Transit Thursday – Live Your Best Life

jump-1527153-1598x1061It’s easy to quantify the financial and health
benefits of taking public transportation, but what about just…happiness? Here at GoSmart, we are strong believers that if you take transit, you are living your best life.

Now I know that’s a big statement. And you’re thinking, “Sam, are you going to back this up?” Yes reader, I will. So read on!

Picture this, an uninterrupted period of time for you to organize, get ready for the day, catch up on work, or maybe just close your eyes and meditate? Now imagine that zen time replacing your frenzied and stressful commute via car. You can go from tense to relaxed, and drop some worries, with a new commute!

Public transit is a great time to catch up on reading, plan for the week, or just take a little time each day just for you! And it gets better, because there are life benefits, such as weight loss, increased economic opportunities, and an overall safer commute. Using transit may even make you more inventive since many bus commuters walk the first and last mile, and a study done at Stanford found walking to boost creative inspiration and output by up to 60%!


If the creativity boost and the mental health break doesn’t get you excited, how about prizes? With GoPerks and Share the Ride NC you can track any commute that you walk, bike, bus, carpool, you name it…just not driving alone! Your tracked miles turn into points which can be redeemed for some pretty awesome prizes…hint hint, gift cards! So head over to right now to learn all about it!

It’s not too late to get started on your resolutions, so head over to to learn more and join the conversation with #NewYearNewCommute.

#CarlessMarch – Week 2

If you read last week’s recap you already know that #CarlessMarch has been just as hard if not harder than I expected. I was surprised at how easily I handled long distances. Getting to my office or between cities in the Triangle was a breeze and I have really begun to enjoy those 20-30 minutes of downtime I have to catch up on things or just clear my head. The distances that have proved to be most challenging are those medium-length distances that are a little too far to walk but just aren’t convenient to reach via the bus.

I was surprised at how easily I handled long distances. Getting to my office or between cities in the Triangle was a breeze and I’ve really enjoyed those 20-30 minutes of downtime I have to catch up on things or just clear my head. The trips that have proved to be most challenging are those medium-length distances that are a little too far to walk but just aren’t convenient to reach via the bus.

My solution?

I bought a bike.

I ended up cheating a few times before it really hit me that this was the necessary piece for going carless successfully and painlessly (if you disregard how much pain my quads and glutes are in right now).

Picture of Eleanor in front of her new bike with the hashtag #CarlessMarch

Not only is this a great opportunity to show some love to local businesses but small, local bike shops are going to make this process as simple as possible. Folks in these shops know the area, the roads you’ll be traveling, and obstacles you may face. They’re also committed to getting people on bikes in their community which means you’re going to get way more help than at a huge store, online site, or someone on craigslist (which I’ve done but would only recommend if you have a decent amount of bicycle knowledge).

I chose to buy my Raleigh Rush Hour from Cycle Logic in downtown Raleigh. I’m familiar with the shop and knew they would get me set up on something awesome and within my budget. You can check out their website which lists all the new, sale, and used or antique bikes they have in stock before heading over to their eclectic shop.

I live in Durham so had to show some support here as well. I picked up some accessories at Bullseye Bicycle over on Morris and Chapel Hill Rd. I’d never set foot in the shop before but Rob was super helpful and even invited me to join their monthly casual ride.

The ride is going down next week on Thursday, March 27th! According to Rob, it’s not only a great way to meet people in the community but also to gain some road-riding confidence and learn best biking practices and routes. I, for one, can’t wait.

Route 105 Operator, Nate, stands in front of my bike on the bus' rack.

Once you get comfortable on your bike, pair it up with your bus route to really capitalize on some multimodal transportation. I put my bike on the Triangle Transit Route 105 out of Raleigh just minutes after purchasing it. I’d never used the rack before but my operator, Nate, hopped off and gave me the quick tutorial (after which he teased me for working for Triangle Transit and being such an amateur).

I can’t wait to see you on the road!

Share your biking and multimodal stories in the comments!



5 Findings From Going Carless – Week 1

It’s been a little over a week since I committed to going carless for the month of March.

So, obviously, I thought it best to put these discoveries in a super digestible list for you. 

1. I’m a total CHEAT

I’ve never considered myself a cheater but I am now. I might as well be Coach (John Candy) in Cool Runnings, putting weights in my sled to win Olympic gold.

That’s right. It’s only been a week and I’ve already cheated during my #CarlessMarch challenge. Looking back, I don’t even remember why. It was probably due to a donut emergency or something equally idiotic.

It’s made me realize that having access to a car is definitely a luxury and choosing to go without is a sacrifice. But more importantly, this points us towards one of the biggest challenges facing public transit: people value their own convenience far and above the greater impact of their actions. Some people may choose to take public transit because of its benefits, but the rest are going to have to be convinced by having well-planned transit and-let’s be honest-some good ol’ public shaming of driving cars solo.

2. Sometimes transit is going to fit my life, my life has to fit transit

I live about half a mile from the Downtown Durham YMCA but I’ve started going to the gym on the American Tobacco Campus since beginning this challenge. Why, you ask?

The Downtown Durham YMCA is about a half mile walk from my house so I’ve started going to the ATC YMCA before I transfer from my TTA bus to my DATA bus at Durham Station. Before you start thinking of me as some gym rat… I’m switching because if I walked to the gym and back my workout would basically be complete so there’d be no point.

So far, this has been the first life change that I’ve made in order to fit around my transit schedule.

