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Getting Around: When it comes to commuting, you’ve got options! - Printable Version - September 13, 2010
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Driving alone is, well, lonely. Sure, you get to choose the radio station and sing with abandon, but look around at all those empty seats in your car, all those empty seats in the car next to you, all your co-workers and their empty. . . Okay, you get the point. All those empty seats add up — to a lot of pollution, traffic congestion, wasted money and unhappy commuters!

Luckily, you don’t have to be lonely. Portland’s transit system helps thousands of commuters enjoy the ride to work and improve their lives. Take Lorena Sandoval. She used to drive to work by herself. In order to save a little money, she started taking the bus instead. But something else totally unexpected happened: “I lost 15 pounds in six months by walking the 15 blocks to and from the bus stop everyday!” Wow — great job, Lorena!

Bicycling or walking is also a great way to get to work. You get exercise, save tons of money (bye-bye gym membership and searching for the cheapest gas station), and join a huge community that’s making Portland one of the healthiest cities in the world. If you’re commute is too long to walk or bike the whole way, consider combining walking or biking with transit. It’s a great way to get exercise and reduce pollution. If you’re not sure the best bike route or bus line to get to work, we’ve got you covered. TriMet’s trip planner will give you door-to-door directions for every bus or MAX line in the region. Want bicycling directions? Check out bycycle.org for your best biking route.

You can also make a big difference by sharing the ride. Ask around the work place to see who you can carpool with, log on to www.carpoolmatchnw.org to find someone to share the ride, or contact the City’s free commuter assistance staff. They’ll work with your employer to get a company carpool system rolling.

If saving money, losing weight, or doing something good for your community don’t motivate you, then consider this: Commuters that drive alone have higher stress rates and lower productivity levels at work. Who knew a bus ride or a carpool partner could make such a big difference in your life?!


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