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5 BUS YOUR COMMUTE

This action focuses on commuting by bus to reduce transportation energy.

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why?

Compared to a single-passanger car which gets 40 mpg, taking the bus reduces transportation energy (passanger miles per gallon) by 80%. It can also be a relaxing and convenient way to commute. In many places, it may even be a faster route, as buses get access to limited-access freeway lanes and eliminate the need to find parking.


how to do this action:

FIND A ROUTE:

Metro Transit has an interactive map of all the bus routes it operates which can be found here.

In addition, schedules and real-time transit information (such as if your bus is late or you do not have access to the metro transit website for routes) can be accessed via automated phone service at 612.373.3333.

In addition, Metro Transit has an online trip planner to work out the best route between two places, and displays the times the buses arrive at the stops.

Other websites, such as Google Maps, include bus information, although the most accurate and thorough resources may be found at Metro Transit.

HOW TO RIDE THE BUS:

Arrive at the bus stop a few mnutes early. While Metro Transit buses usually run on time and are required to stay at a bus stop until the time listed (if running early), it is always safe to be on time.

Be sure that you are in a visible place at the bus stop. Usually there is not a need to hail the bus driver if he/she sees you. Climb aboard and pay your fare in either exact change or using a rechargeable 'Go-To' Card. Bus fares can be found on the MetroTransit web page.

Metro Transit offers serveral passes: 31-day passes, Go-To Cards, Metropasses, Day Passes, Six-hour passes, U-passes all of which can be used to pay the bus fare on either Metro Transit buses or trains. Get a rechargable 'Go To' card to pay bus fares more quickly and without the need for exact change.

When the bus approaches your stop, ring the bell to signal the driver to stop.

Your bus fare is valid for any transfers or rides within the next 2.5 hours. If you are planning to make another trip, ask the driver for a transfer when paying your fare. Transfers are free and can be used an unlimited number of times on any Metro Transit bus or train within the alloted 2.5 hours.

GO-TO CARDS:

Go-To Cards are reusable fare cards. They are plastic credit-sized cards with an embedded microchip. Once money is added to the card, it can be used on any bus or train.

On boarding the bus, touching the card to the Go-To Card reader automatically deducts the correct fare, and embeds a transfer.

The advantages of the Go-To Card are faster boarding, no need to carry money for fares, and best of all, Metro Transit adds $1 for every $10 added to the card.

Ordering the Go-To Card: The card can be obtained online, at a Metro Transit store, ordered by mail, or at various other locations throughout the city. Visit MetroTransit’s website for details.

This action requires participants to bus to work and back every day during the duration of the project.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: What percentage of transportation energy can be saved when commuting by bus?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of commuting to work by bus affect your happiness, convenience, health and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (T5_BASELINE) to track the mileage you currently commute by each mode (bike, walking, car, bus...) daily.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (T5_BASELINE) as it relates to your current commute habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
Use the corresponding spreadsheet (T5_QUANTITATIVE) to track the miles traveled by bus in your commute each day. Take note of what kind of bus it was (hybrid or conventional diesel). Google map your route by bus to get the mileage.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria, every IMPLEMENTATION day on the spreadsheet (T5_QUALITATIVE) Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences changing this action in your life. Did you find your experience commuting by bus/light rail to be positive or negative? Why? What were some of the benefits? What were some of the struggles? How did this change your daily commuting experience?


resources

See the Metro Transit website for more information: MetroTransit website.

ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

T5_Bus Your Commute Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

T5_BASELINE
T5_QUANTITATIVE
T5_QUALITATIVE