A Rewarding Commute

Some of you may already be familiar with NuRide, a new (to Austin) program that rewards people for making choices that “green” your commute or daily trips. For those of you who aren’t, the easiest way I can think to describe it is as a rewards program for everyone who contributes to taking automobiles off the roads of Central Texas.

With a goal of reducing the pollution and congestion associated with driver-only car trips, NuRide members accrue points each time they log a trip taken via carpool, vanpool, public transit, bicycle or walking. They can also accrue points for trips not taken if they telecommute. The program, which is free, allows members to… Continue reading “A Rewarding Commute”

Capital Metro Connects Kids and Toys

Sunshine and big crowds.

On Saturday Capital Metro participated in the 22nd Annual Chuys Children Giving to Children Parade down Congress Ave. My arms are still tired from waving (and carrying my 6-year-old part of the way.)

It was a beautiful day and this year for the first time we combined our participation in the parade with an employee toy collection drive. Despite a late start to the toy drive Capital Metro employees proudly contributed well over 100 toys to Operation Blue Santa for the children of Central Texas.

We looked a bit like Santa's sleigh.

As we ambled down Congress the crowds lining the street were as big as I’ve seen them for the parade. The big turnout led to larger-than-expected donations to Operation Blue Santa and our bus was “drafted” mid-parade by the Parade Marshalls to serve as a toy collection vehicle near 6th and Congress. We spent a good ten minutes on the Ann Richards Bridge at the end of the parade unloading all the great donations from everyone along the way.

Thanks to all from Capital Metro who participated and to those of you in the crowd who cheered us on as we rolled past on Saturday.

Bike to Work Day Breakfast

Although I know everybody’s been doing so all week, tomorrow — Friday, May 21st — is officially “Bike to Work Day”.

Capital Metro is participating in the day’s events as one of the official breakfast stations around Austin. We’ll be out at the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail Station starting at 6:30am (until 9 or 9:30) serving up some fine breakfast tacos courtesy of Nuevo Leon and delicious coffee donated by our friends at Texas Coffee Traders.

If you haven’t ridden yet this week there is no better time — free stuff! Stop by on your way into work if you’re hungry or just ring your bell and wave as you ride past.

MetroRiding101: the Cell Phone trick

I take evening classes at UT and once or twice a week I invariably find myself waiting for a Capital MetroBus to take me home after 9pm. Because the buses are less frequent in the evening and my bus stop for the 10/20 along Red River is not all that well lit I’m often worried that our bus operator won’t see me and I’ll have to wait for the next one. I haven’t been left behind yet but more than once I’ve ended up waving my arms and shouting at the last possible second as the bus fails to slow until it’s even with me and then pulls over well past the normal stop area. (Must be my black jacket.)

Recently though one of our bus operators taught me a great trick. Operator Joe Rhodes suggested that I use my cell phone to signal the driver — waking it from sleep and then waving it toward the driver as the bus approaches is a great way to catch their attention, particularly when you’re in an area without good street lighting.

I was sceptical at first but I’ve used this little trick twice in the last week and both times the Operator saw me with plenty of time to spare. And both operators greeted me with a warm “Thank you for doing that!” as I boarded their bus.

Give it a try if you find yourself worrying about whether you can and will be seen.

Thanks Joe!