Brian's resolution is to share the value of transit to my kids.

What’s Your Commute Resolution?

Every New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start, and changing the way you commute could lead to a happier and healther life. Switching from car to transit means letting someone else do the driving and giving yourself free time to do more. Adding walking or biking to your commute can support your fitness goals without more trips to the gym.

Not sure how to get started? If it has been a while, check out these helpful walking, biking, transit, ride sharing and active transportation resources.  Or get some inspiration from these fine folks:

Brian's resolution is to share the value of transit to my kids.

“I resolve to pass down the value of transit to my kids.” — Brian Carter


I will commit to riding my bike to work at least once a week

“I commit to riding my bike to work at least one day a week.” — Nadia Barrera-Ramirez


Lonny on the bus

“I resolve to ride transit to work at least 4Xs per week and to stop at the supermarket on my way home to reduce the need for weekend car trips.” — Lonny Stern


Yannis on the bus

” I pledge to ride MetroExpress 980 from Howard Station to work 3Xs per week.” — Yannis Banks 

Share your Commute Resolution! Everyone needs a little inspiration. Tell us how you are planning to transform your commute in the New Year by email (and we’ll share here) or post your resolution on social media and tag us using #commuteresolution.

Dump the Pump Day – June 21

This Thursday, we’re asking you to dump the pump and ride Capital Metro. June 21 is National Dump the Pump Day and there has never been a better time to make the switch to public transit. There are a multitude of benefits to riding transit.

Saves money

Riding transit is an affordable option. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s June Transit Saving Report, a two-person household can save, on the average, almost $10,000 a year by downsizing to one car.

Capital Metro has some of the lowest fares in the nation. A 31-day local pass costs just $30. Use this fuel savings calculator to find out how much money you could be saving by riding public transit.

Saves the environment

Taking public transit is the most effective action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Riding Capital Metro saves 4,800 pounds of carbon per year and far exceeds the combined benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, weatherizing one’s home, and replacing a refrigerator.

Calculate your carbon savings riding public transportation.

Saves your health

Riding Capital Metro is also a healthy choice. Studies have shown that regular transit riders tend to be healthier because of the exercise they get walking to and from bus stops, train stations and their homes or offices.

It might be hot in June, but a short walk will do you good. Cool off in our well air-conditioned vehicles and enjoy a relaxing ride home, rather than a stressful drive in rush hour traffic.

The concept behind Dump the Pump started right here at Capital Metro, and now it is a national event to raise awareness of all the benefits of public transportation. So what are you waiting for? Ditch the car and get on the bus, train or carpool this Thursday.Try it and you might like it.

Dump the Pump contest Grand Prize Winner: Komal Gandhi

Komal Gandhi submitted a video entry to the Dump the Pump contest that highlights the benefits of riding Capital Metro. As the grand prize winner, she’s taking home an iPad2, four tickets to an Austin Chronicle “Paper Cuts” concert, a commuter gift bag with three 31-day passes and a free Car2Go membership with 120 free minutes–a prize worth about $860! Way to go, Komal!

Dump the Pump contest Second Place Winner: Darius Williams

Congrats to Darius Williams, who took 2nd place in the Dump the Pump Contest for his creative “Dear John” letter. He won six month’s worth of Capital Metro passes, two tickets to an Austin Chronicle “Paper Cuts” concert, a commuter gift bag, and a free Car2Go membership with 60 free minutes.

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Leigh,

I feel it’s time for a heart to car moment. There are a few things I must get off my chest. Over the years we’ve been through a lot together: spontaneous cross-country road-trips, campouts on the beach, tailgates – it’s really been great! But lately things have started falling apart.

Honestly, it’s not you, it’s me. You’re worth so much more than I’m capable of giving. Between your costly repairs, car insurance, not to
mention rising gas prices, I’m just not able to provide all that you need – that you deserve.

But there’s more. I’ve found someone else. I want you to hear this from me and not some hatchback down the street. Her name is CapMetro.
She’s been filling in the void since you’ve been parked – getting me across town and back, introducing me to new people, not to mention
helping me manage my finances.

Don’t take this the wrong way. I truly love you and it’s been a great ride. I just know you’re better off with someone able to provide the right kind of love and affection. I’m certain with time your new owner will have you up and running in tip-top shape in no time.

Don’t think of this as the end of the road, but as a new beginning on paths uncharted. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

With Love,
A. Rider
XOXO

Dump the Pump contest Third Place Winner: Adela Srinivasan

Right now we are at Brush Square at Downtown Station, announcing the winners of the Dump the Pump contest, and enjoying the upbeat sounds of the East Side Dandies. This is the first post of a few that you’ll see today, highlighting our top winners in the contest. This is the third-place entry from Adela Srinivasan, and her prize is three month’s worth of Capital Metro passes, two tickets to an Austin Chronicle “Paper Cuts” concert, a commuter gift bag and a free Car2Go membership. Congratulations!

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My love affair with Capital Metro started way back years ago I first landed to US from Europe, and here I was- a city which seemed to have no boundaries (nothing l have seen before in Europe). What I really mean, is the way US cities are spread out- thanks for the abundance of space!  And I loved it, but one thing that really kept me from enjoying Austin’s  vastness was the fact that I did not have my European way of  grabbing a bus and going places- and the fact that I could not drive was making me even more bitter!

