A Sustainable Commute Option You Should Know About: Waze Carpool

August 16th, 2018 by | No Comments

Waze Carpool rides $2 through 10/31

Waze Carpool matches up to 5 people with nearly identical commutes based on their home and destination addresses. Commuters can choose to be a driver or rider. Drivers earn gas money and riders pay a small rate to cover the costs of gas and vehicle wear and tear.

From August 1-October 31, all rides to/from the Austin area are $2, no matter the distance. This includes Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hayes, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Waze Carpool will cover the price difference so drivers still get gas money.

Want to learn more? Join Waze at their Front Seat Tour in the Austin Google office on 9/12 for free food, drinks, and swag. You can RSVP and find more info here.

Also, if you use Waze Carpool, be sure to log your carpool trips at myCommuteSolutions for the chance to win awesome prizes/giveaways.


 

Commute Inspiration – Featured Commuter: Karen Yu.

August 16th, 2018 by | No Comments

Learn how Karen commutes smarter, helping our region reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions!

Learn how Karen commutes smarter, helping our region reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions!
“Hi everyone! This summer, I commuted from my apartment near the UT Austin campus to my internship with Merck at the Dell Medical School. I usually biked, but sometimes I carpooled with my fellow interns when the weather was less friendly (shout out to Izzy, Cole, Shreya, and Nick for getting me through the summer!). I mainly chose to use sustainable commute methods because I dislike driving (and parking on UT’s campus can get expensive!).
At fifteen minutes, my commute was pretty short, and I enjoyed starting my day with a quick bike down the Austin hills to work. Of course, going home was a challenge because I had to ride back UP those same hills! I’m a weak biker, so I’d often just get off my bike and push it up the really steep ones! If anyone is thinking about biking to work but is also intimidated by hills, I hope it’s comforting to know that I’m somewhere out there living the struggle too!”

Thanks, Karen! Commute Solutions hopes that your story will inspire others to give it a try.


 

Commute Inspiration – Featured Commuter: Christiane A.

July 10th, 2018 by | No Comments

Learn how Christiane commutes smarter, helping our region reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions!

“I use two different forms of commute solutions during my workweek, flex scheduling and teleworking. Four days of the week, I have a flex schedule – 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – so that I avoid driving during peak traffic times. I am fortunate that I live close to work, but tweaking my schedule 30 minutes earlier allows me to leave home later and still arrive on time to work. Once a week, I telework from the comfort of my home.

One of my favorite benefits of teleworking is that I get to sleep later than I would on a normal weekday. Since I don’t have to get dressed up for work and drive there, it affords me the luxury to sleep an hour past my normal alarm. Additionally, I find that I can be more productive on big projects when working from home since I don’t have the distractions of the office. I choose to telework in order to help improve the region’s air quality and it saves me money by driving less.

My biggest initial challenge with teleworking was adjusting to accessing my work files on my personal computer. However, after a few work-from-home days, I was able to quickly overcome that initial problem. My advice for those interested in working from home or flexing their schedule is to just try it out! Both options allow for the work week to have more flexibility, so you can find more time for what matters to you.”

Thanks, Christiane! Commute Solutions loves that you are able to incorporate a flex schedule and telework into your work week and hopes that your story will inspire others to give it a try.


 

A Sustainable Commute Option You Should Know About: Cap ReMap

July 3rd, 2018 by | No Comments

On June 3, Capital Metro implemented Cap ReMap, the remaking Austin’s transit map and implementation of its biggest changes ever to the bus service. The changes make the system more frequent, more reliable, and better connected. The Capital Metro board of directors approved the changes in 2017 after two years of planning and community input. To plan your trip, visit CapMetro.org. Updates highlights include:

More Frequency More Reliability Better Connectivity
  • 14 High-Frequent Routes
  • More direct routing
  • Routes designed to work as a system
  • Departures at least every 15 minutes
  • Eliminate route deviations
  • Decreased waiting times for you next bus
  • 7 days a week
  • Easier to understand system
  • Riders able to transfer with more confidence

 

Commute Inspiration – Featured Commuter: John T.

July 3rd, 2018 by | No Comments

Learn how John commutes smarter, helping our region reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions!

John riding his bike into work

John riding his bike into work.

