April 23, 2018 – KEEP PEDALING AND GET TO KNOW GRID BIKES

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro

Valley Bike Month is going strong, but will you continue to ride when April ends? We sure hope so and there are resources to help. Find a bike shop to obtain a bike or make repairs to your own; find a bike buddy at ShareTheRide.com , or check out Grid Bikes – a network of stations where bikes are publicly available for short-term rental.

Maybe you’ve you seen the bright green bikes in motion or at racks in Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe. Grid Bikes launched in 2013 and has grown because people tried it, liked it and ultimately, signed up for it! I met with Lisa Parks, Community Outreach Manager at Grid Bikes to learn more.

Lisa has been with Grid Bikes since 2013, a year before it launched, “We've grown quite a bit and have expanded from Phoenix into Tempe and Mesa.” 

Lisa addressed community involvement, “We've also launched a Grid For All equity program to reach the underserved with $5 annual memberships. So far, we've partnered with the City of Phoenix Housing Department in the Edison-Eastlake neighborhood as part of a Choice Neighborhoods grant from Aetna. And we've also partnered with the City of Mesa to offer low-income residents this membership. In addition, we offer deeply discounted group memberships, which many people don't know about.” These initiatives shed light on the many reasons Grid Bikes has grown and serves a diverse audience.

You may be thinking that this sounds like a good resource. But is it difficult to use? Lisa assures, “Once you try it, you'll realize how simple it is! We've even got a video on our website to show how to get started and you might even try it out with a friend so you can take that first ride together. The Social Bicycles app also makes it easy to find the nearest bike and contains tutorials.” 

What’s next for Grid? Lisa shares, “Of course, we're always looking to expand and install new stations. Bike share is constantly evolving so we're excited to see what happens next!” Now through May 31, new users may use promo code GRID00317 for a free 7-Day Pass!  

 

 

April 9, 2018 – SHARETHERIDE IS MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro

By now, you have likely heard about ShareTheRide. I mean, you’re here, right? Something must have lured you. Was it the free registration and nearly 40,000 participants who create a greater chance to find a commute partner? Maybe the New User and Monthly contests with great prizes caught your eye?

How about the Team Challenge currently underway with teams of bicyclists competing for a victory party and limited edition t-shirts?



Whatever drew you in, we’re glad you’re here! Now get to know us…

If you haven’t registered yet, follow these easy steps:

1. Go to ShareTheRide.com.
2. Click Register.
3. Enter First Name and Last Name as prompted.
4. Create your User ID (use your work email address) and Password.
5. Read and accept the Terms and Conditions of Use and Privacy Statement.
6. When the Account Created box appears, click OK to continue.
7. On the next screen, complete the Personal Information. (This information is confidential and cannot be viewed by others on this site.) Click Next when done.
8. Create your first trip profile. Enter the Trip Name and origin and destination addresses. Select Trip Visibility if you want to be available for matches with others. Enter your work schedule and mode of travel. Click Save to continue.
9. A confirmation email will be sent to you with a link. Click on the link to activate your account and use the system.
10. Log on to your account and go to Find Commuting Partners. Then select Carpool, Bike, Walk or Bus.
11. Click My Trip Tracker, My Commute Calendar to log commute trips and earn prize points.
12. To enter contests, click Enter Contests on the Commute Calendar page.

Once registered, you’ll be able to create a profile with a unique route(s) to work, schedules and the ability to make yourself visible to others for carpool matching. You’ll be able to search for a vanpool with an available seat, calculate your cost savings and greenhouse gases prevented, track alternative mode trips in your personal calendar, enter contests and much more.

We also offer Custom Subsites for transportation coordinators at large employers in Maricopa County to comply with the Travel Reduction Program (TRP).

Here’s what one ShareTheRide user, Maria who works at U.S. Foods in Tempe has to say: "I've been using ShareTheRide.com for nearly 11 years! I registered when I was with my old company and matched with a carpool partner who worked elsewhere; and now I carpool with a coworker," Maria explains.

"My favorite things about ShareTheRide include it's extremely easy to use, I have no problem tracking trips, I save money because I no longer drive and my partner and I split the costs, and finally, I have built friendships!" Maria began using the site because of medical reasons and although she is able to drive, she chooses not to and instead, enjoys the ride and many benefits.

Let us know how your experience is using ShareTheRide.com by choosing “Contact Us” at the bottom of the home page.



March 19, 2018 – VALLEY BIKE MONTH IS AROUND THE CORNER!

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro


You may have heard - Valley Bike Month occurs in April each year. So what’s all the buzz about?


First, the weather in the Valley is perfect! It’s easy to get outdoors and stay outdoors with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine. Next, those who bike can take advantage of events in multiple cities, team up for a challenge and enter contests to win prizes. In a nutshell, it’s the perfect time to explore biking and its benefits.

No matter where you reside, there is likely a family-friendly event near you . For example, you can enjoy the El Mirage Bunny Hop Bicycle Rodeo, Chandler Family Bike Ride and Cycle the Arts Downtown Family Friendly Ride. How does Upcycled Crafts Night at Rusty Spoke or Phoenix Spokes People/FilmBar Bike-in Movie sound? Y'all, these are more than just bike rides – they are events that connect you to community while getting exercise and reducing pollution!

Wondering how to make biking work for your work commute? You can take your bike on the bus and light rail to extend a transit trip. Valley Metro buses accommodate 2 – 3 bikes each and bikes can be hung on the light rail racks inside each train or riders may stand beside the bike away from the doors. We have a flyer to teach you how.