3. Getting between cities is shockingly easy

The Regional Transit Center bathed in sunlight

So I may be a little biased when talking about Triangle Transit but even still… this particular bus system makes it super easy to get between cities in the Triangle. I live and work in Durham but a lot of things in my social life take me into downtown Raleigh. My trip isn’t much longer than driving there, I’m not wasting gas, & it’s incredibly convenient.

4. Owning a bike seems imperative

One thing I’ve realized is how some distances are too long or not safe to walk but don’t make sense to get on a bus to manage. It seems like having a bike to get around town is imperative if I want to keep a good schedule and be able to get places quickly and safely.

It’s easier for me to get to downtown Raleigh using public transit than it is to get to some places just a few miles from my house.

(If you’re curious why this is then you should check out Jarrett Walker’s blog, Human Transit. Jarrett is one of the consultants working on the Wake County Transit Strategy. His work is an awesome resource for understanding the planning side of public transit.)

5. I got mad respectHan Solo Salutes

For anyone who chooses to or is dependent upon public transit for all of their travel, you’ve got all my respect. Just a week into my #CarlessMarch challenge and there are things I’m already finding to be a struggle. It’s a total shift in how I plan my day and what commitments I feel I can make.


Do you include a bike in your alternative commuting? If not, how do you manage those medium length distances? 

What changes have you had to make since choosing to commit to public transportation?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments!


It’s Time for #CarlessMarch

Last year one of our very own, John Tallmadge, committed to going carless for the entire month of March. Part of his motivation was to get a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to depend on public transportation in one’s everyday life. In looking back on his experiences, I felt challenged and intrigued, something I’ve felt a lot during the last 6 months I’ve spent at GoTriangle and Triangle Transit.

Ergo, I’ve decided that #CarlessMarch is a tradition that should be carried on and I’m going to be the transit employee to take up the calling this year.

If you follow our blog you’ll have read about my experience riding the bus for the first time as well as why I’ve continued to commute this way instead of driving. Keep following along as I take a month to experience what it’s like to be a full-time DATA, Triangle Transit, Cat, and Chapel Hill Transit rider.

Photo of a Durham Bus Stop Sign with the text "Carless March"

I’ll be at bus stops like this one this entire month. If you see me say hello!


If you’d like to go back and see what John wrote about his experiences follow the links below:
Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4

Christmas Cheer

The Triangle Transit Vanpool van was Santa's Sleigh on Monday.

We normally mention something transit-oriented on our #TransitThursday blog posts (obviously) but today we wanted to touch on something a little different: holiday cheer.

One of the best things about the contagious holiday spirit that’s going around is catching the excitement and joy of helping others.

On Monday, our Communications and Public Affairs team at Triangle Transit spent their morning helping Housing for New Hope collect donations for their clients. It’s not often that one of the vans in our vanpool gets to transport the joy of Christmas instead of passengers but this week it was packed to the ceiling with presents (so much so that our director was buried in packages up to his nose). The van is filled to the brim! Damien Graham had to hold presents so we could all fit.

Housing for New Hope assists families and individuals in their journey out of homelessness and this year companies and organizations in the area “adopted” their clients by providing donations wrapped in Christmas cheer. We couldn’t be more thankful to have had the opportunity to take a few hours out of our week to be a part of this great event.

Housing for New Hope piled donations for their clients under a Christmas tree.

If you’re looking for a way to give your time or your finances this season we recommend The Salvation Army of the Triangle. They’re still in need of help to meet their holiday goals. Durham Cares is another great organization which has the scoop on what needs there are in the area.

From our team here at GoTriangle, we hope you have a fantastic Christmas Holiday and that you find a few moments to spread that joy around.

Merry Christmas!


The Holidays are Coming

The holidays are coming. Are you ready?

Buddy the Elf is excited to hear that Santa is coming.

This is often the busiest time of the year and that definitely rings true for transit.

Family time, vacation days, holiday shopping, Christmas parties and parades pile up on top of all the end of year meetings and planning for the year ahead. That being said, there’s a lot to keep track of and we want to make sure you know where to get the most up-to-date information.

News & Events Updates

We don’t normally post transit updates here. Whether it’s a road closure or an event you should know about, our website’s news and events page is the best place to find this information. These updates span from Chapel Hill Transit to the CAT bus in Raleigh.

Email Updates

If you’re like us, you’re probably too lazy or too busy or both to constantly check our website. It’s ok. We totally understand and can bring the updates to you… just sign up for our email alerts. Whenever we post a new update it goes straight to your inbox. Too easy to be true? No. It’s seriously that easy to stay informed on what transit happenings effect you.

Go Triangle News and Alerts

Triangle Transit alerts through My Ride

Transit Thursday: A Shout Out to George Walker

Every time we receive praise from riders about our services or our operators it makes us swell up with a little bit of pride. Today, we wanted to share a piece of that with you and give a shout out to one of our team, George Walker.

Picture of George Walker

We recently received this quote from one of our riders about George,


“Thank you for all your hard work in assisting us with having a
better ride with TTA (Go Transit). I wanted to take this time to praise
excellent service. I would like to recommend George Walker for any
operator award you have.  George drives the 7:25am DRX. He greets
everyone with a smile and good morning. If you are having a bad
morning, boarding the bus with George on it will brighten your day. 
He is also an operator who does not play when it comes to getting his
customers to their destination on time and safely. I told him the next time
he goes on vacation to let us know, because we missed him.

                              Thank you and Go Transit for employing operators like George.



We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Kristen! Thank you, George, for being such a great part of our team!

If you’ve had similar experiences with our drivers, please share in the comments! Your riding experience is a top priority and we love hearing when your day is positively impacted by the staff that we’re so proud to have.