Say Howdy to AUSTIN DON'T RUSH

Mayor Adler has declared May 11 Austin, Don’t Rush, and is asking that, during rush hours on that day, Austinites choose any transportation option other than driving alone. If enough people participate, we’ll see free-flowing traffic again. The long-term goal is to show people that it isn’t difficult to occasionally choose not to drive alone at peak hours so they might begin to make that choice one or two days a week.

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How can you participate?


Employees

Flex your schedule: Instead of driving during rush hour, go to work before or after 7:00am – 9:00am, and return home before or after 4:00pm – 6:00pm. Note: For your maximum comfort, if you have the additional flexibility, you have greater odds of more tolerable congestion if you arrive outside the hours of 7:00am -9:30am and depart outside 4:00pm – 7:00pm. (see also, Smart Start and Enjoy your Environs)

Smart Start: Spend the first hour or so working from home. You can check and respond to voicemails and emails, or get some focused work done. Then head in to work after the traffic has died down. You could do the reverse at the end of the day too.

Enjoy your environs: If you have the flexibility, before heading home spend a few hours after work exploring local shops, meeting others for happy hour, having a meal or taking in some entertainment. That way you can enjoy both your evening and your commute.

Use transit: Find out if there’s a Capital Metro transit route that would work for you by going to capmetro.org where you’ll find an easy-to-use Trip Planner or download the Capital Metro app (which also provides a trip planner and real-time departure info). To support you in giving transit a try, Capital Metro is waiving all fares for buses and the train on May 11th. They are also running extra MetroRail service that day.

Ride a bike: A bike ride can get you to work having enjoyed some fresh air and saved you from having to schedule a separate workout. If you don’t live very close, try combining your bike with a bus or train ride for the long haul to help make cycling feasible. Capital Metro buses and the trains all have capacity to carry multiple bikes. Bonus: having your bike handy gives you flexibility to move around once at work.

Share a ride: Maybe you know someone at work who lives close to you. If not, ask around. Maybe your work colleague is a neighbor and you don’t even know it. Capital Metro’s MetroRideShare program supports Van/SUV pools for people groups of 5-12 riders heading to the same location or vicinity.

Telework: If you have a job that doesn’t require your physical presence at the workplace, you might find that you are even more productive working from home. Make a plan ahead of time so that you take necessary material or equipment home with you the day before. If working from home is not optimal consider a co-working space near you.

Leverage your mobility resources: In addition to taxis, TNCs and pedicabs, many areas of town have short-term vehicle and bike rental services that help make getting around easier if you didn’t drive your own vehicle to work. See below for a variety of services offering promotions, including free B-cycle trips all day!

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Employers

Talk to your employees: Encourage them to find a workable way to avoid driving alone during rush hour on May 11th. Options could include “flexing” their schedule to start/end early or late, joining or setting up a carpool or vanpool, trying transit (note: all the Capital Metro buses, trains and MetroAccess will be free all day), biking, or teleworking for part or all of the day. You might just end up with happier and more productive employees.

Empower your employees: If you’re an employer, let your interested employees flex their schedule for the day or try teleworking for part or all of the day. Movability can also help you develop a long-term strategy for helping encourage alternative commutes without losing productivity.

Schedule for success: If you are allowing flex scheduling or Smart Start, then make sure to schedule important in-office meetings during the “core hours” of the day. To be safest try between 9:30am and 4:00pm. You might also use this as an opportunity to try out teleconferencing tools and invite people to participate in meetings in person or virtually.

Reward participation: Help make if fun and rewarding to participate in Austin Don’t Rush. Put together your own challenge, offer rewards, throw a party till rush hour is over.

Get recognized: Build your local brand recognition by asking your employees share pictures and stories from their alternative commute, tag your company and use the hashtag #AustinDontRush. Then you will be likely be retweeted and shared by the Mayor’s Office, Movability, and others PR pros watching for the action. You might even get some media attention before, during or after the event.

Spread the word: Let your staff know that you support the Austin Don't Rush effort. Tell them in emails, in meetings, and hang one or more of our fun posters in your workplace.

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Special Offers During Austin Don't Rush


Capital Metro is offering free rides on all services on May 11th including MetroBus, MetroRapid, MetroExpress, UT Shuttle, MetroRail, MetroAccess.

Austin B-cycle will offer a free day pass! On May 11, 2016 riders simply select "Buy $8 pass" at any B-cycle station and enter the promo code 051116 when prompted. The $8 Walkup Pass fee will be waived.

Metropia – an app that helps you plan your travel and avoid traffic. Bonus points that can be redeemed for prizes for app users on 5/11 who Flex (travel outside 7-9am and 4-6pm) and/or DUO to use their carpool feature.

Downtown Austin Alliance – social media posts that use #AustinDontRush will be entered in a drawing for some spending money at the Downtown Street Fair.

Zipcar - Anyone that signs up to become a Zipcar member between now and May 11 at www.zipcar.com/atxcommutechallenge can join for $15. They will also include $25 of driving credit to help get you started. (This is designed to support folks who take transit or carpool to get to work but still need a vehicle during the day.)

Car2go – In preparation for “Austin Don’t Rush” go to car2go and use promo code C2G15 and get FREE registration (regularly $35) and 15 FREE drive time minutes. Allow 2-4 days for membership activation.

CARTS - (Capital Area Rural Transportation Service) is offering free service all day May 11th on their 9 regional commuter services routes and their fixed route bus services in Bastrop and San Marcos. www.ridecarts.com