Way to go, TravelSmarties!

By Melanie Stewart

TravelSmart participants set a record with Metro

Congratulations TravelSmarties!  You set a new record with Metro, recording 3,870 bus rides in the month of September.  That averages out to 681 trips each weekday and 233 trips each weekend-day!  Did you know that by riding the bus you are:

  • Saving yourself money on parking, gas, and vehicle maintenance
  • Reducing stress by not having to worry about other drivers
  • Using commuting time for actions of your choice (reading, homework, social media, etc.)
  • Reducing pollution in Omaha, including extremely hazardous ground level ozone
  • Improving health for everyone in the area, especially those with lung diseases, and helping to meet our mission
  • Reducing traffic congestion around the med center and reducing parking pressure on campus

That’s a lot of positives for taking a free bus ride—way to go!

Maybe you have thought about using active transportation, but don’t feel that it works for you.  That could be the case, but TravelSmart has been designed to work for most.  I’ll admit, when I started carpooling it was hard to be without my car…what if I needed to leave suddenly or became ill?  How was I going to make this work?  I know many of you have these concerns too, especially if you have children.  We took those concerns seriously in our planning.  So keep in mind:

  • We offer a FREE emergency ride home. You call, a car comes and takes you where you need to go, 24/7.  This also includes a free stop along the way…to pick up a prescription, a child, whatever you need.
  • It’s FREE to participate in all options, including the free bus pass, and you can use more than one option. There’s no cost to you, no applying for reimbursement.
  • You do not have to give up your parking permit to participate. It’s an option for you to save more money, but is not required.  If you do, we provide flexible parking on the days you need to drive.
  • Carpoolers park in the same lot (or better) that they already use, and neither carpooler pays for parking (FREE parking!).
  • Don’t have a carpool partner? Try out our carpool matching program.  You can check it out without signing up or making a commitment.
  • Cyclists and walkers have FREE access to showers, lockers, and secure indoor bike parking.
  • You don’t have to use TravelSmart every day to participate; use it when it works for you.

Did you know that 1,300 faculty, staff, and students have already registered for  TravelSmart?  They use active transportation to save money, have a positive impact on the environment, and improve the health of our community.

Thinking about giving it a try but not sure?  Email travelsmart@unmc.edu for help in planning a bus route, questions about the program, or giving it a “test drive” without signing up.

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