|Commuter Connection September 2015 Newsletter|
| Commuter Connection’s September 2015 Newsletter includes:
In just a few weeks the doors will open at a shinny new storefront on the corner of 5th Street and Nicollet Mall under the banner of Minneapolis Visitor Information On Nicollet. Commuter Connection partners with Meet Minneapolis and St Croix Promotions & Retail to provide information and transportation services along with a Minnesota themed retail store right in the heart of downtown. With the tagline “Shop. Move. Discover.”, customers can purchase Go-To Card bus passes, register their carpools, learn about what’s playing at the Orpheum or Target Center, grab a Nice Ride map, and browse locally inspired artisan goods from t-shirts to one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Minneapolis Visitor Information On Nicollet is located on the corner of 5th and Nicollet Mall in the CenterPoint Energy building. It’s just steps from the Nicollet Mall LRT station. – over 5,500 riders on the Green and Blue lines use that train platform daily. There’s a Nice Ride kiosk just outside the big floor to ceiling windows overlooking 5th Street. And, while there is still a year of construction to endure, in time our front door will open onto the newly rebuilt Nicollet Mall. For an added coolness factor, the new Bob Dylan mural is located just one block up 5th Street.
In conjunction with the move, Commuter Connection is re-branding. As of October 12th, 2015, Commuter Connection will operate as Move Minneapolis. Along with the name change, a Move Minneapolis website launches October 12th. Watch for an announcement and new URL in the coming weeks. It is an exciting time for our organization. As Dylan put it so well, “The times they are a-changin'”.
Bob(s), our new neighbor just up the street at 5th St & Hennepin Ave. This stunning mural is by artist Eduardo Kobra.
Be Air Aware, Switch Your Trip & Breathe A Little Easier
Poor air quality negatively impacts all residents and businesses in the region. According to a new report published by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, in 2008 air pollution contributed to 2000 deaths, 400 hospitalizations and 600 emergency room visits in the Twin Cities. Unhealthy air also negatively impacts area employers with higher absenteeism, reduced work productivity and more extensive and expensive regulations.
You can make an impact to help clean the air. Talk to your workplace about becoming an Air Aware Employer. Air Aware Employers agree to issue Air Quality Index alerts through company communications to let employees know when the air quality has dropped to harmful levels. During Air Alerts, team members are encouraged to take steps to protect personal health and wellness and reduce the number and duration of bad air days.
Need A Little More Encouragement?
We encourage everyone to Be Air Aware and learn how air quality impacts all of us. Visit BreatheEZmpls.org and learn about easy ways to improve air quality in the region. Those who pledge to take personal action are entered into a prize drawing for a Downtown Minneapolis Staycation package that includes a night’s stay at the Grand Hotel, dinner at Hell’s Kitchen, an evening at First Avenue and a Car2Go membership.
…and Still More Encouragement!
Participate in Switch My Trip! Do some good for the yourself, your community, the environment and get a chance to win even more prizes.
There’s still time for your company to get involved in Switch My Trip, the annual campaign that promotes smart commute options. Employers can get involved by hosting a Commuter Fair, post information and displays about Switch My Trip at your work location or create in-house events.
It’s easy to participate online and double your chances to win. Between now and Oct. 31, pledge to switch at least one drive-alone trip and instead take the bus or train, bicycle, carpool, walk, telework or vanpool. Make a pledge and be entered into a variety of prize drawings too.
Healthier You! It’s a fact. Active transportation choices like bicycling, walking, or riding the bus or train get you closer to the 30 minutes of physical activity recommended for heart health, plus it’s a great stress reducer.
Healthier Finances! AAA estimates that it costs over $8000 per year to own and operate an average car. Save money on fuel and maintenance costs when drive less often.
Healthier Environment! Changing how you get around – even just a few days a week – is an easy, inexpensive easy to improve air quality and reduce your carbon footprint.
Contact an employer outreach specialist to schedule a Commuter Fair today.
