Breaking Down Barriers: Taking Steps Toward Building a Commute That Works for You

While Flatiron Flyer ridership is up significantly, over 70 percent of US 36 residents still use a single-occupancy vehicle for their commute and solo drives to downtown Denver are at a five-year high. As population in the wider Denver metro region continues to swell, we wonder: what could be causing this many commuters to drive solo?

The largest determining factor to choosing to drive is not convenience of car over transit, it’s actually having access to cheap, abundant parking (on the other hand, employees who are provided with an EcoPass are seven times more likely to take transit.) Combine this with much needed improvements to transit service and suburban sprawl that is built for vehicles, and you have a recipe for one big barrier to walking, biking and taking transit.

While certain issues, such as suburban sprawl and improving transit service, are too big of an issue for an individual to tackle, updating your commute in bite-size pieces is not.

Here are a few simple tips you are try; even one time a week makes a difference!

  1. Our first, and favorite tip, is to try My Way to Go. This app will show you the many ways you can travel including sharing a ride with one or two other commuters, biking to work or taking transit. It will even show the health and sustainability conscious how proposed routes and modes stack up.
  2. Is there a goal you have set for yourself as an individual in 2017? Is it to be healthier or to do something good for your community? If so, think of the impact your commute has. By biking three miles to a transit station, you can burn over 100 calories and save 1,233 g/CO2.
  3. Don’t shy away from the multi-modal commute! Even driving to a transit station or biking part of the way is an accomplishment. Just think, you can load your bike up in your car, drive to a long-term parking lot and the bike the remaining few miles to your office and then reverse your commute in the afternoon.
  4. When we say commute options, we mean options. You can still drive to work, especially when it’s needed, but on days that are especially nice, try taking a commute option.
  5. Take baby steps. Just one day a week, challenge yourself to commute using an option other than driving solo.
  6. If you’re exploring a transit commute, think of what you can accomplish. This is a great opportunity to catch up on emails, read the news and even listen to audio books.
  7. Calculate your savings. While taking transit may seem pricey, driving solo actually costs on average 57.1 cents/mile to drive!
  8. Still need help? Email Commuting Solutions and we will help you understand how a commute for you can work.

Your commute matters, both for your health and for the tone it sets for our region. There are barriers to overcome when it comes to commuting, but by taking small steps and setting goals that work for you, you can overcome these barriers and improve stress, health and savings.

Learn more about the Flatiron Flyer, US 36 Bikeway, Way to Go and getting started with a new commute.