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Transit Thursday: A Shout Out to George Walker

October 30, 2014

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.

 

Two Link Tuesday

October 28, 2014

older couple walking down a sidewalk

Millennials and Baby Boomers Are Connecting

It’s no secret. Millennials desire better public transportation options and they’re choosing to live in urban areas that cater to walking and biking. (We’ve even talked about it in last week’s Two Link Tuesday post when discussing how millennials are choosing where to live and work.)

It’s also not a secret that millennials are a little different than their predecessors, gen x and the baby boomers. The stereotypes we all know so well make the age gap and especially the cultural gap between generations seem even more drastic.

What’s interesting is, despite this significant age and culture gap, that baby boomers and millennials are similarly affecting the automotive landscape in this country. Sure, there are a lot of things that the two generations don’t agree on but one thing is certain: they’re both driving less.

What’s exciting or cool about this? These two generations make up approximately 50% of the U.S. population. That means a shift in transportation preferences in even a portion of these groups would be monumental and could forever change transportation practices in our country.

A recent article on how the aging baby boomers are utilizing walkable infrastructure points to this connection between generations. Just like millennials, baby boomers are becoming a reason for cities to increase walkability in communities.

Airmet says it best in her article when she queries, “maybe we can bridge the generation gap with sidewalks and bike lanes.” This connection between generations isn’t often discussed but it should, without a doubt, be encouraged. These are groups that have the power-and apparently the desire-to change the way society caters to transit and that cannot be ignored.

young girls biking in an urban area

Biking: The Increasingly Popular Fix-All

Walkability isn’t the only thing cities need to think about. Something near and dear to us, cycling, is proving to be a really healthy lifestyle change and some are even calling it the new wonder drug. In his article, Shaun Courtney cites The Dutch as proof of the benefits of building communities and cultures that cycle. The Dutch are the quintessential biking example who are often placed on a pedestal of what the future of transportation in communities could look like… and for good reason.

Especially when we’re talking about the older citizens in our communities and the general health of our population, the Dutch are kind of showing us how it’s done. Courtney states that “…more than two-thirds of Dutch people aged 55 to 74 get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, mostly through cycling. Even among Dutch people aged 80-84, more than 20 percent say their preferred method of transit is cycling. Cycling keeps older Dutch residents active, socially connected and healthy.”

So yea, we’d say we have a thing or two to learn from the Dutch.

Biking is already becoming more and more popular among millennials and those who live in urban areas. We have good reason to believe that’s healthier for our communities as well as in the long run. The key here, is that it has to be made an option. The infrastructure that makes biking a viable option has to exist.

From environmental benefits to cost efficiency to overall happiness, cycling is the answer that meets all of those needs. Are you convinced?

Give us your feedback in the comments!

Transit Thursday: Rush Hour

October 23, 2014

One of the biggest headaches in the Triangle, when it comes to transportation, is the traffic and congestion on I-40 (as well as many other roads) during peak hours. We often look to public transportation as a solution to this. Utilizing public transportation as a substitute for commuting alone, in your car not only helps decrease congestion but also gets you through traffic more quickly when bad traffic is slowing everyone else down (thanks to our Bus on the Shoulder System!)

But what happens when more people use multimodal and environmentally friendly methods? Turns out, traffic is still a problem even when you’re on 2 wheels instead of 4.

The Netherlands, a place renown for its amazing bike culture, gives a glimpse into the changes that occur when bikes become the primary mode of transportation. From lines at stoplights that get clogged to people not obeying safety laws designed for drivers, there is a lot of infrastructure that has to be designed with cyclists in mind.

Hopefully our cities will have to deal with these problems one day because that will mean our population and our cities are growing healthier and more efficient.

Check out a glimpse into rush hour in Utrecht, Netherlands to give you an idea of what the future may hold for us in the U.S.

 

Two Link Tuesday

October 21, 2014

Schmidt and Jess from New Girl. Schmidt, looking very concerned, says,

Millennials and Public Transportation

Youths, they’re coming… and they may be showing up on public transportation in a city near you. Major cities are seeing evidence of this trend. Millennials want more public transportation options. They don’t want to be stuck using cars that are not only expensive but also harmful to the environment. Cars can also be a hindrance to something near and dear to the millennial heart: living and working in dense, urban centers.

The youth of our societies are shaking off the shackles of suburbia in exchange for renovated warehouses in up-and-coming, revitalized city neighborhoods. Parking, a huge problem in a lot of cities, can be a headache to deal with. It’s often easier to get around in such areas using public transit. Walking, biking, and taking the bus, subway, or light rail are becoming resources that this portion of the population is really beginning to utilize and rally for.

Following a Lifestyle Instead of a Job

In addition to an increase in millennial support and use of public transit, this group is also willing to move to find it. With the way this population tends to move and switch from job to job, decisions aren’t solely based on where work is available. That decision is being based on where they want to live. The job will simply have to follow that choice.