Census Report: Less Driving Alone, More Bike Commuting
This week the U.S. Census Bureau released 2014 data from the American Community Survey. Here is a snapshot of commuting habits of Minneapolis residents broken down by transportation mode with percentages and stats. The data is a result of a year-round survey of approximately 7,000 Minneapolis residents; not a census of the entire population.
Take note, the percentage of “drive alone” commuters is at its lowest in 25 years while the percentage of bicycle commuters gained its highest percentage level at 4.6% of Minneapolis commuters.
Minneapolis population: 407,181 Minneapolis workers: 224,281
Mode share (number of workers):
Attached is a summary copy of data for Minneapolis. If you want to explore the data, visit the Census Bureau’s website. Enter B08006 in the Topic or Table Name field and Minneapolis in the Place field. Then select 2014 ACS 1-year estimates.
HOURCAR + Go-To card = Gets You Places
HOURCAR has upgraded its vehicle technology to recognize the RFID chips in Metro Transit fare cards. HOURCAR members who register their transit card with HOURCAR can now swipe their Go-To card, U-pass, Metropass, or College Pass to lock and unlock the doors of any HOURCAR vehicle.
This new partnership with Metro Transit will allow users to switch seamlessly between transit and car sharing. Companies using Metropass can now encourage their staff to use car-sharing to fulfill their off-site obligations during the workday, instead of relying on their private vehicle.
“Allowing our customers to use their fare cards to access HOURCAR’s fleet provides additional convenience and reinforces the strong connection between transit and car-sharing. [Metro Transit is] excited to offer this as an option to all those who are using alternatives to driving alone”, said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb.
Need a Go-To Card? Buy Go-To Cards at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet starting Oct. 12th. For more information about this innovate partnership, head to www.hourcar.org/goto
New Minnesota State Bicycle Maps
The 2015 state bicycle map is now available from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The map is also available at Commuter Connection/Move Minneapolis and MnDOT’s Central Office Building, 395 John Ireland Blvd, St. Paul. Bicyclists may request a paper version of the map by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The free map shows road conditions, traffic volumes and existing paved, bikeable shoulders, gravel roadways, all factors that make planning long-distance bicycle trips easier.
The map also includes shoulder widths, pavement type, state and regional trails, including the Mississippi River Trail, state historic sites, parks and points of interest and safety tips. Minnesota Bicycle Friendly Communities, as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, are also highlighted.
Bicyclists, especially those making shorter trips, can also use the editable Cyclopath route planner at www.cyclopath.org.
Free Wi-Fi Tested On Select Metro Transit Buses
Metro Transit is testing FREE Wi-Fi on select buses to keep you connected while you ride. You can check email, catch up on news or search the web (sorry, no streaming).
It’s another way to keep pace with your busy life. You can be productive and keep in touch yet arrive at your destination safely.
Look for signs next to the doors or in the sign above the windshield on Wi-Fi enabled buses. Connect your device to TransitWi-Fi, agree to the terms and you’re ready to go!
Wi-Fi-enabled buses will travel on routes in the cities listed below. To ensure as many customers as possible have the chance to sample this service, some Wi-Fi buses will travel on express routes; others will serve urban local routes.
In adding Wi-Fi to some of its buses, Metro Transit joins the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and SouthWest Transit and Plymouth Metrolink in offering the service
Drink Beer For A Good Cause
On Wednesday, September 30 take a ride into heart of Nordeast Minneapolis, the brewery capitol of Minnesota, for a worthwhile cause (as if you really need an excuse to drink beer). Indeed Brewing Company is opening their taproom from 3-11 p.m. for “Indeed We Can” a fundraiser for BikeMN to support bike advocacy and education in Minnesota! All proceeds from beer sales that night will be donated to BikeMN.
Catch a bike-themed movie on the outdoor patio, mechanics will be on hand from 4-8 p.m. conducting free bike tune-ups and the Red River Kitchen food truck will be parked out front.
Take social bike ride to the Nordeast from the BikeMN office at Midtown Bike Center leaving 5:30 p.m. Indeed will have extra bike parking available! Indeed taproom is located at 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis.