We'll let you in on a little secret... "commuting by yourself in a car isn't the only way to get around". A lot of commuters don't know there are viable and even fun alternatives to your typical single-occupancy vehicle and they can all help to reduce traffic congestion, improve your health, save you money and improve the environment around you. Explore some of the alternatives to driving on our website here and how you can take the step into a different commute.
Traffic is a growing problem in America, and it's costing us. In February, a new study by transportation consulting firm INRIX found that congestion cost the United States $305 billion in 2017.
If all the people who sit in traffic with you would share their ride with the person in traffic next to them, traffic could be cut in half - saving time on your commute and saving you money by splitting your commuting miles in half.
Carpooling is the simplest alternative to driving a single-occupancy vehicle (if you have too far of a commute to ride your bike or walk) and it's simple to get started. Follow these tips below to help you begin your carpool.
Tips To Start Carpooling
1. Join Share-A-Ride
Share-A-Ride is the rideshare platform FIT uses to match people with similar commutes. You register at https://sharearide.rideproweb.com, then get matched with individuals who have similar commutes. It's then up to you to reach out to them to confirm times and meet up locations for you commutes.
2. Look Within
Check with coworkers who have similar commutes as you to see if they would be willing to carpool a few times a week. If you have a large office, check with Human Resources to see if they would like to start carpool groups at work.
3. Social Media
Social media is a great tool to connect with people and find your future carpool group! Ask your friends on social media if they have similar commutes and if they want to save money and time on their commute. You can use our Facebook groupto try and find people who are looking for carpool partners.
Chester County is blessed to have Amtrak, SEPTA and other local public transportation making it easy and accessible option for commuting. For the longest commutes from Chester County into Philadelphia, or vice versa, SEPTA Regional Rail services as south as Thorndale and Amtrak travels to Coatesville.
Chescobus has three routes in Chester County: SCCOOT, which travels from Oxford to Kennett Square, with limited service to West Chester; Coatesville Link, which travels from Coatesville to Parkesburg; and Evening LINK, which operates evenings from Coatesville to Exton Square Mall. State funding for Chescobus is provided by PennDOT and the majority of the local match from the Chester County Commissioners as well as municipal support.
To review all the public transportation options in Chester County, visit Chester County's Ride Guide website here.
Biking is the cleanest form of transportation, saves you tons of money on gas and car maintenance, improves your health and can even increase your productivity at work.
It can be intimidating when you're first planning to try biking as a form of transportation or biking to work. If you're new to riding completely, try riding a few times before your commute ride to get used to your bike and yourself on two wheels. Once your used to that, try these tips from ACTIVE below.
If you want to bike to work with a group and live in Great Valley, consider biking with TMACC on one of their Commuter Cycling Rides.
1. Begin with an achievable distance.
If you live only a few miles from work, it is conceivable that you can commute both ways on the first day. If you live several miles away and the commute will take you 45 to 60 minutes or more, consider hitching a ride with a co-worker to get to the office, then ride home. Make the distance doable for you; don't worry about what other people might be doing.
2. Start with an achievable frequency.
Sure, it sounds good that you're turning over a new leaf, and you have grand plans to commute to and from work every day. But is that goal achievable immediately? Begin by setting a goal to commute one to three times per week. After you can consistently achieve success, add more commuting segments or days.
3. Wear a helmet.
In the unlikely case of an accident, you want to protect your head and all those great ideas. If you're worried about how your locks might look after a ride to the office, bring a brush or comb to address the situation once you arrive.
4. Wear clothing that can easily be seen by motorists.
If you are commuting in the early morning or late evening hours, wear reflective gear and put a flashing tail light on your bike. For daylight commuting, wear bright colors that can easily be seen by motorists.
5. Don't make a big deal out of special clothes and gear.
Depending on the distance of your commute, you might be able to commute in your work clothes. Some commutes feel more like workouts while others are more casual in nature.
6. Consider cycling shorts.
If your commute is longer than 20 or 30 minutes, you will probably be more comfortable in cycling shorts. Cycling shorts eliminate that intersection of seams that meet right where you are positioned on the bike seat. Pressure and friction can make this area really uncomfortable when cycling longer distances. Cycling shorts (worn without underwear) can significantly improve your comfort.
7. Do a dry run on the weekend.
If you're nervous about how much time it will take you to get to work, do a dry run on the weekend. Ride at an easy pace, knowing that if you were in a bind for time, you could pick up the pace.
8. Find routes with minimal traffic.
It may lengthen your commute some, but finding roads that aren't as busy might be worth your time. Check out any bike paths in the area to see if they would be a good choice.
9. Learn how to change a flat.
If you don't already know how to do it, learn how to change a flat tire.
10. Carry a cell phone and call for help if you have significant mechanical trouble.
If you have time to change a flat tire or deal with other mechanical issues on the way into work, fine. If you're pinched for time, call someone to give you a lift. There's a good chance you're on the road well before anyone else, so it's likely a co-worker will come your way.
11. Take your clothes to work the day before you commute.
If you plan to change from cycling clothes to work clothes when you commute, bring your clothes to work the day before your ride.
12. Strategize your clean up time before work.
Some commuters will want a full shower before sitting next to coworkers. Or maybe it's the coworkers that want the commuter to have a shower? Either way, lucky commuters can shower at the office. If that's the case, use a chamois towel (popular among swimmers) to dry off rather than having to lug around a full-sized bath towel.
If you don't have a shower, you can use a wash cloth and soap in the restroom to give yourself a "spit bath." Some commuters will shower the night before the ride into work, then they will at least clean off their body with a moist towelette without having to take a full shower.
13. Watch for parked car doors swinging open.
Be alert for cars parked on the side of the road. Take note if there are people in the car that might be getting ready to swing open the car door. They might not be looking for you coming from behind on a bike.
Need To Know
One pant cuff rolled (hint: the right one)
Racks or panniers to carry commuting essentials
Bike commuting for any portion of your trip to work, even if it's riding to a public transportation hub
Recruiting a friend to ride with you
Bike commuting in less-than-perfect weather conditions
Inside-out bike shorts hanging on your cubicle wall
Riding on sidewalks
Listening to music while you should be listening for potential hazards around you
Weaving in and out of stopped or slowly moving traffic
Darting across medians and riding against traffic
7 Great Valley Parkway
Malvern. PA 19355
610 993 0911