“Over 13 years ago when my wife and I (John) decided that we were returning to Austin, it was my desire that we find a home that was on a popular bike route, so I could ride to work from time to time and FM 2244 was one of the best bets. After a few weeks of off and on riding from just outside Bee Cave to Barton Springs Road, I found myself enjoying the morning commute by pedal far more than sitting in a car. I found that I had more energy at work and a far better disposition, at least in the morning.  I have to admit, the location is a top selling point and one not available to all. After a warm, muggy ride downtown, it is a joy to stop by the springs for a quick dip, more than desirable this time of year.

The most common comment I hear from people is about the bad Austin drivers. It is funny, but as a cyclist, I have found that the vast majority of the drivers have either stayed out of my way or have been more than courteous, though you never let your guard down. From my cycling friends, I have heard horror stories about other cities, but I feel the community here is quite supportive and in sync with the active and eclectic lifestyle that is Austin.

If you ever want to start a bike commute, begin with the bike map and try a few routes on the weekends.  Be creative as you can probably find gems that help you on your way, like the Walnut Creek or Shoal Creek trails. Find a local cyclery that you can depend on, keep your bike in top form, learn to fix flats and always be alert.”

Thanks, John! Commute Solutions loves that you are able to incorporate transit into your commute and hopes that your story will inspire others to give it a try.


 

CARTS offers FREE Rides on Country Bus Service July 2nd – 6th

June 21st, 2018 by | No Comments

The Capital Area Rural Transportation System is providing FREE RIDES July 2nd through July 6th on their Country Bus service. Anyone can ride this reservation-based service for FREE that week.

The CARTS Country Bus is regional community-based transportation for the rural areas of Bastrop,
Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Fayette, Lee, Travis and Williamson Counties.

The Country Bus is a flexible service that provides rides locally and to nearby destinations but
requires a ride reservation be made in advance. Ideal for seniors, disabled individuals or others
requiring special assistance, it is also available to everyone. This community transit service provides
curb-to-curb transportation throughout the CARTS district and connects to the regional intercity bus
network for extending access beyond local destinations, including Capital Metro and Greyhound.

Enjoy the convenience of having a CARTS bus pick you up at your home, take you to your destination, and
then back home again. To schedule your ride call 1-512-478-RIDE (7433). Rides are scheduled Monday
thru Friday, from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. 24-hours advance notice recommended. Local vehicles serve
neighboring towns, so ride times may vary. We’ll set up a time for pickup within our time slots of general
availability. On your first call we will request information to enter into your customer profile, and after
that, we will know you when you call. It’s that simple. The CARTS Country Bus service can help you or
someone you know who needs a ride for shopping, city business, medical appointments, work, nutrition
visits or any other purpose.

For more information visit RideCARTS.com, email info@RideCARTS.com or contact the call center at
512-478-RIDE (7433).


 

Two-Wheel Electric Riders Rebates Available for Electric Bikes, Scooters, Mopeds, and Motorcycles

May 24th, 2018 by | No Comments

When you choose e-ride electric vehicles, you can save money on transportation and maintenance costs. Additionally, using a two-wheel electric e-ride vehicle helps you:

  • Reduce air pollutants about 98% compared to gas-powered cars
  • Have a convenient option for driving within work campuses, parks or universities, or for close-in commutes
  • Increase visibility and awareness of electric transportation

Individual E-Ride Rebates Available

Austin Energy is offering eligible customers up to $300 to purchase a qualifying electric bike, scooter, moped, or motorcycle.

E-Ride Fleet Rebates Currently Available

Austin Energy is offering eligible businesses and organizations rebates of up to $400 per e-ride vehicles for fleets numbering five to 25 vehicles.

Electric Ride (E-Ride) Options

Speeds on two-wheel electric vehicles can range from 10 mph to over 50 mph. How these two-wheel electric vehicles are powered can vary:

  • All vehicles are powered with an electric motor.
  • Some vehicles use a combination of human and electric power.
  • Some vehicles, like the motorcycle, use only electric power.

Where to Purchase

All qualifying two-wheel vehicle purchases must be made through an Austin Energy-approved dealership (pdf) to qualify for a rebate. Approved dealers carry a variety of makes and models.

Stay Plugged In

Learn More


 

Commute Inspiration – Featured Commuter: Melissa R.

May 11th, 2018 by | No Comments

Learn how Melissa commutes smarter, helping our region reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions!

What mode(s) of travel do you use? Rapid bus, 110 flyer, buses 10, and 1. My feet take me places, too.

Where do you commute to and from? South Austin at William Cannon to Downtown Austin.

