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Two Link Tuesday

September 16, 2014

Shaping Clouds

One of my favorite things about this time of the year, the transition from summer into fall, are the storms and clouds that roll through. I’ve always enjoyed looking to the sky and daydreaming.

This obviously isn’t a unique indulgence, but one artist is taking it to a whole new level. Martin Feijoó is “proving” that shapes are residing in the clouds with his creative endeavor, “Shaping Clouds Project“. I hope you’re inspired to take a break on your next walk or even while you’re riding the bus to look at the sky and let your mind wander a bit. Who knows what it’ll come up with when you give it the room.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cloud watching isn’t the only way to channel your inner child’s imagination. If you’re willing to take this childlike attitude and renewed commitment to play more seriously, you can always hop across the pond to London. Here, you can find a creative, playful bus stop put together by UK’s Certified LEGO Professional using 100,000 bricks. It just might make you feel as if you’re waiting for the bus inside something you would have dreamed of as a child.

Share in the comments what you’re doing to keep yourself young. We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Transit Thursday: Challenging Car Culture

September 11, 2014


The automobile industry has a rich history of developing and implementing great technology and design. It’s why the cars in the Bond movies are so iconic and why many of us dream of owning specific makes and models that we love. (My personal dream is a right-hand drive Mini Cooper from the 60’s. No matter how unsafe a car that is, I would look so cool driving it.) But what if that ingenuity was utilized in a better way?

In California and London, premier schools known for turning out great car designers are now implementing programs geared towards something larger:  transferring the focus from individual automobile design to one centered on the systems level.

The hope is, if we can get people past their infatuation with driving cars, to create and utilize systems that serve the needs of communities while also being really beautiful and technologically groundbreaking. Instead of working around the existing transit structure and creating cars that are more efficient, designers are starting to think about what whole new systems could enable people and communities to do if they are given room to change. What kind of system could be created if it didn’t have to cater to cars?

Read The Guardian’s article “Redesigning transportation: can drivers end their love affair with cars?” and tell us what you think. Is it time for the automobile industry to end and come back to life as something new?

 

 

 

Two Link Tuesday

September 9, 2014

Every person who utilizes public transportation, rides a bike, carpools, or walks during their day has their own reason for doing so. Today I wanted to highlight a couple of those and give you some food for thought. Have you made a decision to stop driving to get from A to B in a more efficient or enjoyable way? What gets you excited to change your routine?

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“One thing is for sure, auto-free, my quality of life has improved dramatically, and yours can too.”

In his post, Brian Smith writes about his transition out of dependence on owning a car and into the freedoms that public transit allows. He depicts how the joy of driving as a teenager was replaced by the joy of biking through parks or being able to read on the bus while in traffic. (Probably a better option that having to channel your road rage.)

Participating in transit outside of driving your car leaves room for so many other things, from enjoying a good book to taking trips with the savings that come from relinquishing your four wheels. Brian’s is an inspiring example which shows that the downsides of giving up your car are far outweighed by the health, happiness, and richness that come with broadening the ways in which you live in and experience your city.

Earlier this year, our very own John Tallmadge took the challenge to go carless for a month in #CarlessMarch. If you missed it, check out his final thoughts in his recap post.

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“Napoleon napped between battles while sitting on his horse” and “Churchill maintained that he had to nap to cope with his wartime responsibilities”.

But maybe the words of Brian and John aren’t enough to encourage you to change your transit habits. Another benefit of using public transportation that I think is often overlooked: NAPS. That’s right, a couple extra z’s on your way to and from work is a huge benefit.

The Short List recently created this infographic displaying all the healthy side effects of a little extra sleep. Even naps as short as 2 minutes can relieve sleepiness and 5-20 minutes can improve alertness, stamina, and motor function. Keeping your car parked and using the bus or local vanpool can give you that mental boost and physical rejuvenation while on the go . And for those of us who struggle with the alarm clock, just think of commuting with public transit as a giant snooze button on your morning.

What is the biggest reason why you choose public transit? What benefits would you have to find to become a believer?

Transit Thursday: A New Voice

September 4, 2014

Wait, a new voice? But what happened to the friendly, familiar, and reliable voice of Grace Hayes?

