June 2015 Green Lights
In June, GoSmart has focused on carpooling, and more than five years ago Steve gave up his parking pass at work and has commuted by carpool, bicycle and foot ever since. Besides his commute, whenever Steve has to travel for work, he looks for carpool options with coworkers. For work or pleasure, he continues to make smart travel choices – from renting a bike to get around cities, to booking hotels with access to mass transit and within walking distance of his meetings. Self-Help Credit Union touts his smart commuting choices with the organization to demonstrate easy ways to reduce one’s environmental footprint.
Steve encourages colleagues to bike by being a mentor. He joins them on rides to work until they’re comfortable negotiating traffic. He also keeps tools, spare innertubes, and a floor pump in his office.
When Steve began cycling to work, he lived six and a half miles away. It took 25 minutes to commute compared to a 15 minute car ride, but he ended up more aggravated when he drove. The only other cost of riding a bike was that he had to buy new pants when he lost weight!
If you’re a cyclist, be sure to stay hydrated this summer. If you’re leaning toward a less active option and looking to find a carpool option in the Triangle, check out Share the Ride NC. You can see if coworkers and neighbors you may not know yet are also looking to share the cost of commuting – even if it’s only one day a week. The registration also includes the free Emergency Ride Home program for days you’re not the carpool driver. Sign up to be a driver in the month of June and you’re entered in a drawing for a pair of Durham Bulls tickets!
Employer Highlights: GlaxoSmithKline
Angelo Voutsinos has been the Employee Transportation Coordinator for GlaxoSmithKline for more than 20 years. He helped build the program in RTP and Philadelphia and says, “It’s been a great ride.” Over the years GSK has supported countless initiatives, and together they have implemented programs that reflect the commitment to their employees and the environment. Some highlights of GSK’s list of nearly 20 distinct commuter benefits and initiatives are a $30/month subsidy program – which saves money for the employer and employee’s taxes; a telework program; preferential parking for carpoolers, vanpoolers and alternate fuel vehicles; an on-campus bike share program; and protecting commuter health by raising a special alert flag on poor air quality action days.
These programs and more provide and promote commuting alternatives to GSK staff, reducing congestion and improving air quality. In turn, employees do their part by participating in GSK programs that directly support environmental sustainability.
Even if you don’t work for GSK, you can get ozone awareness alerts for your organization through the NC Division of Air Quality. Add an RSS to your company’s intranet page, or sign up for twitter or email alerts to know when it’s safe to enjoy the outdoors or when you should opt for carpools, transit, or when to skip cutting the grass. If you are looking for other ways to start or improve your organization’s commuter benefits program, contact your GoSmart Local Service Provider.
Congratulations to Our Winners!
Telework Month was in March – because the best commute is no commute! Congratulations to Stefan Oehlers from Duke University. He was able skip almost 170 miles in travel because he was able to work without going to the office and won a $50 gift card from Macy’s!
Take a look at this month’s GoPerk Winners…. And if you’re not tracking your smart commutes to win prizes, sign up for the GoPerks incentive program now!
May’s GoPerks Winners
Susan Sylvester – UNC Staff – $10 Baberitos Gift Card
Tiwanna Nevels – Durham County Government – $10 Baberitos Gift Card
Graham Bruns – Stewart Engineering – $10 Café Carolina and Bakery – Cameron Village
Desere’ Cross – UNC – $10 Cuban Revolution Gift Card
Rick Salmon – IBM – $10 Dickey’s Barbeque
Kerry White – Parsons Brinkerhoff – $10 Shop Downtown Raleigh Gift Card
Demond Hunt – SECU – $10 The Oxford Restaurant
Amy Wentley – IBM – $10 Tobacco Road Sport Café
Enrich Staib – Duke University – $10 Tyler’s Taproom
Jim Brown – EMC – $10 Johnny Carino’s
Terry Burns – Pfizer – $5 McDonald’s Gift Card
Holly Leddy – Duke University – $5 Mellow Mushroom
Samantha Thomas – Duke University – $5 Saladelia Café
Peter Chow – UNC – $5 Tobacco Road Sports Café
Lamont Burt – Duke University – $5 Whichwich Gift Card
GoPerks Party Winner!!
In April we held the GoPerks party to celebrate all of our sponsors and winners! Join us as we congratulate our door prize winner, Pam Chehreh of Bell and Howell, LLC, for winning the I-Pad Mini at our first GoPerks Party.
Thank you, GoPerks Sponsors!
Today is National Dump the Pump Day!
Even though we’re advocates for dumping the pump, ditching the car, and using public transit EVERY DAY we’re super excited to share today with our transit community.
