Monday, May 10, 2010

Alternate Transportation In Orlando

Riding Your Bike To Work

photo by Major Clanger

This past weekend I was visiting friends in San Francisco, California and I was very intrigued at the ways many people commute to work. There is a monorail - subway-esque system, buses, rail cars, trolleys and a very large population of people on bikes. Yes bikes.

Now Orlando is not San Francisco and things here in Central Florida are separated by more than 7 miles (the main city is 7miles by 7 miles) in many cases. I travel about 20 miles to work every morning. Biking is really not an option. However there are some people that can use alternate transportation to save more than just some gas money.

While saving the gas money is a plus, there are plenty of other benefits for ditching the car and looking for other means.

Lose the car payment.
As someone that is looking for a job, and is financially hurting - losing the car payment can help the bleeding. Even if your car is paid off, repairs, new tires, oil changes and other factors contribute to your monthly output of cash flow.

Help the environment.
You may not think that one car off the streets makes a difference, but every individual choice can easily be multiplied when others take action. You are helping the environment by your choices, which judging by the unusually cold winter and very steamy spring (not to mention some freaky earthquakes and floods in other parts of the world), the environment needs our help.

Exercise.
One of the overlooked features of both public transportation and physical activity is the increase in exercise. This can be time spent walking to and from the bus stop or station, biking the few miles to work or strolling the city to gather your thoughts. This extra exercise time is stimulating for both your body and your mind. Seems like a win-win to me.

While doing some reading before writing this post, I found a great article from Inc Magazine on incentives for employers to implement a biking system for their work place. There can be tax breaks, a bike-share or loan program and even sponsoring bike related events that benefit community organizations.

I also found out that May was bike month? Yea, didn't know that this existed, but apparently it does. Wikipedia even shows that the 3rd Friday in May is "Bike To Work Day" where:

...national, regional, and local bicycle advocacy groups encourage people to try bicycle commuting as a healthy and safe alternative to driving by providing route information and tips for new bicycle commuters. On Bike-to-Work Day, these groups often organize bicycle-related events, and in some areas, pit stops along bicycle routes with snacks.

Using Alternative Transportation In Interviews
Many employers want to know if you have reliable transportation upon you coming on board. For some, having that vehicle is the answer you think your boss wants to hear, and many times that answer may be correct. But having alternate transportation is also highly reliable. How many times has the bus not shown up?

This question can also work in your favor. Turn it around and ask if they offer any form of carpool, or have rewards systems for people that bike to work or utilize public transportation. This can make you sounds "green friendly" and also shows a vested interest to learn more about the culture of the company.

Have a great week Orlando and let us know what you think about using alternative transportation to get to and from work. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

-Greg

2 comments:

Anonymous May 10, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Greg,

great stuff as usual! I am glad that you are bringing up this subject because I think that more people should think about how they travel to work even if money is not tight. I like the fact that this - http://www.sunrail.com/ - might be and option in the Orlando area in the coming years. Anybody else think that the sunrail will help?

OrlandoJobSpot May 10, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

If the SunRail actually goes through I think it will be a good thing for Orlando. The construction will bring jobs and hopefully it will drive commerce in the downtown area. Time will tell though.

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