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Changing habits isn’t always easy even if you want to save money, choose a healthier or safer option, or just relax and let someone else drive. Movability can be your concierge bringing you the information and services you need, and helping you build a support network to get where you need to go.

1. Changing Habits 101
2. Reward: saving money
3. Other rewards
4. Find options besides driving alone
5. Keeping your independence
6. Taking transit
7. Riding a bike
8. Carpool
9. Vanpool
10. Rideshare
11. Get started


1. Changing habits 101

Driving alone is probably a well-engrained habit. To break the routine you will need to change things up and build new habits.

  1. Understand the cues that prompted you to get into a car and drive initially. You may have been driving alone for so long that these are no longer obvious. They may no longer apply to current circumstances.
  2. Figure out the new behavior you want to adopt. Do you want to take transit or carpool or something else? Start by practicing each little step (e.g., look up the route times, figure out how to get to your nearest stop, find out what time you need to leave the house to properly utilize your desired mode of transportation, and so on).
  3. Understand the rewards and keep the ones you want.

So if the cue is getting to work on time such that you keep/do well at your job, then the reward may be positive feedback from your boss or it may be a steady paycheck.  Either way, we can help you figure out ways to keep what’s important even as your old habits change.

 

2. Saving money could be a reward

Your savings can easily amount to thousands of dollars a year, bigger than most tax refunds. Saving $4,500 per year allows you to spend $50,000 more on a 30-year home mortgage. Using transit or any of the other options can save you more than $8,000 per year, or the equivalent of several house payments or a well-deserved vacation.

Type of Travel

Driving alone
Cost: $9,000 per year
Covers: Gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs, parking.

Carpooling (w/ family member)
Cost: $4,500 per year
Covers: Dividing expenses in half

Transit
Cost: $400-$924 a year (depending on which pass you need)
Covers: Monthly Pass

Rideshare (van pool or car share-Cap Metro)
Cost: $720 a year
Covers: Gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs.  Does not include parking.

Bicycling
Cost: $150-300 per year
Covers: $700 bicycle, safety gear and equipment needed divided over 5 years (the typical shelf life of a bicycle), plus annual maintenance.

See how much you spend

 

3. Other rewards

Movability works with employers (Member companies) to establish policies and programs that provide real incentives. An employer can give you what you spend on options like transit passes, costs for bicycling, or ride share fares before taxes are withheld. You can set aside up to $130 per month for transit and vanpool or $20 per month for bicycling as pre-tax. Some companies will give you a payment, rather than paying $75-$120 per month for your parking.

 

4. Finding options besides driving alone

Think of Movability as your transportation concierge

We can help you explore the options available and of interest to you such as biking, car pooling, transit/rail, car or van pooling. If your employer is a member, we can also work with your company to explore additional options such as telework, flex-work schedule, and financial incentives.

Finally, we work with Capital Metro, car2go, ZipCar, and other transportation companies to  help you build a game plan that will work for your commute and all of your other transportation needs.

 

5. Maintaining your independence

There is no need to bring your car into downtown even if you have errands to run or the occasional emergency. There are several options available that will cover you for those time you need a car.

car2go and  ZipCar allow you to use a shared car for quick trips. Movability is working with both car2go and ZipCar to provide discounted membership to interested employees of member companies, but you can sign up individually as well.

1. Go to their website or mobile app to locate a car near you.
2. Reserve a car or just walk up to the nearest one.
3. Unlock it with you card and password.
4. Drive to your destination.
5. Park and sign out or keep the meter running.

Cap Metro offers reimbursement for emergency taxi service anywhere in our service area for any MetroRailMetroExpress and  RideShare customers. For a small annual fee,  Guaranteed Ride Home is insurance that entitles qualified commuters reimbursement for up to four emergency taxi rides per year.

 

6. Taking transit (bus/rail/express bus)

Riding a bus means you have free time to enjoy some relaxation while someone else deals with the traffic.

There are easy to use web and mobile options to figure out how to get from here to there.

Google Maps          

  1. click “get directions”
  2. click “transit icon”
  3. A) type your location (or activite GPS) and B) type where you want to go.

You will get information on how to get to the stop, the bus route you are looking for, the time it is supposed to arrive, and the cost.

Capital Metro Trip Planner

  1. type start location and finish location.  Optional: use the “Depart Now” box to identify a specific time/day
  2. click “plan a trip.”  You will get information on how to get to the stop, the bus route # you are looking for, the time it is supposed to arrive, and the cost

Dadnab

Simply add Dadnab into your contact list – number 512.981.6221 [for Austin]. Then send a text message to Dadnab with the location you want to reach, e.g., 5th & Lavaca to Barton Springs & Kinney.  Dadnab will send you back a message with the nearest bus stop, the bus number and time it is scheduled to arrive.

You can find more information on  how to ride the bus and  fares from Capital Metro’s website.  You can now buy passes online.

RideScout is a mobile app that will show you all your transportation options at once including car2go and Capital Metro.

 

 

7. Riding a bicycle

Riding a bike allows you to get some exercise and getting to/from work, and is a great way to wake up in the morning or de-stress in the afternoon.

