Ask yourself, Atlanta: Have you ever been able to bob your head to the tunes of a live band while driving to work?
Do you ever wish you could kick back, enjoy free Wi-Fi, and maybe get some work done—or shut-eye—on the drive home?
Well, now you can, thanks to a novel new idea: Ditching the car!
Yeah, yeah ... of course taking alternative modes of transportation has been an option for metro Atlanta commuters for decades. Unfortunately, though, just 3 percent of residents utilize the region’s transit networks when trekking to and from work, according to research by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
But now, transit advocacy group Georgia Commute Options, an ARC subsidiary, aims to incentivize people to leave behind the steering wheel and test-drive any or all of the transit alternatives metro Atlanta has to offer.
Daily drivers who opt to “ditch their routine and try transit,” as the organization recommends, can sign up to get paid for being both adventurous and environmentally conscious.
“Transit commutes reduce the numbers of cars on the road, improving congestion and air quality, and are less stressful than car commutes,” according to a Georgia Commute Options press release. “Riders are relieved of driving responsibilities, allowing them to work, read, and even rest during their commute.”
The group’s Try Transit program encourages people who typically choose to burn fossil fuels during their daily trips to instead dabble with options like MARTA, Xpress, CobbLinc, Gwinnett County Transit, and the Cherokee Area Transit Service.
People who choose any of these options—or who switch to carpooling, biking, or walking commutes—can earn $5 per day, thanks to Georgia Commute Options’s new program.
Eligible commuters can earn up to $150 total over an assigned 90-day period, if they register before the Friday deadline.
Malika Reed Wilkins, PhD., managing director of Georgia Commute Options, said in the release: “Even with the additional [metro Atlanta] road capacity being built for the future, commuters need to leverage clean commute options, like transit, to reduce congestion and improve regional air quality.”
Atlanta Regional Commission research suggests that 16 percent of people live within a five-minute stroll of the nearest transit station, according to the release.
“This indicates the opportunity to grow the use of transit in metro Atlanta.”
This story was updated on September 21 at 5:00 p.m,, at the behest of Georgia Commute Options, to show that people can still register for the program after Friday.
- Gimme Five program [Georgia Commute Options]