Did you know that families who downsize to using just one car save – on average- more than $9,569 a year?
How many months’ rent, school lunches, hours of babysitting, or shopping trips could that be for you and your family?
And on top of the money you can save by taking public transit, you can also be help your community’s economy.
For every $1 spent on public transit, there is a $4 return in economic benefits.
So we’ve convinced you that this whole transit thing may be a good idea. What now?
Give it a try today, June 18th, for National Dump the Pump Day. Leave the car at home and hop on a bus. See how easy it can be. See who you could meet during your commute. See us out there, too.
The Price of Parking and the Loss of a Bike-Share Plan
You may have seen an article in the News & Observer yesterday about some transit happenings in downtown Raleigh.
In case you didn’t, we’ll give you a quick recap. (You can also read the full article here.)
The two big ticket items are parking and bike-sharing. Needless to say, we have a lot of mixed feelings.
Parking is a cost that is often carried by those not even utilizing it as a service. Creating a small fee for nights and weekends parking could encourage those visiting downtown Raleigh for nightlife to choose transit instead. (Alright, so we might be a little biased here.)
The decision to nix the bike-sharing program is a disappointing one. Public response to the idea of a bike-share was overwhelmingly positive, but the budget to take effect on July 1st won’t include this service. According to Councilman Bonner Gaylord, this will likely lead to the loss of $2 million in grant money previously secured for the program. Major bummer.
Cities like Atlanta and Philadelphia have bike-shares in the works for 2015. Hopefully, a shift in public and political opinion will take a hint from these cities and do the same. Keeping our fingers crossed!
What do you think about the parking and bike-sharing updates? Tell us in the comments!
Over the last several weeks, we’ve learned a lot and had even more fun during all of the fantastic Bike Month events.
Even though Bike Month is officially over after this week, we want to leave you with some things you can still get excited about. And as always, it’s important to remember that Bike Month is over but the benefits and fun to be had from biking last all year round.
This week in cycling news…
Bullseye Bicycle in downtown Durham has great events going on this week. Join them in the shop tonight for a beer or ride along their Thursty Thursday group ride in a couple of days.
This CityLab article talks about an app you can use to report cars whose drivers aren’t the best at parking. Would you report a car that’s in a bike lane?
If you’re the competitive type, test your limits in Raleigh’s Hepcat Race on June 6th. Join this scavenger hunt on wheels to have a good time and raise money for a cause.
Some tips to stay safe while riding in big groups.
And finally, if a month of riding your bike has made you a little tired… kick back and watch some movies about biking instead of hitting the road.
Enjoy the rest of bike month and remember to always #GoSmartBike!
Thanks for Making Bike Month 2015 Great!
We’ve had such a fantastic time during the month of May thanks to your participation in Bike Month. We’re impressed with our riders, as always, and Bike Month was no different. We’ve put together a quick wrap-up survey to see what you thought about all of our #GoSmartBike events.
And don’t forget! May isn’t the only month to get out and ride your bike. We hope to see you on two wheels and on the road all year long!
Featuring your neighbors & coworkers who smart commute and love it!
Carpool Buddies, Ava and Lydia – an unlikely match
Lydia put her information into the Share the Ride website a few months ago and kind of forgot about it. Then she got an email about a ride match with Ava through the website. “We live kind of far out. I did not want to get my hopes up about finding someone. What a surprise!” They met for lunch to talk. Ava said “I was floored when I learned that Lydia worked two buildings away. And stumped when I saw where she lived. Our kids play at the same park. We bike and walk the same greenway. It is a small world.”
While going over the details, they were skeptical that they could make it work. Lydia takes her son to daycare some mornings. Ava is committed to picking up her groceries on her way home on Mondays. Plus, Ava’s kids have afterschool activities. They decided to try it just on Wednesdays and Fridays. Pretty soon, it became easier and they managed to work out the other days of the week with all of their “stuff”.
After one and a half years of carpooling Lydia says, “I have even learned a few shopping tricks from her.” They switch who drives about every two weeks reducing both their commuting costs. Both are registered for the Emergency Ride Home program and now track their trips for monthly and quarterly GoPerks drawings for gift cards to restaurants near home and work.
Advice from Lydia & Ava:
Ava: “Start with www.sharetheridenc.com, and if you can drive at least some of the time, check the box that indicated you will drive. It will open a whole new window of opportunities.”
Lydia: “Carpooling is easy. Talk out what you have got going on and make it work. I still don’t like to drive, but even more, I don’t like driving to work by myself. Having Ava is a godsend. “
Employer Spotlight & GoPerks Sponsor: The Bicycle Chain
As we approach June we reflect on May and National Bike Month. The Bicycle Chain and the Clean Machine tell us why they made the decision to support this year’s GoPerks.
