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Transit Thursday

July 23, 2015

Today In Transit

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We do a lot of the reading, research, and digging to gather together articles and ideas surrounding transit so that you don’t have to. Here are a few of the interesting things we found today;

Roads made of plastic? Could be.

The possibility of a “Bike-Autobahn” coming to Munich.

Friendly reminder: Our very own GoTriangle will be adding service to Perimeter Park on August 16th!

“Istanbul Chooses People Over Cars”

Speaking of people… Calgary’s model for pedestrian safety.

 

What articles and topics are you reading up on today? Share your favorites with us in the comments!

 

Greenlights: July 2015 Issue

July 22, 2015

The air we breathe….

"Help Keep Our Air Clean"

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Energy and Medicine, 28% of the energy used in the US is used to move transport people and goods. The transportation sector includes all modes of transportation—from personal vehicles to public transportation to airplanes, freight trains, barges, and pipelines. One might think that airplanes, trains, and buses would consume the most energy in this sector but, in fact, their percentages are relatively small—about 9% for aircraft and about 3% for trains and buses. Personal vehicles, on the other hand, consume more than 60% of the energy used for transportation.  http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-use/transportation/

The GoSmart partners work toward reducing air pollution in the Triangle and pitch in to reducing global warming or at least slow it down. The US Census said that in 2014 there was a combined population of 1.4 million people in Wake, Orange and Durham counties and growing.  That is a huge jump from 2004 when the population was 1,080,917. It may be overly presumptuous to assume that if one person chooses to ride the bus or bike to work instead of driving alone that we provide cleaner air and a better quality of life for generations to come. However, imagine what the roads would be like today if only a third of 1 million people in Wake, Orange and Durham counties had chosen to carpool, vanpool, bike, walk or ride the bus as their daily commute one or two days a week starting in 2004. It’s like compounding interest; a little today makes a huge difference tomorrow.

**It’s easy to do your part.  Learn more about air quality, sign up for alerts and do your part when the air quality forecast is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, Code Orange or worse.  Click here to learn more about the air quality index, what you can do to improve air quality and sign up for regular updates.  


 

Commuter Spotlight

Meet Jacqueline Gist, she doesn’t commute solo…

Photo of Jacquelyn Gist - July 2015 Commuter Spotlight

Jacquelyn M. Gist

Over the past two decades, Jacqueline has walked, taken the bus or gotten a ride from friends and family the entire time she has been associated with the University of North Carolina. She has never driven to campus or used on-campus parking as an undergraduate, graduate student or University Career Services employee. She walks for most of her errands and outings. She once took her car to be inspected and had only driven 600 miles since the last one!

Being a member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen for over 25 years, she has supported fare free buses, sidewalks and bike paths.  Her work to extend hours of service demonstrates her passion for  people who are truly dependent on public transportation and those who have to work late hours for which public transportation takes too long to arrive.

Jacqueline has never had a job that she couldn’t walk or take the bus. When she hears people talking about traffic in downtown Carrboro, she feels that if you’re going somewhere in a two mile radius, you shouldn’t be driving. She is admittedly not a super athlete, but a normal person who thinks it makes sense to get to work without driving. She states, “We have free buses, sidewalks and bike lanes! If people got to work some other way, the roads wouldn’t be crowded.”


Meet our GoPerks sponsors….

Eschelon Experiences supports smart commuting for a multitude of reasons – from how it can save our employees (and others) money, to the lessened impact it has on our environment. We do what we can as an organization. We recycle grease, recycle our bottles and cardboard and encourage ride-sharing amongst staff. We don’t have many ways to demonstrate our commitment to helping reduce our carbon footprint in the Triangle, so we support GoPerks!

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This month’s GoPerks winners are……

 

Michael Agar – Pfizer – $10 Mellow Mushroom Gift Card

Michael Agar – Pfizer – $5 Mellow Mushroom Gift Card

Nick Baldino – Cisco – $10 Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Gift Card

Lamont Burt – Duke University – $5 McDonald’s – Cameron Village Gift Card

Ryan Coker – HCL – Durham Bulls – 2 ticket special

Desere’ Cross – UNC – $10 Sweet Frog – Chapel Hill Gift Card

Tommy Cypress – UNC – Durham Bulls – 2 ticket special

Todd Delk – City of Raleigh – $25 Faire Restaurant Gift Card

Todd Delk – City of Raleigh – $25 Zinda Restaurant Gift Card

Bonita Douglas – Duke University – $5 Cameron Village Gift Card

Jessie Ehrisman – Duke Unversity – $10 Sweet Frog – Chapel Hill Gift Card

Taylor Floyd – City of Raleigh – $50 Medlin Davis Cleaners Gift Card

Syam Gadde – Duke University – $10 Saladelia Café Gift Card

Lindale Hill – City of Raleigh – $10 Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Gift Card