Confused Jimmy

Well, in case you missed it, Grace recently bid us adieu to make a move to Minnesota. As much as she will be missed, the show must go on. This is where I step in. My name is Eleanor Hawthorne and I’m the new voice behind Go Triangle and Triangle Transit’s social pages. The team here is pretty amazing and I’m thrilled to be joining them in the pursuit of bettering the area’s transit services through social.

But what kind of person chooses a career in social media? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’m an extrovert to a fault, obsessed with meeting and getting to know new people, and maintain the opinion “picture or it didn’t happen” in response to most things. This is where an addiction to Instagram, Twitter, and other various platforms understandably developed. Because of social networks, I can sip a latte at a local coffee shop, binge on the latest season of Orange is the New Black in my pajamas, or enjoy a local music festival with my friends all while simultaneously staying connected and up to speed on what’s going on. So it’s safe to say that no matter where I am (which is usually downtown Durham or Raleigh) you can probably find me crafting tweets or adding to the stupid amount of photos I have on Instagram.

A love for this kind of convenience and connectivity is what pushed me to pursue social media in professional settings, from start-ups to agencies, and I’ve never regretted a minute of it. Working as the Interactive Marketing Associate for Triangle Transit is particularly exciting because it combines my love for both my work and this amazing place we’re all lucky to call home. After 7 years living in Raleigh-Durham I definitely maintain the opinion that it’s one of the best places in the country to work, play, grow, and just be in general.

My goal in joining this team is to continue their legacy of growing Go Triangle and Triangle Transit’s social into a useful tool in bridging communities in the Triangle, both online and off. The transit system is rising to meet the needs of a booming community and I hope, with your help, to take a meaningful part in developing this space alongside it. That being said, don’t forget to share with us. Your experiences, questions, and insights into transit in the Triangle are an integral piece in making it better.

 

Talk to you soon,

Eleanor

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Give it a try – Try Transit Month 2014

September 3, 2014

If you’re reading this post, you more than likely are well acquainted with transit in our area.

GoTriangle_TryTransit2014Oh you’re not? Well you’re in luck because it’s Try Transit Month! Running from September 3 through October 3, all transit agencies in the GoTriangle family is encouraging you to leave your car keys at the house and jump on board. Check out gotriangle.org/trytransit for complete schedule of events including, rider appreciation day and transit employee appreciation day. 

Here are 5 reasons why to try transit this month:

1.  Park-and-Ride. You don’t have to have a bus stop right outside your door  to take transit.  Find a park-and-ride lot close to home and leave the rest of your commute to the professionals.

2. 2 by 4 (wheels). If you prefer the wind in your hair and cycle to work or around town but the dog days of summer are making you consider driving, hold the phone. GoTriangle buses have AC, so you can still get in your exercise but leave the bulk of your ride to us.

3. Productivity for the win! With Triangle Transit routes now sporting new 4G wi-fi, you can answer emails or connect to online documents, before you even get to your desk.

4. Catch some extra zzzz. When you leave the driving to the professionals, you can get a little shut eye before you start your workday. Worried you’re going to miss your stop? Use TransLoc’s new Rider app and set alarms for when your bus arrives at your stop.

5. Extra Dough. I’m not talking about pie crust, I’m talking hard cash. If you have to pay to park on a regular basis, paying up to $6 round trip beats have to feed the meter every 2 hours or the steep daily parking deal. Treat yourself to dinner with your savings for the month. 


 

Try Transit Month isn’t just about getting you to try something different, we also want to give back to our communitiesfoodbank. Every Wednesday in the month of September, the GoTriangle family of transit services will hold Stuff The Bus food drives. Our friends at DATA are kicking off the month with their drive at Southpoint Crossing Kroger, 8AM to 5PM.  Drop off 3 or more cans of food for a chance at some sweet swag. 

Here are the dates for all of the food drives. All food drives benefit The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. 

  • September 10 – CTRAN, Stuff the Bus
  • September 17 – CAT, Stuff the Bus
  • September 24 – Triangle Transit Stuff the Bus

For more details on locations, please take a look at the Try Transit Month calendar

Instagram, Facebook, or Tweet us pictures of you giving transit a try. 

