Today, the City of Tallahassee released the following statement:

“New biking amenities are coming to downtown Tallahassee. The Downtown-University Protected Bike Lane Network will create designated bike lanes, separated from traffic by reflective posts and curbs, on portions of Pensacola, Madison and Adams streets. Other enhancements, like more visible shared lane pavement markings and signage, will also be installed in the area to create an enhanced network of biking facilities.”

To read the full press release, please click on this link!

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bike_USCensus_imgAccording to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who traveled to work by bike increased roughly 60 percent over the last decade, from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 during the 2008-2012 period.

Today the Census Bureau also released a new commuting edition of the interactive map Census Explorer, which gives Web visitors easy click-and-zoom access to commuting statistics for every neighborhood in the U.S. It also shows how commuting has changed since 1990 at the neighborhood, county and state level — including how long it takes to get to work, commutes longer than an hour, and number of bikers. This edition of Census Explorer uses statistics from the American Community Survey, the best national source of commuting statistics down to the neighborhood level.

Although the South still lags well behind national use, this is a trend worth monitoring since it could change how we prioritize transportation infrastructure and funding.

As the Tallahassee area continues to promote and facilitate bicycle mobility throughout the region, commuters should take a second look at the viability of biking to work.  It’s cheaper, it’s clearn, and it’s healthy.

Read the complete U.S. Census Bureau report.

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Bike Train PhotoIf you’ve ever wanted to ride your bike to work but hesitated because of concerns about safety, routing, or equipment, here’s an opportunity for you.

On Tuesday, May 6, Capital City Cyclists will be hosting a bike commuter train from Killearn to downtown Tallahassee. The group will depart at 7:00 am from the Four Oaks Center at the intersection of Kerry Forest Pkwy. and Shannon Lakes and travel to downtown (Kleman Plaza, City Hall, and FSU). Estimated arrival time is 8:15 am.

The total ride is approximately 11 miles, but people can hop on or off anywhere along the route. Contact Hans van Toll at hans@cccyclists.org for more information.

If you discover that biking to work is for you, remember that if you bike to work at least 3 days per week, you would qualify for Commuter Services free emergency ride home program.

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May 3 -10 has been designated as Tallahassee – Leon County Bike Week – an opportunity to celebrate bicycling and the numerous reasons to ride. Whether you bike to work or school to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment, or to simply explore your community, Bike Week is a perfect time to experience how cycling benefits you and your community.

Preliminary Schedule of Events

Sunday, April 27
Tyler C. Simpkins Helmet Safety and Helmet Giveaway
Tom Brown Park — 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3
2-Day Cycle Savvy Course

Wednesday, May 7
Bike to School Day

Friday, May 9
Bike to Work Day

Saturday, May 10
Celebrate Cycling Bike Festival — Cascades Park — 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

For more information about these events and ways you can get involved, please visit www.commuterservices.org or call 1-888-454-RIDE (7433).  Also, like us on Facebook to stay up to date on new events and activities as they are added.

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How to Improve Local Bus Service at Little to No CostSlate magazine’s Matthew Yglesias offers common-sense advice on how to improve local bus service, making riding the bus more efficient and more appealing—all with the resources already available!  Sound too good to be true?  With thousands of college students who have recently returned to town, here’s an idea worth considering in Tallahassee.

“When it comes to moving large numbers of people efficiently through urban areas, it’s hard to beat good old-fashioned heavy rail subways and metro lines. But these projects come at a steep price, especially in the United States, and don’t make sense in many areas. Yet, politicians looking for cheaper options too often fall for the superficial idea that anything that runs on train tracks must be a good idea. The smarter strategy in many cases is to look instead at the numerically dominant form of mass transit—the humble bus—and ask what can be done to make it less humble.”

Read the full article on Slate.com.

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On July 9, the City of Tallahassee and StarMetro unveiled its new electric bus power station at C.K. Steele Plaza. This new charging station is a critical piece of infrastructure that will support five new, all-electric buses that StarMetro will be placing into operation in August. These five buses will be the largest fleet of its kind in the nation.

StarMetro Unveils its New Electric Bus Power Station

StarMetro Unveils its New Electric Bus Power Station

The new quick-charge station at C.K. Steele Plaza will contribute to the ongoing operation of this fleet while eliminating the emission of harmful greenhouse gases, making StarMetro’s bus fleet one of the cleanest in the nation.

