Find Your Smart Commute
As the Denver region’s population grows, so do the challenges of traffic congestion. With more people driving on the roads, you may be looking for a way out of the daily rush-hour gridlock.
Scroll down to learn about commute options that can transform your stressful commute into a healthier and more enjoyable part of your day. Bonus: these commute options are better for the environment and usually more cost-effective, making each trip to and from work kinder to your community and your wallet.
Carpooling helps save money, cutting gas and maintenance costs in half, even if you carpool with just one other person.
Here’s how it works:
- Reach Out: Contact your potential matches.
- Meet Up: Go for coffee or lunch with your matches and make sure it’s a good fit.
- Exchange Information: Get each other’s phone numbers and email addresses to establish a chain of communication.
- Give It a Try: Test out your ride a few times to see how it’s going to work out.
- Make a Schedule: Schedule driver days/weeks/months and stick to it.
- Make a Backup Plan: Life is hectic. Make sure you have a backup plan in place in case of emergencies, vacations, illness, etc.
- Determine the Costs: If driving time isn’t split, figure out the costs and set up a payment schedule.
- Set Ground Rules: Decide things such as what radio station to listen to, whether food and drinks are okay and if smoking is allowed, for example. This will save possible tension down the road.
Use Way to Go to connect to fellow commuters in your area.
Carpool commuter fun fact: The 1,250 commuters registered in Way to Go’s carpool program save a total of 14,536 vehicle miles traveled to and from work each day.
If you travel 15 miles or more each way on your commute, vanpooling could be your solution to a smarter commute.
How does a vanpool work?
- 5 to 15 people share a ride to work in a van dedicated to their commute, for a monthly fare based on commuting distance. The monthly fare and fuel are split among the passengers in the van, making it a very cost-effective means of commuting.
- Vanpool riders volunteer to drive, track maintenance, submit paperwork and collect fares.
- Volunteer vanpool drivers must be at least 25 years of age, pass a motor vehicle check and sign a driver agreement. Approved drivers are covered under vRide insurance.
- The Way to Go vanpool program provides the van, maintenance and repairs, insurance, fuel, bike racks and the Guaranteed Ride Home®. To sign up or get more information, click here.
- Vanpool commuter fun fact: The MyWayToGo.org commuter platform has 120 vanpools consisting of 648 vanpool commuters, saving a total of 26,636 vehicle miles traveled each work day.
Bike & Walk
Combine commuting with cardio, enjoy some fresh air and give your bank account a break by biking or walking to work. Click here to find the best bike paths and pedestrian-friendly routes in just minutes.
- Try on Bike to Work Day: New to bike commuting? Colorado Bike to Work Day is always the fourth Wednesday in June (Get more information at biketoworkday.us and register here). It’s a fun and supportive way to try bike commuting for the first time, with breakfast stations to fuel your ride in the morning and evening parties to celebrate on the way home. This year’s Bike to Work Day was on June 28.
- Bike-n-Ride: If your commute is too far to bike the whole way, bring your bike on any light rail train or bus to complete your trip. Learn how.
- B-Cycle: If you live or work near a B-Cycle station, it’s a great way to get around town.
- Keep It Secure: Remember to bring a lock with you and secure your bike to a bike rack, or check with your employer about storing your bike at the office.
- Know the Rules: Make sure you know road rules for bicycles in your area before you go. In Colorado, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.
- Get More Tips: Check out tips for biking in the city by watching this video from grist.org.
Rail & Bus
Regional Transportation District’s (RTD’s) rail and bus system allows you to start a commute that will ease the stress on your mind and wallet. Click here to plan your route using public transportation.
- Plan Ahead: RTD has an online Trip Planner to help you plan your route before you’re out the door.
- Timing: Give yourself plenty of time to get to and from your destination.
- Transfer for Free: If your trip includes more than one ride on public transportation, ask for a free transfer.
- Park-n-Ride: Park your car and hop on an RTD bus or rail in your area. Learn how.
- Know Your Options: Options continue to grow and change—from bus routes, new rail lines and SkyRide, you can always find a way to go.
- Ways to Save: Whether you use transit daily or once or twice a week, there are pass options for you, including Monthly Pass, Ticketbook, Day Pass and more.
Transit fun facts: RTD serves 2.9 million people in 40 municipalities in six counties and two city/county jurisdictions in a 2,342-square-mile area. There are 9,077 bus stops, 80 park-n-rides and 172 fixed routes throughout the Denver metro region.
The school commute accounts for 20 and 25 percent of all morning traffic in the United States, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, adding more stress and congestion than necessary. Share in the responsibilities of getting the kids to school and back via carpooling, walking, biking or riding either RTD or the school bus together. Bonus: Students learn from an early age how to apply safer, healthier and more sustainable travel options. Click here to find out more.
One More Reason to Leave Your Car at Home
Is fear of the unknown keeping you from exploring new ways to commute to work? The Guaranteed Ride Home® provides a free taxi ride home from the office for employees who have emergencies arise (whether it’s a mere unexpected schedule change or a sick child). For more information about the program, click here.
Smart commute options help employees stress less and smile more. And happy employees make for more productive employees. Way to Go offers tools for employers to help evaluate their employee’s specific needs and offer solutions. Additionally, Way to Go helps assess and resolve commute issues employers face including limited parking and congestion. Click here to get started.
CBS4 worked with the Way to Go commuter service, a program of Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to develop the above commuter tips.
Way to Go is program of DRCOG that promotes walking, biking, transit, carpooling and vanpooling as commute options rather than driving alone. Way to Go encourages commuting choices to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and enhance residents’ health.