Why do you enjoy your commute? Bus drivers are better drivers than I am.  I have bad anxiety driving after a bad wreck back in 2009. I can arrive at my destination frazzle-free.

Why do you choose to use your sustainability commute? I work downtown where traffic is at its worse, so taking the bus is the obvious choice for practical time management. It also makes me feel incredibly superior environmentally as well.

What is/are some of your biggest challenge(s) with your sustainable commute? Staying up too late downtown, then trying to catch your typical bus can be confusing if the night owl buses take over.

What advice do you have for others that are interested in using a sustainable commuting option? Download the CapMetro app, buy a pass, google CapMetro and select, “Plan your trip”.  Select your starting and destination points to determine the best bus and go.  It’s super easy and convenient to use the app.

Thanks Melissa, Commute Solutions loves that you are able to incorporate transit into your commute and hope that your story will inspire others to give it a try.


 

A Sustainable Commute Option that you should know about: Biking 101

May 11th, 2018 by | No Comments

May is Bike Month and to celebrate we thought we provide you with some Biking 101 tips courtesy of Bike Austin.

If you’re new to bicycling or starting to ride again after a long hiatus, set yourself up for success by going over some basic information:

Start Slow: If it’s been a while since you’ve been on your bike, make sure to go on a few short rides around your neighborhood before you venture further. Even if you’re already in good shape, riding a bike uses different muscles than other exercises, and your body will need time to adjust. Take it nice and easy to start off, and have fun!

Know the Rules of the Road: When you’re riding your bike on the street, you have to follow traffic laws just like any other vehicle. It is illegal and unsafe not to do so. If you don’t already know them or need a refresher, make sure to check out the bicycle codes and laws for Austin.

Know Good Routes: Knowing good routes to take is a simple but important part of a safe, fun bike ride. If you’re just beginning, stick to neighborhood streets with fewer cars and slower traffic. Once you’re ready to venture further, use the my Commute Solutions trip planning tool or the City of Austin’s Bicycle Map to help identify the best routes.

Take A Bicycling Safety Class: Nothing builds your ability and confidence to safely navigate Austin by bike like taking a course. Bike Austin offers top-notch courses for people of all ages and abilities. If you feel you’re too busy to take a class, a great online cycling education course is available.

Helpful Equipment: The beauty of bicycling is that it’s simple, fun, and easy. A properly functioning bike and a little balance are all you need to get started. That said, the following items can come in handy and lead to an even better bicycling experience:

  • Water bottle: Always stay well hydrated while riding. Having a water bottle with you keeps water within reach wherever you are. If you’re not using any type of bag, you can purchase a water bottle cage that attaches to your bike. They’re inexpensive and can be found at any local bike shop.
  • Pump: A portable pump that fits in your bag or attaches to your bike is very helpful in case you get a flat or a slow leak. Riding on low tires is unpleasant, potentially dangerous, and can make it easier to get a flat. Simple portable pumps are inexpensive and can be purchased from any local bike shop.
  • Helmet: A properly fitted helmet can help protect your most vital organ in the case of a crash. The City of Austin requires a helmet for anyone under the age of 18 operating a bicycle.

 

A Sustainable Commute Option that you should know about: Dockless Bike Shares

March 26th, 2018 by | No Comments

Dockless bike share companies have popped up all over the country over the past several years and after an unsuccessful first introduction in the Austin region, both the city of Austin transportation department and the city of San Marcos/Texas State University have signaled that they are ready for their reintroduction into the region. So what is a dockless bike share and can it change the way we commute?

As the name suggests, a dockless bike share does not require a docking station. Dockless bikes are tracked using GPS chips and can be locked or unlock can be using a smartphone app. Renting the bikes are typically pretty low-cost, in the range of $1 per hour, convenient for short trips – especially for downtown or campus trips, and easy to use. A great example is using a dockless bike to fill the “last-mile” gap between your destination and a transportation alternative like a transit stop.

Dockless bike shares can be a great way for you to travel more sustainably; however, a number of challenges should be acknowledged. Misplaced bikes can be a major headache, from bikes being left on private property to the bikes taking up sidewalk space. Other concerns include making sure that there is a proper distribution of bikes in locations where riders can use them and the quality/reliability of the bikes.

For now, Austin and San Marcos are moving forward with one-year pilots to test dockless bike sharing and if all goes well this could be a permanent fixture in our region.