Transit Thursday: Do It Like the Russians Do

Russian cyclist stands next to his road bike.

Today’s blog post is basically a hats-off salute to a group of cyclists that are really taking their riding to the next level: Russians. That’s right. In Moscow, a city with some of the worst traffic in the world where your hands will definitely go numb and snot will definitely freeze on your face, ridership keeps going up.


A cycling group named Velonotte is mixing biking, culture, history, and community to create a movement on two wheels.

One ride drew in 5,000 riders wearing headphones and listening to an audio track about the historical locations they’d be passing. Other events have amassed up to 10,000 riders. It’s a beautiful mixture of all the different reasons people choose to hop on their bikes: exercise, entertainment, community, travel, and more.

The founders of Velonotte are using cycling culture to change the young, urban perception of everything from architecture to individual expression in Moscow. “People still need to show that they have a lot of money with a car and an iPhone… we are trying to change that opinion.” Creating this cycling community is not only powerful in its social effects in the young, urban population but also in its potential to change the face of public transit in Moscow.

Though the Triangle is undoubtedly more bike-friendly than Russia, we think cycling get-togethers could absolutely benefit the area. Creating better community among riders, getting people on their bikes and on the roads for the first time, and fostering a greater appreciation for the cities we live in seem like great reasons to encourage groups like this in the Triangle.

Lucky for you, we already know how to find some group rides near you. Benelux Cafe in Raleigh has a weekly Tuesday night ride and the ReCYCLEry in Carrboro has the scoop on biking events in the area.

What would convince you to join in group rides in the Triangle? Are there any historical or interesting sites you think would deserve to be included?

Share your thoughts in the comments!


#TransitThursday: Sustainable Travel Heroes Needed!


I talk about the bus a lot, y’all. At public events where I’m repping DATA, Triangle Transit, or GoTriangle, sure, but I’ve been known to work in a plug for public transit in some pretty odd moments, i.e. while being sedated during a medical procedure.

You know what, though? I’m not the only one who has a lot to say about my chosen smart commute. I spoke to a woman at a National Night Out event on Tuesday who loves Triangle Transit, and there are lots more people like her who stop by my table at events around the Triangle to tell me how they’ve figured out how to save money and their sanity by using the bus, biking, walking, or sharing their ride via a vanpool or carpool. Do you know someone like that? Are you somebody like that? Tell us about it– the 2014 Golden Modes nominations are open!

Each year we reward those individuals, employers and organizations that are committed to promoting sustainable transportation, improving our environment and reducing tra­ffic. Please take a few minutes to nominate an individual or company to let them know their dedication to smart commuting is appreciated – you can even nominate yourself! Just use the links below to complete our short nomination form or visit Winners will be recognized at the 2014 Golden Modes Award Ceremony in RTP on November 13th.   Continue reading

Best Bets by Bus – Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween! You know what’s scarier than flesh-eating ghouls and goblins? Contributing to poor air quality and traffic congestion by driving everywhere you go. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of some spooky transit-accessible events happening in the Triangle this weekend and on Monday. Click on the links below each listing to plan your bus trip. Check the date and time and plug in your address, and you’ll be on your way in no time. Remember, children 12 and under ride free. Check this page for more information on fares and passes.

Be safe and have a great weekend!

2011 Carrboro Halloween Carnival
Monday, October 31 | 6-8:30pm
Enjoy carnival games such as the Bean Bag Toss, Ring the Magic Mountain, Duck Pond, and more with wickedly good prizes. Drinks and popcorn concessions available.
Plan your trip by bus.

‘Scare-o-lina Skies
Saturday, October 29 | 7pm
The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center explores the darker legends behind the constellations. Shows will be at 7pm and 8:30pm. the milder version Scare-o-lina Skies: Family Edition is October 30. Regular ticket prices apply for both versions. Website (919) 962-1236
Adults $7.25 Chldren $6
 Plan your trip by bus.

Durham Zombie Lurch
Saturday, October 29 | 5pm
The lurch will starts at the parking lot across from Piedmont restaurant on Foster St. The route is shorter this year and will wrap up at Motorco, just 2 blocks from the start.
Plan your trip by bus.

West Point on the Eno Durham Parks & Recreation
Monday, October 31 | 6-9pm
A safe family-friendly Halloween celebration, featuring Trick or Treat at the Mangum House, hands-on creative activities led by the Scrap Exchange, face painting, campfire stories and songs, NC Scary and Silly Tales performed by members of the YPPT Company, and hayrides. Bring your flashlight and your imagination.  All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.  For information, call 919-471-1623 (option 1).
Plan your trip by bus.

Haunted Trolley Tours
10/28, 29th 6:00, 7:30, 9:00
Jump aboard the haunted trolley as it does a tour around Raleigh’s Most Haunted Places. Reservations needed. Sign up through RecLink. $10
Plan your trip by bus.

Haunted Mordecai Festival
Saturday, October 29 | 5-10 p.m.
Halloween-themed food, music, games & crafts; kids’ costume contest at 6 pm.
Register at 919-857-4364 or at RecLink
Lantern tours are $5 but general admission is FREE
Plan your trip by bus.