To read the StarMetro press release on the unveiling of the new electric bus power station click here.

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Pilot Project Would Connect Midtown, Downtown and Gaines Street AreasStarMetro

Ever wish you could hop between Midtown, Downtown and Gaines Street on Friday night without needing your car? Well, StarMetro may soon have an option for you.

Today, the transit agency announced that it will be hosting two public meetings to gain feedback on a proposed Midtown-Downtown trolley. The first public meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 25, from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Office, located at 1029 Thomasville Road. The second public meeting will take place on Thursday, June 27, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Council on Culture and Arts building, located at 816 S. MLK Jr. Boulevard.

“The goal of these public meetings is two-fold,” said Ivan Maldonado, director of StarMetro. “One, we want to introduce this concept of a trolley serving our Tallahassee nighttime leisure areas, and, two, we want to gain some insight from area residents and local business owners about how this trolley service would best serve their transportation needs.”

The proposed trolley service would be FREE to customers and would travel along Thomasville Road, Sixth Avenue, Monroe Street and Gaines Street. It would serve major destinations such as the Wine Loft, Hotel Duval, Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grill, All Saints District and College Town, which is expected to be completed sometime this fall. The proposed hours of operation would be 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The route would run every 20 minutes.

“The goal of this trolley loop is to support our local Midtown, Downtown and Gaines Street area businesses,” said City Commissioner Nancy Miller, lead commissioner on the City’s Long Range Planning target issue committee. “The trolley will add a fun and convenient way to make it easy for customers to move safely from one area to another.  This is a public-private partnership between the City of Tallahassee, the Downtown Improvement Authority and the Midtown Merchants Association.”

The proposed route would cost $120,000/annually.

For more information about StarMetro services, please call StarMetro’s main office at 891-5200 or visit Talgov.com/starmetro. Other ways to view information include liking StarMetro’s official Facebook page at Facebook.com/starmetrotransit or following the organization on Twitter at Twitter.com/ridestarmetro.

Contact Information: Heather Teter, Department of Communications, (850) 891-5206

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Is the American love affair with the automobile finally over? According to a new study by the Public Interest Research Group, that might be the case.

After decades-long growth in vehicle travel, the study shows that people are driving less as more and more people, particularly younger professionals, are relocating to urban areas. This has led to increased use of mass transit and reliance on car-sharing programs. Even in Tallahassee, where there is a growing emphasis on urban infill, we will most likely see increased usage of mass transit, bicycling, and walking as more sensible commuting options.

Read this article on NBC News Business for an overview of the study.

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On Saturday, May 11th, Commuter Services joined with friends from the Community Traffic Safety Team, FDOT Safety Office, Tallahassee Police and Emergency Services at a very special event.  It was our priviledge to fit bike and skateboard safety helmets, provided at no cost, to the hundreds of families in attendance.

The giveaway was organized, and largely funded, by the Simpkins family who lost their 22 year old son Tyler after a longboarding accident in March.  Tyler was a skilled athlete and coach; however, he was not wearing a helmet at the time and suffered fatal blunt force trauma to the head.

The family’s goal with this event was to reach out in a meaningful way to share the message of how vitally important safety helmets are.  The happy and grateful crowd was a sure sign of their success.

For more, see the WCTV Channel 6 coverage of the story.

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TeleworkTelework or telecommuting is rightfully viewed by many as a valuable employment perk. It costs employers very little but the resulting productivity from improved employee morale can pay substantial dividends. Telework is also a fantastic way for employees to reduce commuting costs by eliminating trips to and from the office. Still, there are critical issues that must be considered by both the employer and the employee when initiating and sustaining a telework arrangement. A recent article from MSN Careers addresses how, with the right strategy, telework can increase the chances of success. The article gives guidance in six areas, one of which calls for strong employee communication.

Be proactive. Diane Stegmeier, founder and CEO of workplace change management consulting firm Stegmeier Consulting Group in Ohio, says working from home requires an even stronger ownership of your career. “That means proactively communicating with the manager about the results you’re achieving and asking for new assignments that fuel career growth,” Stegmeier says. “Don’t wait to be asked to come in for a team or individual meeting. Instead, occasionally plan days to work on-site in the corporate offices. And reach out to colleagues to schedule brainstorming sessions to support team projects.”

For more insight, read the full article by Larry Buhl on MSN Careers.

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