Sharing Your Passion

share your enthusiasmSo, there you are parking your bike, removing your helmet and locking up as a friendly stranger approaches and asks, “Do you ride that thing in downtown traffic?” Or maybe you run into a coworker on the sidewalk as you’re getting off the Express Bus and they inquire, “Wow, you take the bus into work?” Or maybe no one is asking you about your commute, but your love for [plug in your fave mode: the bus, your bicycle or carpool, etc] compels you to share your excitement. We have uncovered some principles for sharing your commuting cool with others in a helpful way.

  • Tap Into Curiosity: those questions you’re getting from coworkers aren’t just idle chatter. Those folks are genuinely curious about how you get into work. Or, maybe they have a secret desire for the liberation of leaving their car at home, but they need more information to act. They may not yet be able to see themselves using a carpool, bus, or bike to get into work and are looking to you for advice. Don’t miss a great opportunity to share what you know!
  • Personalize facts: Facts and figures are great evidence to support any argument, but personalizing those facts is even better. You probably have a long list of reasons why you love using your option of choice; all you need to do is personalize that list to show tangible value. If you’re explaining how much money you can save, don’t just talk about the monthly parking fees that you save or the daily cost of using a vehicle. Personalize it: I’m saving $10 a day for those new running shoes I want! If you’re talking about how nice the ride is, be sure to mention sitting back in comfortable reclining seats listening to music on the Express Bus.
  • Addressing the fear factor with baby steps: Telling someone to commute into work using a bus, bike, carpool, etc., can be daunting if they have never tried it before; enough to scare most people off. So start with smaller more manageable steps, challenge them to take the bus or rail or bicycle into downtown over the weekend so they can get comfortable in a low stress situation. Or give them a bike or bus map and challenge them to find their route over the weekend. Then talk with them about how they did and maybe make suggestions. We all know the first step is the hardest; there are plenty of things for people to do to get their feet wet before taking the plunge of an actual commute.
  • The power of multiples: Help people understand that your commute sometimes works best because you have multiple options. Combining bus and bike, car2go when you bus into downtown, carpool one day, walk the next so you get your exercise or car2go for a meeting across town. Understanding how to use all of the options available will lower their anxiety and give them the ability to make their trips easy and convenient.
  • No Concern Too Small: many people just have a small, nagging question that has to be answered before they can start using their mode of choice. We should be patient and know that no problem is too small or too big to tackle.  I can’t afford a fancy commuter bike. No problem! Grab that old bike out of your garage, it’ll work just fine, let me show you. I don’t know how to pay for a train ticket and I’m worried about doing that at the station. Let’s ride into work together sometime and let me show you just how easy it is. I’m afraid my car2go card won’t work when I need it. Let’s take one for lunch today and we can test it out.
  • Empathy for naysayers: We have all run into the negative Nelly who tried to ride the bus during rush hour and it was late (stuck in traffic!) or the guy who carpooled with a loud coworker once and swore never again, or, my personal favorite, the gal who’s never used transit, but swears it won’t work for her. How do you share your enthusiasm with these folks? Believe that you don’t need to convince anyone or defend your choices; they are after all your choices to make. If your smile and joy aren’t enough, then you may wish to choose to gracefully exit with I understand, rather than turn a pleasant conversion into a fight.

We hope you find these helpful in your conversations with others about your love of options. Please send us any others you may have!

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