Kooky Spooky Halloween Party at Marbles!
Saturday, October 29 | 6pm-9pm
Come in costume and see the not-so-scary side of Marbles like the phantom pirate ship, mommies wrapped like mummies, secrets in the pumpkin patch and much more! Don’t miss an evening full of silly surprises and tasty treats!
Space is limited; pre-registration is recommended.
$8 for members, $10 for non-members
Plan your trip by bus.

Walk (or bike or roller skate) to School Month Starts TODAY!

Students from Mary Scroggs Elementray use the cross walk to start their day.

Time to lace up – or velcro depending on age – for Triangle area students: today marks the beginning of International Walk to School Month. October is not just the time when the State Fair comes to town, it’s also a time for parents, educators, students, police and PTAs to partner up to encourage students to safely walk or bike to school.

Walking or biking to school isn’t something that just happens in most cases – it’s a combination of safety education and community partners. Luckily, there are resources to help debunk myths and provide the materials needed to support the programming as well as support from Triangle area schools.

You can find materials to review, pass along, or start an active commute with your school here:

–          Raleigh, Cary and Apex Walk to School month plans

–          Carrboro will be celebrating Walk/Bike to School Day on Wed. Oct. 6th.

–          Look for updated info from Durham and Chapel Hill coming soon

–         See all registered Walk to School events in North Carolina

Students at Ephesus Elementary in Chapel for International Walk to School Day.

Earlier this year, Durant Middle School students in Wake County faced an unfortunate tragedy. Their response and goal is to develop a long term Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program that incorporates the basic elements of SRTS. The key is improving the safety of students already walking to school. This will be supported by strategies and activities incorporating student leadership and creativity in the areas of – Awareness, Education and Data Collection.  Today, October 1, students will participate in a 2 hour WalkSmart BikeSmart Safety Fair that will be conducted in partnership with The City of Raleigh, Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh Police Department and SRTS Volunteers. The fair consists of 11 different stations that will teach students various bicycle and pedestrian skills.

Remember, our children are our future – and right now the trend that is predicted for this generation is obesity, type 2 diabetes and an early grave. Fortunately, they also look to parents, teachers and other community servants as role models, and they want to mimic what we do. So start forming healthy habits now. And if walking or biking to school just isn’t an option for your household, try changing other short trips – to the grocery store, library, community park or a friend’s house. In the long run, these little changes can make a difference in the quality of your child’s life.

Two recent studies have found that walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth including:

Walking Wednesdays occur regularly in Chapel Hill.

  • Weight and blood pressure control
  • Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
  • Reduction in the risk of diabetes
  • Improved psychological welfare
  • Better academic performance

So get up and get a move on! The weather has cooled down and it looks like the rain is giving us a break to get out doors and enjoy ourselves.

Where will transit take you… 10 or 20 years from now? You decide.

The Triangle area continues to experience explosive growth — growth that requires increased mobility demands. Improvements must be made to the local transportation systems to maintain the area’s quality of life and continue to attract new industry, jobs and residents.

The vision for transit connectivity in the Triangle is strong and clear. Based upon a solid planning foundation, the current Triangle Regional Transit Program (TRTP) is moving forward with a solid array of vital partners. The vision incorporates enhanced bus services and new commuter rail corridors that will effectively and efficiently serve the growing Triangle community.  Using the website to keep the community up to date, the first round of public meetings were held in June and July, and the process of public input is now heading into the second phase.

The TRTP is the study of regional rail transit investment opportunities within the area’s rail corridors. The corridor study area spans Orange, Durham and Wake counties and will provide comprehensive analysis of rail line corridors and bus operations within the overall system corridors. The study views the area as three corridors: Wake County, Durham/Orange County, and Durham/Wake County. The Wake County Corridor begins in the vicinity of the Triangle Metro Center in Research Triangle Park (RTP) and follows the existing North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) corridor to Downtown Raleigh where it turns northward, continuing on the CSX corridor to near Triangle Town Center. The Wake County Corridor could also include future extensions from Triangle Town Center to Wake Forest and from Downtown Cary to Apex.

The Durham/Orange County Corridor begins in Chapel Hill in the vicinity of the University of North Carolina Campus and roughly follows the US 15/501 corridor north to the City of Durham, where it turns eastward to follow the existing NCRR corridor to approximately the Triangle Metro Center in RTP.

The Durham/Wake County Corridor would involve a study of transit corridor options that follow the existing NCRR corridor from Durham through RTP and Downtown Raleigh toward the Wake-Johnston County line.

The TRTP is moving forward with dedicated, passionate partners, including transportation and government organizations. However, our vision cannot come to fruition without your vital input. You, the public, are our client, our customer. And for our plans to be meaningful, we need to hear your thoughts and insight about the Triangle’s transit future.

So what do you think? Please join us for one of the upcoming public meetings so your voice can be heard. With meetings being held throughout the Triangle, there is sure to be one convenient to you. We look forward to seeing you there!

• Tuesday, September 14, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Chavis Community Center, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Raleigh (map)

• Wednesday, September 15, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 South Brooks St, Wake Forest (map)

• Thursday, September 16, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Carrboro Century Center, 100 North Greensboro St., Carrboro (map)

• Tuesday, September 21, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Durham Station Transportation Center, 515 West Pettigrew St., Durham (map)

• Wednesday, September 22, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Morrisville Town Hall, 100 Town Hall Dr, Morrisville (map)

• Thursday, September 23, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Public Workshop at Garner Historic Auditorium, 742 West Garner Road, Garner (map)