjoying, or the Halloween candy we’ve been stealing from our kids.

Ok we’re fairly happy about those things.

The real excitement is due to two big things happening in public transit in the Triangle this week: Golden Modes and Commuter Awareness and Recognition Week in NC!

Image advertising for Golden Modes 2014

Golden Modes

One of the best things about our job is being able to promote and recognize efforts to improve transportation in our community. The heart of the Golden Modes Awards is centered on individuals and local businesses who are striving to be more conscious and proactive in developing healthy and efficient transportation practices. These awards recognize:

  • Commuters for their commitment to walking, running, skateboarding and non-cycling commutes
  • Commuters who cycle
  • Commutes that create and use carpooling and vanpooling
  • Commuters that use public transportation
  • Commuters that use more than one mode and option to get to their destination
  • Employers that promote commute options other than driving alone
  • Community organizations or groups that commit to creating a sustainable travel friendly community

To get a feel for the types of individuals involved and the work that is being done check out some previous Golden Modes winners. We hope to see you at our awards ceremony!

This year’s GoTriangle Golden Modes ceremony will be held on Thursday, November 13th at 2:30 P.M. at the Sigma Xi Conference Center at 3106 East NC Highway 54 in the Research Triangle Park.

Commuter Awareness and Recognition Week in NC

We’re so thrilled to have had Governor McCrory proclaim November 10th-14th as Commuter Awareness and Recognition Week in North Carolina. The Golden Modes recognize the importance of individuals and businesses doing their part to encourage good commuter practices and it’s amazing to see NC’s government also taking strides to do so.

The proclamation recognizes the benefits, both for individuals as well as the overall community, of choosing more sustainable transportation practices and cutting back on single-occupancy vehicle use. It also recognizes the hundreds of partners including cities and counties, businesses, local organizations, schools and other groups that raise awareness about the importance of reducing traffic congestion and increasing the Triangle and North Carolina’s air quality.

Let’s celebrate! Take some time this week to change up your commute and maybe even go outside your comfort zone a bit. Carpool with a coworker. Try out a new bus route or take your bike to the park and ride instead of driving.

We can’t wait to see you out there!

 

 

Transit Thursday: Do It Like the Russians Do

November 6, 2014

Russian cyclist stands next to his road bike.

Today’s blog post is basically a hats-off salute to a group of cyclists that are really taking their riding to the next level: Russians. That’s right. In Moscow, a city with some of the worst traffic in the world where your hands will definitely go numb and snot will definitely freeze on your face, ridership keeps going up.

Why?

A cycling group named Velonotte is mixing biking, culture, history, and community to create a movement on two wheels.

One ride drew in 5,000 riders wearing headphones and listening to an audio track about the historical locations they’d be passing. Other events have amassed up to 10,000 riders. It’s a beautiful mixture of all the different reasons people choose to hop on their bikes: exercise, entertainment, community, travel, and more.

The founders of Velonotte are using cycling culture to change the young, urban perception of everything from architecture to individual expression in Moscow. “People still need to show that they have a lot of money with a car and an iPhone… we are trying to change that opinion.” Creating this cycling community is not only powerful in its social effects in the young, urban population but also in its potential to change the face of public transit in Moscow.

Though the Triangle is undoubtedly more bike-friendly than Russia, we think cycling get-togethers could absolutely benefit the area. Creating better community among riders, getting people on their bikes and on the roads for the first time, and fostering a greater appreciation for the cities we live in seem like great reasons to encourage groups like this in the Triangle.

Lucky for you, we already know how to find some group rides near you. Benelux Cafe in Raleigh has a weekly Tuesday night ride and the ReCYCLEry in Carrboro has the scoop on biking events in the area.

What would convince you to join in group rides in the Triangle? Are there any historical or interesting sites you think would deserve to be included?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

Two Link Tuesday

November 4, 2014

Today, I want to put a spotlight on one of the benefits of public transit that doesn’t get much attention: productivity.

When you choose to use public transit you automatically increase your ability to get things done. Seriously. It’s as if stepping on the bus puts an extra hour in your productivity bank for the day.

Riding the bus to and from work gives my M-F a major boost. I’ve found that using my commute a little differently in the morning and afternoon book-ends my day with awesome.

Barney from How I Met Your Mother gives himself a high-five

*Even though these tips work offline, the fact that so many of our buses have Wi-Fi takes these practices to a whole other level.

In the Mornings

Eleanor uses the Post-It app on her phone while riding the bus.

I love using my morning commute to set my day on a killer pace. Some mornings I simply go over my to do list in my head. On others, I use productivity apps to track my tasks or help manage my time for the week. The 25-35 minutes I spend on the bus give me the quiet space and time to gear up for my entire day.

Fast Company recently put out a list of apps they suggest for helping productivity. Some give you an edge in getting through emails while others help you track tasks and time. There’s a pretty good chance at least one of these can help you get the edge you need to kickstart your productivity. My personal favorite is the Post-It Plus app. It helps me take the ideas and notes I collect throughout the day and organize them all in one place.

In the Afternoons

Example of a "Done List" Eleanor wrote on the bus.

It’s only been a couple of months since I first commuted using DATA and Triangle Transit. Since then, I’ve noticed I generally arrive at home feeling much more relaxed and positive about my day. The biggest shift has been the 30 or so minutes I have after work to just sit with my thoughts and decompress from my day. Sometimes I’ll use this time to read or catch up on podcasts, but what I find most helpful is jotting down a “done list”.

A lot of us live and breathe by to-do lists but we never make a list of the things we’ve accomplished. A “done list” is just that. I got the idea from this 99U article on harnessing the power of progress. From really small tasks to major undertakings, it can drastically improve your mood to give yourself some tangible credit for the work you’ve done.

If you already take the bus regularly, try out these tips and let us know what you think. If you aren’t already using public transit, I really hope you see benefits like this as a reason to give transit a shot.

Thanks for reading!

-Eleanor

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