GreenLights is your monthly newsletter highlighting the outstanding employers and commuters across the Triangle. Please let us know if you are interested in being featured. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be on the lookout for the next GreenLights at the end of each month.
Now on to our September (September, went by so fast!) edition.
Commuter Spotlight – September 2013
Cycling for Ed McKim is more than a green commute to work. It has become a lifestyle. Most mornings he treks about eight to nine miles from Oberlin Road to Millbrook Exchange. The trip takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on the traffic. I was first introduced to Ed McKim, a.k.a. RadicalEd through his phenomenal video of his daily trip on YouTube. McKim says,
“On rainy days I may drive. I have been riding in to work almost 5 days a week since February or March of this year.” He has been riding his bike to work as an alternative to driving since 2008. He started out biking off and on one or two days a week. He got a road bike in 2007, and started working at an outdoor gear shop. A lot of cyclists were regulars at the store, and the spark was lit. Working at a bike shop in Chapel Hill, he was completely blown away by a Durham cyclist who biked to his job in Chapel Hill. The ride was 17 miles each way, every day, no matter the weather.. So his passion for cycling became a lifestyle, and it is his favorite way to commute. Yes, he drives if the weather is bad and he has registered with the GoTriangle Emergency Ride Home program in case of emergencies or if he gets sick at work. But, he certainly has enjoyed the few times he has gotten caught in the summertime afternoon rain. He says “sometimes it is a great way to cool off.” He’s also logging his commutes in SharetheRideNC so he can see his gas savings, emissions reductions, and even calories burned.
Some people want to bike to work but don’t because they need help finding safe paths and greenways or other info. GoTriangle’s got it covered! Check out the list of maps for local greenways and bicycle trails and other cyclist resources. You will find tons of information on cycling including NC laws and links to local biking groups.
You don’t have to ride 17 miles each way like RadicalEd’s friend to start out your new commute. Try riding your bike to the corner store Sunday morning for the paper instead of driving or ride to your bus stop, or from your stop to your office. Be like Ed – start out small and then try one or two days a week. You never know where it could lead.
Company Spotlight – TransLoc says to “Ride the Freakin’ Bus”
Every day we advocate for someone to make a small change. After all, that is how it starts. You have to take the first step to walk a mile. That’s why we’re so excited to hear about a Raleigh company, TransLoc, initiating a policy to help employees get past the excuses and “ride the freakin’ bus.” As a matter of fact the official name of the program is Ride the Freakin’ Bus. It kind of says it all, right!?
If you have used any of the regions real-time feeds or bus prediction systems like Triangle Transit’s “GoLive, ” to find out where your bus is and when it’s going to be at your stop you have used TransLoc’s products. Most bus riders are more familiar with their products than their name. Although TransLoc is a small firm near NC State’s campus in Raleigh, they provide real-time info about bus systems via maps and text messaging to companies across the country. About a month ago, Transloc launched a policy called “Ride the Freakin’ Bus” requiring all employees to ride the bus at least twice a month.
Daniel Flowe of TransLoc says they were motivated to start this program for two reasons. “First, we fundamentally believe in transit. We believe that transit benefits our community, our environment and our economy. We recognize that there is a deep and unfair stigma associated with transit, and that people need a push to try it for themselves and see that transit is the asset we know it is. We did our best to provide that push to our team, and to make it fun.” And everyone in the company has a personal interest in seeing transit successful. Flowe says, “We know that we can’t create a great product for transit unless we all ride transit. Weave already seen great insights from members at all levels of our organization just from one month of riding.” At the onset, most employees were very positive; some understandably complained. However, Flowe commented “It’s been fun to see how much more relaxed people are when they’ve ridden the bus in. They talk about how they didn’t realize how much stress their commute caused them and about how much they enjoy using that time productively rather than staring at the car in front of them”. Now that the buses can ride on the shoulder and pass traffic when it is slow or stopped, there is even more reason to try the bus during rush hour.
Some employees have opted to ride the bus more than the required two days a month. Encouraging transit use, TransLoc started a friendly competition encourages transit use even more. Last month’s winner logged 43 trips. Way to go!
So as you ride the bus around the Triangle, look out for this fantastic group of people. They will be sitting with you, making sure our GoLive system is giving accurate predictions, and if possible, making the system even better. Give them a high five! They are making a difference. They made a change. Small changes really do matter. For the employee that just does the minimum riding two days a month, they have reduced their commuting costs and carbon emission by 10%. You can do it too. Call 919 485-7433 or go online to www.gotriangle.org to get help planning a trip, and find out more about how you can cruise past traffic just by taking the bus.