“As members of the cycling and the broader Triangle community, we’re committed to supporting not only people who have already transitioned part or all of their vehicular commute to cycling, but also to giving incentives for those who may be considering making the change. Cycling is much more than a recreational activity and, with the proper resources and infrastructure, more residents can consider the bicycle as a viable option for their commutes with minimal impact to their daily schedule.
We support our patrons in commuting options, including the Commute Alternative Program (CAP) at UNC offering members a discount in our stores. We offer training classes on a variety of maintenance topics the typical commuter can expect to encounter, as well as maps of local bike paths, designated cycling lanes and trail systems. We support several cycling events during the year aimed at getting more people on bikes in the Triangle.
We support our employees biking to work. If you can’t ride your bike to work at the bike shop, how can we expect anyone to ride to their office? As we have moved or remodeled our stores, we’ve built in support for staff members who choose to cycle to work – including secure bike parking at all stores, and we have added shower facilities for our staff at several locations! Also, our staff members are offered significant discounts on our lines of products, which helps them get out and ride the products they sell!”
And the GoPerks Winners are….
Barberitos – $10 Gift Card
|Tiwanna Nevels-Durham County|
|Chris Underhill-NC Dept of Commerce|
Brixx @ Cameron Village – $10 Gift Card
|Mirta Mihovilovic-Duke University|
|Patricia Rabideau-Durham County VA|
Café Carolina Bakery @ Cameron Village – $10 Gift Card
|Bhavna Hora-Duke University|
|Holly Leddy-Duke University|
|Rebecca Duffy-City of Raleigh|
|Bhavna Hora-Duke University|
Cameron Bar & Grill – $10 Gift Card
Cameron Bar & Grill – $25 Gift Card
Cameron Village Gift Card – $5
|Ed McLenaghan-Office of State Budget & Management|
|Lindale Hill-City of Raleigh|
|Delores Ali-Dept of Public Instruction|
Cuban Revolution – $10 Gift Card
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – $10 Gift Card
Faire Restaurant – $10 Gift Card
Faire Restaurant – $25 Gift Card
Great Outdoor Provisions – $25 Gift Card
|Kip Coonley-Duke University|
Johnny Carinos – $25 Gift Card
Macy’s – $50 Gift Card
Maggiano’s – $25 Gift Card
McDonald’s @ Cameron Village – $5 Gift Card
Medlin Davis Cleaners – $50
|Freda Butner-Dept of Agriculture|
Mura @ North Hills – $10 Gift Card
|Todd Delk-City of Raleigh|
Mura @ North Hills – $25 Gift Card
North Hills – $25 Gift Card
Only Burger – $5 Gift Card
Only Burger – $10 Gift Card
|The Oxford Restaurant – $10 Gift Card|
The Oxford Restaurant – $25 Gift Card
Piccola Italia @ Cameron Village – $10 Gift Card
Piccola Italia @ Cameron Village – $5 Gift Card
The Pit Restaurant – $50
|Rebecca Duffy-City of Raleigh|
Shop Downtown Raleigh – $10 Gift Card
|Lucy Medlin-Dept of Public Instruction|
Sitti Restaurant – $50
|Joyce Munro-City of Raleigh|
Sweet Frog @ Chapel Hill – $10
|Carol Rush-Duke University|
Tobacco Road Sport Café – $10 Gift Card
Tyler’s Taproom – $10 Gift Card
Zinda Restaurant – $25 Gift Card
|Ed McLenaghan-Office of State Budget & Management|
Thanks to our GoPerks sponsors!
Today we’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled Bike Month programming to talk about something really exciting that’s happening in our area.
The Wake County Transit Strategy
Since December of 2014, Wake Transit has been working with an advisory committee made up of community members to develop a transit plan for Wake County. They want this plan to set up Wake County with a killer transit strategy for the next decade and up to the next 50 years.
Wake Transit’s site includes blog posts, an event calendar, updated reports from their advisory board, and surveys. The plan is focused on what the people of Wake County want from their transit system so your feedback and survey responses are crucial.
You can also check out some great articles on what Wake Transit has been doing recently on Next City or Jarrett Walker’s blog, Human Transit. Jarrett Walker is one of the consultants who’s been tasked with assisting Wake County in their transit goals so he’s a great source for information on the plans.
Follow along as the strategy develops and share your thoughts on Wake Transit’s Twitter.
You can also share your questions and feedback in our comments section below!