This video has some great tips on how to get started:

 

Google Maps

  1. click “get directions”
  2. click “bike icon”
  3. A) type your location (or activite GPS) and B) type where you want to go.  You will get information on a good route to bicycle and you can shift the route by simply click on a spot you want to avoid, then draw the line to a better location or place you need to pass.

You can also download a free bike map  or pick up a fully printed version of this map at your favorite local bike shop.

Understanding how to ride safely and conveniently takes a little more prep time on your part.  You can stop by your favorite bike shop for advice on gear, routes, and tips.  There are also good websites that offer advice on bike commuting such as Austin on Two Wheels.

You can also get direct training and other support from  Mellow Johnny’s downtown bike shop as well as the Austin Cycling Association who offer a Traffic Skills class that gives riders hands on experience and training.

Many buildings offer protected bike parking within a secure garage and some buildings offer shower and locker facilities for tenants.  Movability Austin is encouraging more building owners and managers to offer bicycle facilities to their tenants. Contact us if your build does not have these facilities.

 

8. Carpool

Many people simply carpool with a spouse or family member. Everyone has their own style! Click here to let us know how you carpool.

If you work for a member company, Movability Austin will have surveyed employees and we will know who might be close enough to you to be a carpool partner. If we haven’t contacted you already, then click here.

Movability Austin may also be able to help you to arrange vanpool or carpool options using a Capital Metro vehicle, if you have more people or don’t have a vehicle.

If you need help finding people near you with whom you can carpool, there are some handy options and the more people signed up the better. Here are a few:

Carma is a real time ride sharing app. It’s easy to use interface make it simple for finding a carpool buddy on the days you want one. Just download, setup your profile including your normal commute trip and let Carma do the work. The app will let you know when they have found your match. It’s great for both those that want to drive and those that want to ride.

RideScout is a mobile app that will show you all your transportation options at once including car2go and CapMetro.  This app will also connect  and share rides with your Facebook friends!

MyCommuteSolutions is a website that does everything from tracking your trips to finding you carpool matches. The commute tracking supports bicycle, transit, and carpool/vanpool options.

And here is a Guide To Happy Carpooling to help you make it work!

9. Vanpool

Capital Metro has vans and Movability can help you to get together with five to 12 friends at least 3 days a week for the drive to and from work. You use the van and Cap Metro handles the maintenance, gas and insurance paid – for as little as $60 per person each month.

Here’s the low-down on Vanpooling:

  • The primary driver pays no monthly charge.
  • It doesn’t have to be every day. Your Vanpool buddies need to commit to ride three days per week. And that doesn’t count vacation, business travel and illness.
  • Each group agrees on its own route and daily schedule.
  • The group’s approved driver can enjoy limited personal use of the van for errands, lunch and appointments.

Vanpools help reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and save each rider money every month. All Vanpool riders can also receive a free monthly bus pass upon request.  In addition to saving money, you’ll reduce your stress level as well as your car insurance. And, you even have time for coffee, the paper and a breakfast taco!

Movability can help, but if you want to do it on your own here’s how you get started:

  • Recruit people who live and work in the same general area. Capital Metro RideShare team can assist you by providing recruitment materials and referrals through our computerized rideshare matching system.
  • When you have enough members for your Vanpool, call 477-RIDE(7433) to contact the RideShare staff. Capital Metro will set you up with everything you need to get rolling.
  • If you wish to learn if there is a vanpool currently operating that meets your needs, please call 477-RIDE(7433) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • We have vans that can carry from a maximum of 8 to 12 passengers and you will need at least 5 passengers to start your group. These are distributed on a first come first come basis.

 

10. Share a Ride

Austin has a few options for finding people to share a ride with.

Carma is a real time ride sharing app. It’s easy to use interface make it simple for finding a carpool buddy on the days you want one. Just download, setup your profile including your normal commute trip and let Carma do the work. The app will let you know when they have found your match. It’s great for both those that want to drive and those that want to ride.

RideScout is a mobile app that will show you all your transportation options at once including car2go and CapMetro.  This app will also connect  and share rides with your Facebook friends!

MyCommuteSolutions Signing up allows you to see other people wanting to prove a ride or get a ride.  You can also enter and track your commutes.  The commute tracking supports bicycle, transit, and carpool/vanpool options.  This is a web-based option only.

ParkMe This service enables you to find available parking in downtown before you even leave for your destination. ParkMe can be used via the website or on your mobile device. Download the app today! For more details see our article in Let’s Go News.

11. Getting started

If you wish to try it on your own, the tools above can help. Remember that you are changing a behavior, so you have to think about the old cues and rewards that made it “a habit” to simply drive alone and avoid the old cues while keeping the best part, the rewards.

The more people we know who are making changes to their commuting habits, the better Movability can be at understanding problems people are experiencing and push for needed improvements.

Finally, for a very inexpensive annual fee, you can join Movability and support the mission/services we provide.  We will also provide you with regular tips, useful information, and even places to go for help from real, live people. Of course, we are a non-profit that wants to improve mobility into and around downtown, so you can always contact us directly and we will do what we can to help.