Lindale Hill – City of Raleigh – $10 The Oxford Restaurant Gift Card

Lindale Hill – City of Raleigh – $10 Zinda Restaurant Gift Card

Chuck Kelly – SAS – $10 Tyler’s Taproom Gift Card

Brenton Leanhardt – Red Hat – $50 Gravy Restaurant Gift Card

David Matesanz – Duke University  -$25 North Hills Gift Card

Lucy Medlin- Dept of Public Instruction – $10 Shop Downtown Raleigh Gift Card

Cathy Middelberg – Pfizer – $5 Picolla Italia – Cameron Village – Gift Card

Jeff Miles – NC DENR – Durham Bulls – 2 Ticket Special

Denise O’Neill – NCSU – Durham Bulls – 2 Ticket Special

Donna Schaeffer – City of Raleigh – $10 Whichwich Gift Card

Donna Schaeffer – City of Raleigh – $10 Whichwich Gift Card

Michelle Sclafani – NC DENR – $10 Piccola Italia – Cameron Village Gift Card

Erich Staib – Duke University – Durham Bulls – 2 Ticket Special

Samantha Thomas – Duke University – $5 Saladelia Café’ Gift Card

Alexandra Vaughn – UNC – $50 Macy’s Gift Card

Lisa Wheeler – UNC – $10 Mura at North Hills Gift Card

Teresa Young – City of Raleigh – $25 The Oxford Restaurant Gift Card

 

 

 

Transit Thursday

July 16, 2015

GoTriangle August Service Changes Coming Your Way!

Photo of the Newly Rebranded GoTriangle Bus

We are now expanding service to Perimeter Park in Morrisville and providing more direct service to downtown Raleigh from Cary!

We strive to constantly observe the needs of our riders and listen to your requests. When we can, we want to improve the bus service we provide throughout the Triangle. We are hopeful that next month’s changes will do just that.

Starting August 16th, the following routes will have some changes:

(A full description of changes, including maps and Q&A can be found on our website.)

In addition, other routes may have minor schedule changes to improve schedule reliability.

You can also ALWAYS get in touch with us! We’re thrilled to serve you and would love to provide you with any information you may need.

Thanks for riding with us!

Fortify Friday

July 10, 2015

Massive ‘Badger Breaker’ to Demolish I-40 in Fortify Work Zone

Photo of a Badger Breaker breaking pavement to recycle and reuse on the Fortify project.

 You may have noticed that lane shifts are now in place on I-40 between Lake Wheeler Road and U.S. 1. Raleigh crews are demolishing and removing the deteriorating roadway as part of the Fortify Rebuild I-40/I-440 project.

Curious how this is being done? With a Badger Breaker.

The 23-ton machine uses up to 12 hammers – each weighing 1,000 to 1,200 pounds – to break up the crumbling pavement. We’re not kidding. Here’s a video of the Badger Breaker in action.

“The machine turns the monolithic concrete slab into smaller more manageable-sized rocks that can be processed further to create a stabilized subgrade,” said Amir Nezarati, a senior assistant resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Granite Construction crews will then take the broken-up roadway, recycle it and use it in new asphalt that will be used to repave the 8.5-mile stretch of I-40.

A chemical reaction in the 30-year-old substructure of the roadway was causing it to crumble, and in turn, damaging the road surface. That required constant repairs and led to concerns about ongoing travel disruptions along one of the state’s busiest stretches of highway.

The chemical reaction is stopped during the recycling process, allowing the asphalt to be reused.

Work on I-40 is expected to be complete in late 2016.

Project Update

By the end of the month, two milestones will be reached, weather permitting.

Work on the 3-mile section of I-440 will be completely finished, with permanent lane markings and snow-plowable lane markers installed.

With the work wrapping up on I-440, the closed ramp lane on I-495/U.S. 64/264 West to I-440 East is also in the process of being re-opened. This will be a big relief for drivers who take this route in the morning as it will help prevent traffic from backing up on I-495/U.S. 64/264.

Wrapping up I-440 allows crews to shift their focus to the work being done on the 8.5-mile section of I-40. There will be more lane shifts coming over the next month between Lake Wheeler Road and the I-40/440 split, starting on the I-40 eastbound side. With these shifts also comes lane reductions, meaning areas where there are four and five traffic lanes will be reduced to three lanes.

The lane shifts and reductions are expected to be in place on I-40 East by late August, with I-40 West to follow. Once these are in place, average travel times are expected to increase by as much as 30 minutes in both the morning and afternoon commutes.

NCDOT urges drivers to “know before you go” and be proactive in planning their commutes. Options include leaving for work earlier or later or taking another route.

Transit Thursday

July 9, 2015

In the spirit of Transit Thursday, this week we’re bringing you transit news from all over. From strikes and construction to bike lanes and Google monopolies, there are a lot of interesting things going on in the world.

Image Jonathan Riley / Flickr

 

Right now in LA… more frequent bus network but without any new cost. How, you say? This City Lab article gives you the breakdown.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a transit strike going on in London right now and their entire “tube” system is shut down. Four unions are striking, creating a walk-out of 20,000 employees.

San Diego is breaking ground on a $65 million transit project. The hope is for the project to make travel in the area better.

Incredible cyclists in Russia are exploring their city and testing their limits…. even in -18 degree weather. We no longer have excuses for driving instead of biking because of some rain.

Even though buses and bikes are our true loves, there’s definitely a small place in our hearts for ridesharing services. Carpooling with friends or using a ridesharing service is often a great substitute for driving your own car. And now? Google is getting into the ridesharing game with their new app, RideWith.

What transit happenings have you been seeing in the news? Share with us in the comments and keep us in the loop!

Greenlights: June 2015 Issue

June 25, 2015

June 2015 Green Lights

Employee Spotlight: Steve SaltzmanPhoto of Steve Saltzman, Commuter of the Month, on his bike

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

GSK, do more, feel better, live longer

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.


Insider’s Tip:

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!

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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.

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Thank you, GoPerks Sponsors!

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Dump the Pump

June 18, 2015

Today is National Dump the Pump Day!

Dump the Pump June 18, 2015 Ride Public Transit

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.

 

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