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.


 

March 2018 Featured Commuter: Carrie D.

March 26th, 2018 by | No Comments

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

Carrie carpooling with her husband Andy

Carrie carpooling with her husband Andy

With no public transportation options between downtown and our home in western Travis County, my husband and I aim to carpool four days a week in an electric vehicle (Nissan Leaf), dropping off and picking up our kid at daycare together. Although my time in the car is slightly longer compared to driving myself, it gives us over an hour to discuss our week’s plans and priorities, so we never feel like time is wasted if we hit a traffic jam. If we run out of topics of conversation, I am lucky to be the only family member who doesn’t get carsick when reading, so as a passenger I can always use my phone to: get a head start on the workday by checking emails; download a book or magazine from the library for myself; or find interesting news items, and read them out loud for discussion. One of our challenges is also a benefit: we have to be much more organized in the mornings to ensure none of us are late, a goal we are mostly successful at despite none of us being morning-people. I’m so glad we’ve pushed ourselves to do this more often, thanks in large part to the City of Austin’s rewards for more frequent alternative commutes. – Carrie D.

Thanks Carrie, Commute Solutions loves that you are able to incorporate carpooling into your commuting behaviors and hope that your story will inspire others to give it a try. 


 

Nov. 2017 Featured Commuter: Cuong N.

January 12th, 2018 by | No Comments

Cuong works for the city of Austin at the One Texas Center just south of downtown, however, he lives in northwest Austin. This can be quite the commute but Cuong has made the best of it. He vanpools to work using the Rideshare program from Capital Metro and he shifts his schedule so he is not commuting to work during peak traffic – 7 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

Cuong meets with his carpool buddies, Greg, Jennifer, and Sergio at 5:50 a.m. at Lakeline Station – where there is reserved vanpool parking – to start their commute to work. They arrive to work by 6:30 a.m.

Vanpooling allows Cuong to reduce his carbon footprint, and number vehicles on the while saving money and tear and wear on his vehicle “With the federal and city subsidy, my commute almost does not cost me anything,” he said.

Cuong enjoys his commute because it shortens his drive time, it is less stressful than commuting alone, and he enjoys the people with which he commutes.  I have a great group of vanpool buddies to joke around with during the commute time – what’s not to like?

The biggest challenge with his commute is sticking to the same schedule. Since Cuong is the vanpool driver her has to be dependable and punctual. His advice is not to be afraid of sticking to a schedule because you will adjust after a couple weeks.

Thanks Cuong, you and your carpool buddies are helping the region fight traffic and pollution with your commute solution!


 

A Sustainable Commute Option that you should know about: Carsharing

November 12th, 2017 by | No Comments

car2go LogoOver the past few years, you have likely seen the tiny white cars with Car2Go branding traveling around town. Carsharing companies like Car2Go and Zipcar have been operating in the region for a number of years and could help you out if you do not have access to your own vehicle. Carsharing is a vehicle rental model that allows people to rent vehicles for short periods of time, often by the hour. This could be especially useful for people that commute to work without their personal vehicle because it gives you more flexibility to run errands during your lunch break or quickly get home if something unexpected comes up.

Zipcar LogoCurrently, Car2Go operates in Central and North Austin while Zipcar operates in Central Austin and San Marcos.

Consider learning more about the feasibility of carsharing for your situation, or share the information with someone you know who is hesitant to bus or vanpool because they want the ability to leave work quickly.


 

A Sustainable Commute Option that you should know about: Chariot

October 12th, 2017 by | No Comments

Chariot LogoFor just over a year now, Chariot has been providing Austin with what they term “micro-transit,” Chariot offers a mix of fixed-route mass-transit and on-demand ridesharing and they could help you get to work more sustainability than driving yourself which can to congestion and can harm the environment.

Chariot has three different public transit-like routes where individuals can reserve a seat on a van using a smartphone app; an enterprise service for companies to get their employees to and from work; and a charter vehicle program.

Currently, all of Chariot’s public routes are operating between south Austin and downtown Austin. Chariot charges $3.50 per ride or $95.00 for a monthly pass. Visit Chariot


 

Oct. 2017 Featured Commuter: Victor J.

October 12th, 2017 by | No Comments

Victor works in downtown Austin for Travis County but lives in Leander. This is a 50+ mile per day commute. This could be a commuting nightmare; however, Victor has found a way to make it work without relying on a car.

For the past six years, Victor has commuted to work via bike, train, and/or bus. He says, “Commuting to work has allowed me to be more active outside, and at 44 years old, I am stronger than ever riding my bike 45-65 miles a week.”

With his long commute, Victor has learned a lot, “I would suggest for those thinking about commuting is to find what options work for you, have a backup plan, begin slowly, and when riding your bike tough out the weather and be defensive.” 

Great advice from Victor! He has found a way to make his daily trip to and from downtown Austin without needing to drive alone every day.

 He also credits Travis County for providing the option to commute sustainably to work and making him a commuter ambassador. Talk to your employer if your commuting options do not work for you currently but might with workplace support; this could be flexing your schedule to avoid peak traffic, getting help to set up an office vanpool, or allowing you to telework!

 

May Bike Month Commuter Contest Winner Spotlight

June 12th, 2015 by | No Comments

Congrats to one of our Bike Month Commuter Contest winners, Robert! Here is what he had to say and we are pretty impressed that he rides about 4,000 miles each year.

“I’ve been commuting almost exclusively by bicycle for 5-6 years, mostly on my cheap fixed-gear track bike. My commute is 9 miles each way, so I ride approximately 4,000 miles each year to / from work. In addition to the fitness and financial benefits, I truly enjoy the intangibles such as the friendly interactions with the city that you can only get when you’re not closed up in a 2,000-pound steel box on wheels. I get to say hello to neighbors and other commuters and recently even had the opportunity to hop off my bike to help an elderly lady who had fallen.”

Robert T. 2015 Bike Month