Continue reading “Dump the Pump contest Third Place Winner: Adela Srinivasan”

Dump the Pump with Capital Metro: tomorrow

National Dump the Pump Day is tomorrow, Thursday, June 16. What are your plans? Perhaps you can walk or ride your bike to work or school, or jump on one of our buses with powerful air-conditioning. You can carpool, car2go, or ride MetroRail or a pedicab. It’s up to you, but I hope you will consider doing your “to- and fro-ing” without the use of your personal car.

Brown bag it tomorrow, and join Capital Metro and car2go at a lunchtime celebration at Brush Square park, adjacent to the Downtown Station, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The East Side Dandies will belt out “hot jazz” from the 20’s and 30’s, and officials from Capital Metro will announce new carsharing options that will make dumping the pump easier.

We’ll also be announcing the winners of our Dump the Pump, Ride with Us contest. Thank you so much for your brilliant entries! Seventy-something entries have been carefully judged and scored, and tomorrow several people can claim their prizes, including one grand prize winner who will be taking home an iPad2. (We’ll be posting the winning entries on CapMetroBlog tomorrow, so come back.)

The concept behind Dump the Pump started right here at Capital Metro, and now it is a national event to raise awareness of all the benefits of public transportation. What we see and hear all the time is that people have some pre-conceived notions about riding transit that prevent them from trying it, but once they do, they realize it is easier and more pleasant than they thought it would be. Try transit, my friends! Try transit. Tomorrow.

Dump the Pump Tomorrow

Tomorrow, June 17, is National Dump the Pump Day, and we here at Capital Metro hope you’ll celebrate with us by leaving your car at home.

Dump the Pump logo

As automobiles are the greatest source of air pollution, trying an alternative to driving solo to work or school makes a big impact on the quality of our environment. In fact, you’ll be dubbed an Ozone Action Hero (you have to acquire your own cape, however) for walking, biking, carpooling, or riding Capital Metro instead of driving.

If you’re interested in trying public transportation tomorrow and joining the thousands of regular Capital Metro riders who are doing their part to save the environment, we have an incentive for you: you can ride free on Dump the Pump Day with this coupon. Print it out and show it to your bus driver or MetroRail fare enforcement officer, and your ride will be on us.

During rush hour, every full bus takes about 35 cars off the road; let’s fill the bus! (and train).

DUMP THE PUMP!

Today’s National Dump the Pump Day, and we’re sponsoring a photo contest. Send us a photo of yourself riding Capital Metro today, and we’ll put your name in a drawing to win one of 20 Capital Metro eco-friendly windbreakers, and one grand prize–a $200 gift certificate to EcoShoppe. Full rules/details here.

I thought I’d share some of the cool photos we’ve received today. Note: these aren’t winners of the contest (yet)–we’ll do a random drawing of all the photos tomorrow. Send yours in!

See some more behind the cut.



National Dump the Pump Day is tomorrow

“If you’re serious about being green, you should be riding Capital Metro.” That was our message today at the North Lamar Transit Center, where we set up a display to demonstrate just how significant the benefits are to the environment when you take public transportation instead of driving. It’s the single greatest action you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

You’d have to use 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper for the next 45-48 years (450,000 – 480,000 sheets of paper!) to make the same positive effect on the environment as riding the bus for a single year.

Bus operator and MetroBlogger Leo Guerrero poses with a Capital Metro hybrid bus and the mountain of paper.

Tomorrow would be a perfect day to make the switch to public transit–it’s National Dump the Pump Day, and you can score some environmentally-friendly goodies, too.

BAG EXCHANGE
Come to either the North Lamar Transit Center or the South Congress Transit Center tomorrow morning with at least five plastic grocery bags for recycling, and we’ll give you a reusable grocery bag and a 20% off coupon from EcoShoppe. We’ll be there at 6:30 a.m. until the bags run out.

PHOTO CONTEST

Take a picture of yourself riding Capital Metro and email the photo to dumpthepump@capmetro.org for a chance to win one of 20 i-Ride eco-friendly windbreakers, or the grand-prize, a $200 gift certificate to EcoShoppe. Read the full details and the small print here.

TWEET
Tweet about your Dump the Pump Day experiences! Use the hashtags #DumpThePump and #CapMetro to be part of both the local and the national movements to ride public transportation to save the planet. Have fun with it!

We have to give some props to IKON Office Solutions and Longhorn Office Products who helped us acquire 480,000 sheets of recycled paper for our demo today, as well as EcoShoppe for partnering with us on the promotion.

SUV Driver Seeks Commute Solutions

Today the Austin American Statesman printed a letter to the editor from an SUV driver who decided to take the bus for her 13-mile trip to work. But she was frustrated about the transfers and the significant time added to her commute.

Certainly the bus schedules aren’t going to work for everyone. And you should indeed consider the time vs. money trade off when you’re deciding on the best way to get around. But it’s important to remember that the bus is not the only way to dump the pump. Our RideShare program provides alternatives to help reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road. In addition to managing Capital Metro’s popular vanpools and hybrid carpools, RideShare can help match you with others looking to form carpools.

Talk to your neighbors and co-workers too. If the bus doesn’t work for your daily commute, perhaps there’s someone you live near or work with who is in the same situation. Sounds like a perfect match for a carpool.

Many employers are taking a closer look at ways to ease their employees’ pain at the pump. Telecommuting, compressed work weeks or flexible work hours may be an option. Our RideShare staff can assist with setting up employer-sponsored transportation solutions.

Just like the bus schedules, these ideas may or may not work for you. But it’s good to know that there are options out there.

Getting back to the point of having to transfer too many times, in future posts we’ll update you on Capital Metro’s Comprehensive Operational Analysis which will directly address the issue of bus routing and alignments throughout our system.