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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!

Transit Thursday: Jobs and Public Transit

October 9, 2014

Heat map showing the density of public transit access in Raleigh

We here at Go Triangle and all the transit systems in the area want to get you connected to all sorts of things. From festivals to schools to parks to work, we want to be the means to those ends.

But work is where it really counts.  In The Washington Post’s article, “Mapped: How public transit changes your job prospects”, it refers to this role of transit-connecting you to work- as a fundamental one.

The article highlighted the top 5 cities where jobs are most accessible by public transit. These maps, created by the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota, also give us a look into Raleigh. Raleigh often gets national notoriety for being a great place to work, raise a family, start a business, or be young and single. It’s really exciting to see the city gaining momentum and attention not only for being a great place to get a job but also a place where getting to that job is made easier by public transit.

So how does the Raleigh area really stack up to other major cities?

Overall, the Raleigh-Cary area’s rank of accessibility to jobs by transit: #40. Not too bad, but we’re dedicated to making those numbers better. Won’t you help us by taking a ride sometime?

Let’s bring some red to that heat map.

Two Link Tuesday

October 7, 2014

Last week we touched on an inspiring story about one guy who spent a year riding his bike across the globe. This week, we wanted to continue the conversation on how biking can be a great alternative way to travel while highlighting some additional benefits of putting your pedals in gear.

Kids reading in a classroom while riding stationary bikes

Ride and Read

We often talk about the overall health benefits of changing the environment of transportation to a more efficient, sustainable one. From utilizing the bus system and biking to encouraging walkable communities, there are many pieces to be considered when creating these communities.

Commuting via the bus, train, or carpool not only works to do this while saving you money and the demands of driving, but also gives you time to catch up on emails, read, take a nap, or just clear your head.

This Fast Company article shared a profile on a school in the near and dear city of Winston-Salem, NC that is applying similar logic to their reading program. Students in this school can now stretch their legs, get their blood flowing, and knock out a few chapters in whatever book they’re reading. That’s right, a classroom full of stationary bikes for the specific purpose of pairing reading and exercise… and the school has seen great results.

Just like taking public transit allows you extra time for other activities that you can’t do while driving, these students are able to do this everyday task, reading, while getting all the added benefits of some time on top of a bike. Test scores have been better and kids with a lot of energy have a healthy outlet.

Maybe stand-up desks in offices will be replaced with bikes. Would you make the switch?

Cyclist riding in a bike lane

Biking Close to Home

There are all kinds of great places in the Triangle to ride your bike. You can spend a Saturday seeing downtown Raleigh or Durham from the seat of your bike or you can take a scenic trail and get some quiet exercise.

No matter what you choose, we want to be a resource for you. Take some time to visit our Cyclist Resources page and find a new place to take your two wheels.

Can’t wait to see you out there!

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