Looking back, it’s fascinating to consider where the world envisioned the transportation industry to be today. Flying cars may be on the table within the next decade, and complex underground tunnel systems are coming to fruition with the emergence of Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.
While a Jetson-like daily commute via pneumatic tube is a compelling idea, the approach to transportation is becoming much more centered on unlearning our dependence on single occupancy vehicles.
A Historic Dependence on Cars
The United States’ dependence on driving has been a long time in the making. In the 1930s, there was one registered vehicle for every two households in the US. By 2010, trips under a mile away were being driven over 70% of the time according to Bloomberg CityLab.
Before other nations around the world, America began adapting to car culture through mass motorization and expansive interstate systems that could connect people to anywhere they could want to go in the United States.
The seemingly amazing advancement of transportation and technology has crept into global issues of climate change. In 2019, the transportation sector was reported as the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency.
So, the question is: How do we clean up this mess that has accumulated over time?
People Centered Transportation
Today’s forward thinkers, environmentalists, urbanists, and industry professionals know that our future must center around our communities and human-centered activity. Building on the resources and transportation systems we currently have in place can begin to make for a more equitable society for the average American who doesn't have a Tesla in their budget.
The idea of the 15 Minute City is a perfect jumping off point. Everyone who lives in a city should have access to their needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. How can government officials achieve this?
For starters: Investing in projects that strengthen infrastructure surrounding public transportation and active commute modes like walking and biking.
No matter where you live, you should have the power to choose how you move around in the world. When streets are made for cars, it doesn’t leave people with much of a fair choice. The transportation industry is taking its head out of the clouds, and back into community-focused policies and funding. I’ll take an E-Bike over a flying car any day!
At The Rideshare Company, we are big fans of every type of commute. Do you ever wonder what your commute reveals about you?
If you carpool to work with a coworker or two, you’re reliable. Each member of a carpool is integral to its function. Look at you go!
If you take the train for your daily commute, you understand the value of peace and quiet. Giving yourself time to check social media, read some news articles, or just close your eyes and enjoy the ride is admirable.
If you ride the bus, you are organized and punctual. You’re not going to be the one who misses a deadline or joins a Zoom meeting late.
If you are in a vanpool, you’ve been called the life of the party before. You’re social, spirited, and trustworthy.
If you bike to work, you’re an early riser who loves to spend your weekends soaking in the world around you. You probably drink black cold brew, too.
Finally… If you drive alone to work, you may be considered an ‘old soul’, or perhaps you’re just a bit behind the times. Check out our commute savings calculator to see what you could be saving if you used a form of ridesharing to get to and from work instead of a single-occupancy vehicle.
So, were our assumptions accurate? We’d love if you would tweet at us with the hashtag #MyCommuteStyle and let us know how you get to work and if our first impressions were right.
We know that it’s easy to talk a big game in December before the real work begins. In January, you feel pressure to hold yourself accountable and stay true to the goals that you set. We want to share with you one final incredible way to make that resolution your reality this year.
Work as a Team
Having people on your side makes it possible to push yourself further than you thought you could. So, create a group resolution!
When discussing New Year’s resolutions, I found that the people around me had similar ideas for how to improve in 2022. Putting teamwork into action by helping one another stay determined and on track can be a great motivator.
How to Begin
To make any resolution into a group effort, make it broad enough that it can fit into each of your different lifestyles. Your resolution can be “Make more ecofriendly choices.”
Even if you don’t all have the same exact changes in mind, you are working together toward a shared end goal. One person could work on cooking more vegetarian meals. Another could get buckle down on single-use plastic. Best of all, your group can decide to form a carpool together and reduce your carbon footprint together!
Check in with Each Other
You can touch base on your goals by catching up in a group chat or planning a phone call each week. It could also be great to have a monthly reward as a team, like getting together at someone’s house for dinner or going out to a movie to celebrate working toward a shared goal.
It’s important to not place rewards solely on progress. Even if you aren’t seeing results, it doesn’t mean your work isn’t paying off. Also, remember that falling back on old habits or having a bad week does not mean you have to give up on your goals. Having a group resolution can be uplifting because you have friends cheering you on and reminding you that you’re in it together!
So, grab a couple friends or family members and make a plan together. New Year’s Resolutions can stick, and they can become staple parts of your everyday life!
“Cut out single-use plastic 100%.” “Go completely vegan.” “Rideshare every single day.” “Save 50% of every paycheck.”
What do these phrases have in common? They are all New Year’s Resolutions that aren’t likely to stick.
These goals are wonderful to have in a long-term sense, but telling yourself you have to drastically alter your lifestyle to make them happen will quickly lead to burnout. So, how do you set realistic New Year’s Resolutions that you won’t quit or give up on?
Make it Achievable and Tangible
Pushing yourself toward positive change at all is a great thing, so let’s start there. Say your end goal is to cut single-use plastic from your life. A good resolution is to only use reusable shopping bags, your favorite refillable water bottle, and to start buying alternatives to everyday plastic products like sandwich bags and plastic wrap. Then, these practices will become your consistent behavior. These are steps that seem small, but add up to a great individual impact.
Prepare in Advance
Although our calendars reset on January 1st, we as people do not. We all love to think “New year, new me!” but becoming a better you will take a little work. That’s why we begin preparing toward our resolutions before January rolls around. If our 2022 resolution is to transition to a vegan lifestyle, we are going to spend the end of this year researching, learning, and preparing. You don’t have to wake up on January 1st and throw out every dairy product you own. It’s about taking steps toward that resolution.
One thing we sometimes forget to do with our New Year’s Resolution is to keep tabs on it! Suddenly it’s April and you realize “Oops… Didn’t I say I wanted to take transit or carpool every day this year?” If your resolution is to rideshare regularly, mark the days that you followed through on your calendar! If your goal is to save a percentage of your paychecks each month, create a log in a journal or your computer to track your financial progress and goals.
Happy New Year!
From your friends at The Rideshare Company: Have a wonderful, healthy, happy New Year. As we enter 2022, remember that every little step is an incredible accomplishment. Be proud of yourself, and may you enter the new year with hope and ambition.
Does your office have a Secret Santa, a Yankee Swap, or a White Elephant exchange this holiday season? We have a winning formula to choosing the perfect gift for anyone in your workplace.
The answer is: commuter gifts.
Everyone gets to work somehow. Centering your present around the commute to work will be a gift that keeps on giving every single morning. Need some ideas for nailing a $25 limited Secret Santa swap? We’ve got you covered!
You are now equipped with the 1 simple rule to dominating the White Elephant swap this holiday season. If you go with any of these gift ideas and find success, let us know on our Twitter page with the hashtag #PerfectCommuteGift so we can celebrate together! Happy Holidays!