Happy Try Transit Month!

 

 

GoTriangle Trip Planner, 2009-2014

August 28, 2014

An even earlier version of the trip planner. By the way, who thought "spits" was a good way to phrase  it?

An even earlier version of the trip planner. LOL… the “Mapquest” of bus travel.

 As of this morning, Google is now the engine of GoTriangle.org’s trip planning tool.

One of the biggest complaints about the old planner was that trip plans were almost impossible to create on mobile devices. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. Check out the slideshow for screenshots!

 

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While I love Google Transit for its easy-to-use interface, there are a few things I’ll miss about our old planner. For one there was “Find A Stop,” a little-used search that showed stops near an address. GoLive has a similar feature:


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Are there any features you’ll miss?  Got questions about planning a trip with Google Transit? Let us know in the comments!

 

Passing the Torch: Transit Highlights

August 18, 2014

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest parts of life. Since early December, I’ve been at the helm of Triangle Transit and GoTriangle’s social media. It’s even harder to believe that it’s now August. I’ve spent the last eight months learning more about public transit than I ever realized, and it’s been incredible to share my thoughts on transit in the Triangle in this blogspace with you all. Whether it’s millennial transit habits, my two favorite Tuesday links, or Q&A’s about what’s coming next for our region, I’ve loved reading all your comments and seeing rider feedback grow into positive change. Just a few months ago, I was reading tweets about the Wi-Fi on the Triangle Transit buses, and now they’re all 4G capable and faster than ever. Woah!

Like I said, with growth also comes change. Due to some family events, I recently relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The move is a great opportunity, but very bittersweet. I’m already craving an apple cider donut from Monuts Donuts and the parmesan truffle fries from Cowfish in North Hills. However, I know that I am leaving you all in extremely capable hands. Awesome things are in store for the Triangle area – new 7-day service, extended hours, light rail – and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future. But for now, I want to take a quick look back at some of my favorite Instagram highlights:

#CarlessMarch was hands down one of my favorite series here on the GoTriangle blog. John Tallmadge, Director of Regional Services Development at Triangle Transit, checked in with us every week as he attempted to go carless for the entire month of March. If you haven’t read this series, click here to get started.

One of my first projects as interactive marketing associate was our #GoLove social media scavenger hunt. We left clues across each of our social media platforms and partnered with local Triangle companies like Fullsteam, DPAC, and Videri Chocolate Factory to make Valentine’s Day a little sweeter for our winners. As part of the scavenger hunt, our marketing team also gave a nearby bus stop a little Post-It love.

During the 24 Project, we photographed 24 different riders on each of Triangle Transit’s 24 routes all within a 24 hour period. Shew. Talk about a mouthful.What sounded like an impossible challenge ultimately turned into a unique chance to meet Triangle Transit riders and listen to their stories about their daily commute. We displayed our photos at this year’s Artsplosure event, but you can still see them and read each participant’s story here. Again, a huge thank you to all 24 of our participants!

I always left with a smile on my face after spending time at Triangle Transit’s Bus Operations. Whether we were filming video interviews, photographing bus operators for different projects, or getting a peek at the new vanpool vehicles, it was always a treat to meet the men and women who drove our buses every day. (And Triangle Transit is currently hiring for multiple positions, so if you’re interested in joining the family, you can apply online .)

Last but not least, service changes. As I said before, one of my favorite parts of the job has been watching the Triangle Transit bus system grow and change, thanks to all of your tweets and Facebook comments. We’d been hearing the need for 7-day service and extended hours for awhile, and starting today, it’s here! I’ve also been reading about the new fare cards being installed in CAT buses, so hopefully these new developments will continue to make public transit in the RDU an easy and simple alternative to driving solo.

Well, that’s it folks. It’s time for me to hand over the baton and log off the GoTriangle blog for the last time. I’ve had a blast and definitely won’t forget my time here. Maybe I’ll return and take a ride on the future light rail, who knows? The future of transit in the RDU is up to you. Take it easy, Triangle.

All the best,

Grace

 

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