Need another reason to participate? Email cschneider@valleymetro.org and tell us what you like about biking and you will be entered to win a Valley Bike Month 2018 t-shirt! Deadline to submit is Friday, March 23 – winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Monday, March 26. Good luck and happy riding!





March 5, 2018 – PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH EASE

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro


Although the rewards are high, planning a trip using transit, biking, walking or ridesharing can take some effort. There are bus routes and schedules to consider, maps to read and carpool matches to contact. Do you ever wonder where to start?

In today’s world engulfed with technology, Valley Metro is excited to offer online tools that make each mode easier to take:

Ridekick® - a free app that provides interactive trip planning

NextRide - an electronic service that provides next bus and train schedule information. All you need is a phone or access to the internet, your route number and your STOP# (located at every bus stop and light rail station).

Trip Planner - maps the routes and uses Google technology

eSchedule - allows you to view point-to-point stop times.

eTransit Book - enables you to select only the routes you want and print. It’s lightweight and less waste than a Transit Book.

ShareTheRide.com - Valley Metro’s free online multimodal trip matching system that provides cost savings information, contests to reward participants and much more!



Why so many options? Valley Metro’s Marketing Manager, Gricel Ferreyra shares, “According to our last Rider Satisfaction Report in 2016, 80% of riders have a mobile phone with them and most of those are smart phones. Our focus is on providing customers a convenient and user-friendly customer experience. We want to provide our riders the tools they need when they are on the go so we built in tools to plan their trip, check their NextRide, get route schedules and so much more.”

You may have taken note of that cute octopus and his friends, wondering what they represent. Ms. Ferreyra explains, “The octopus has become our official eco-friendly mascot to encourage our riders to “Save Ink” and use online tools instead of our printed Transit Book. Nobody wants octopuses to use their ink in the ocean and we are hoping that this light-hearted mascot helps inspire more Valley Metro customers to become earth-friendly and take advantage of our variety of online tools so that they can also save ink in the Valley of the Sun.”





February 19, 2018 – NEXT UP : SPRING TRAINING!

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro


It may seem like we were just decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents and celebrating the holidays with family and friends when suddenly, we are feeling sunshine and planning to attend Spring Training!

Enjoy the games and leave the driving to Valley Metro. Did you know that most stadiums are accessible by taking Valley Metro Bus, Rural Connector, Neighborhood Circulators and Trollies? Check out Cactus League’s Spring Training schedule here, as well as Valley Metro’s routes at here. Whether you’re traveling from Ajo/Gila Bend to Goodyear Stadium via Route 385, or to Hohokam Stadium in Mesa via Route 112 – Country Club/Arizona Ave., Route 120 – Mesa Dr. or Mesa Downtown Buzz, Valley Metro will provide an affordable, safe and environmentally-friendly way to get there!

“As generations of baseball fans know, March is the best time of year in Arizona. The key for fans to remember is that the season starts early this year – Friday, February 23 – and ends early on Tuesday, March 27. So don’t wait to get out to a ballgame,” advises Cactus League President Jeff Meyer. “One of the great things about the Cactus League is that each of its 10 ballparks is located in the Valley, so visiting fans don’t have to spend a lot of precious vacation time getting to the ballpark.”

New this year: six Cactus League parks will have extended backstop netting along the dugouts - Hohokam Stadium, Goodyear Ballpark, Scottsdale Stadium, Maryvale Baseball Park, Tempe Diablo Stadium and Surprise Stadium, and the rest of the league is expected to follow suit next year. This follows a trend in MLB ballparks; it drew national attention after a little girl was seriously injured by a line drive in the seats behind the dugout at Yankee Stadium last summer.

Mr. Meyer adds, “Another highlight of the Cactus League is the accessibility of the players. Spring training has a relaxed vibe. Each of the Cactus League ballparks has unique features, and I urge fans to check the schedules to learn about special promotions throughout the season."

Fans will be in good company: Arizona’s 15 Cactus League clubs drew a record 1,941,347 fans in 2017! Enjoy Spring Training and let Valley Metro take you out to the ballgame!






February 5, 2018 - KEEPING NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS TO SAVE MONEY AND REDUCE POLLUTION IN CHECK

CJ Schneider
Program Coordinator
Valley Metro


There are many benefits to using transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking and teleworking instead of driving alone. For example, reducing pollution is possible when sharing the ride and taking cars off the road. For example, 83.5 miles driven equals a pound of pollution.

Saving money is also a significant benefit – commuters spend less on gas, vehicle maintenance and sometimes auto insurance discounts apply. Take it from Willie H, a bus rider who won a 2017 Clean Air Campaign Award for Outstanding Commuter – Transit Rider.

Willie’s commute to work at SRP is 30 miles each way and he has been taking the Express bus for four years! “With the money I have saved, I recently took a trip to Disneyland. My family and I got to vacation and enjoy many laughs instead of putting that money toward gas,” Willie recalls.




ShareTheRide.com offers a Commuting Cost Calculatora> to track commute savings and annual greenhouse emissions. Track trips to keep New Year’s resolutions of saving money and reducing pollution in check!

Aside from saving money, Willie trades in the traffic jam for jamming out to his favorite tunes, reading, emailing or resting while Valley Metro is behind the wheel. Check out all your transportation solutions at ShareTheRide.com. Explore your options and start saving money, and reduce stress, pollution and traffic congestion.