That’s one reason why places such as Portland, Oregon are booming with young people. Among other benefits such as a healthy local industry, bike friendliness, diverse culture, and close proximity to varying activities, Portland’s transit serves the community well and the community just so happens to support this “new move-first-then-find-a-job Millennial paradigm”.

Is public transportation attracting new people to your city? Better get ready for them!

Tina Fey saying

 

Transit Thursday: Improving Bike Saftey

October 16, 2014

Girl riding her bike in a bike lane

On Tuesday we talked about multimodal transportation and the importance of recognizing it as a an alternative to driving your car. It’s not a battle between public transit and personal vehicles. There are so many other pieces at play.

Cycling is one of those major pieces. In terms of multimodal transportation, cycling is one that often moves people over distances too far to walk or connects people to types of transit that can take them over longer distances. Another major benefit of biking is that it adds an element of health and exercise to travel that many other modes don’t.

All that being said, recognizing the importance of cycling as a piece of multimodal travel calls into attention the fact that we need to develop systems or improve the infrastructure supporting it.

Well, the DOT is finally starting to do just that. On a small scale, the DOT in places like Pittsburgh is pushing to develop more bike lanes and make cycling safer in an effort to decrease fatalities. Thankfully, this is being backed on a federal level. The DOT just released new bicycle safety information called “BIKESAFE“.

Read through BIKESAFE and see what additional things you can be doing to stay safe on the road.

Be sure to share with us any extra tips you might have as well!

Your Deep-Fried Ride Guide

October 15, 2014

There’s a ride at the NC State Fair that you won’t find on the midway. Though it can easily reach speeds of up to 70 mph, this ride, unlike the Zipper, isn’t meant to thrill. Instead, it’s designed to help you get to all the fun, food, and excitement with a minimum of stress and hassle.

Have you guessed yet? Of course, I’m talking about the bus. Specifically, the shuttle service that Triangle Transit, DATA, and CAT offer each year to fair-goers. Read on for more details! Read more…

Two Link Tuesday: Leaving the Car in the Garage

October 14, 2014

A group of cyclists riding down Hargett St. in Raleigh, NC.

Multimodal Travel

At GoTriangle we are all about the bus. Whether you’re cruising Downtown Raleigh on the R-Line or using Triangle Transit to stay connected between cities, we’re so excited to see people utilizing transit. That being said, we don’t talk often enough about the other pieces involved in public transportation.

We know that if you’re using transit you’re probably including other forms of transportation as well. City Lab recently put up an article describing how cities need to address the need and existence of multimodal transportation. This excerpt from the article gives a perfect example of what multimodal travel looks like on a daily basis.

“If you leave your house in the morning as a driver, you are almost
certainly going to make all subsequent trips for the day by car,
eventually driving back to your garage. With many choices, however,we
might leave home on foot to the coffee shop, then take transit to work,
then cycle to the store and lug our groceries home in a taxi. For this
example, one car has been replaced by four separate modes of travel,
all of which represent choosing a mode for each trip based on what
works best for each person.”
 

We’re aware that people travel this way and are taking note of what we can do to help. CityLab gave three great ideas to be aware of and consider when planning to make cities more multimodal friendly.

  • Move past the idea that public transit and car use are at odds with one another.
  • Public and private forms of transportation have to work together.
  • When planning, all modes of transportation have to be incorporated:walking, biking, driving, public transit, taxis, etc.
Guy working on his laptop at a coffee shop.

A Triangle Transit employee spending one of his telework days at a local coffee shop.

Teleworking

In addition to thinking about ways to make our travel more efficient and less costly (be it paying for gas or negatively impacting the environment) we want to think about ways to travel less.

One of the most popular ways to go about this is by teleworking. Whether you can work from home full time or just one day a week, it carries with it a huge impact. Employers are starting to see the benefits of offering teleworking days to their employees:

  • working hours aren’t eaten up by commuting
  • productivity rises when office distractions aren’t curbing focus
  • employees are generally happier and do better work
  • cars aren’t being driven
  • money isn’t being spent on travel resources
  • it promotes a healthier work-life balance

A great tool for anyone interested or already involved in any amount of teleworking is “Workshifting“. This online resource pulls in tips, tricks, articles, etc. all revolving around this increase in people working from home, out of coffee shops, or constantly on the go.

If you’re wondering if teleworking is for you (or if you’re already included in the portion of the workforce that’s doing it) check out this definition Workshifting uses to describe themselves as well as who their work relates to.

“If you work out of coffee shops, hotels, airports and your home every bit
as much as the office, workshifting.com is for you. We share resources on
remote working, telecommuting, travel, technology, business and virtual
offices to help you shift when, where and how you work!
 
We coined the term “workshifting” in March 2009 as an updated definition
for “telecommuting” and “remote working”, that refers to the ability of being
part of a distributed workforce, working from outside of the office and
shifting one’s work habits to achieve a better work-life balance.”
 

So whether you’re taking four different methods of travel or you’re staying at home in your pajamas, we hope you feel a little more encouraged and equipped to leave the car in the garage.

Is multimodal travel something you’re already doing? Do you work from home or a coffee shop? Share your stories with us!

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