There's less than a week left of January. Have you started work on activating your New Year's resolutions?
Count me among those who fill the page with resolutions only to recycle the list the following year.
Listed below are common NYR's themes from my unscientific survey of friends and colleagues along with Commuter Central's suggested solutions:
- Save money According to the American Automobile Association's 2010 Cost of DrivingReport, the average American spent $8,490 in 2010 in driving expenses.* By comparison, an annual All-Zone TriMet pass is $968 and the annual cost of bike ownership is around $500. Walking is practically free.
- More time with friends. Not only do you share the cost and hassle of driving, but carpooling is a great way to connect with neighbors and friends.
- Getting healthy. Physical activity is a key strategy for maintaining good health. The US Surgeon General recommends walking 10,000 steps a day. It's self-evident that those who walk or bike to work are more likely than car commuters to be physically active, but even riding transit provides a big health boost. And unlike going to the gym, you have to go to work. So normalize exercising by choosing the bus, bikes or shoes for your commute.
- Working smarter, not longer. Those who conduct day planning before or at the beginning of the work day tend to be more productive (at least that's what the Franklin Covey sales rep told me). Carpooling and riding transit provide a great opportunity for planning your work day before you arrive at the office. It works great for me. In addition, high levels of stress and/or chronic stress negatively impact productivity. Exercise from riding transit, walking or biking reduces your stress, allowing you to arrive to work and home in a positive state of mind.
*Composite cost of driving a mid-size sedan 15,000 miles/year is 56.6 cents/mile. When AAA conducted this study, gas was $2.60/gallon.