OCTA CEO: Kick-starting new routines this fall for commuters

Posted on September 27, 2011 by Will Kempton

It’s that time of year when the leaves are beginning to change colors (although in Orange County we’re still enjoying our sunshine) and kids are heading back to school.

While my children are grown, September still brings with it the comforts of fall, which has always meant returning to a routine. But in Orange County and across the nation, transit agencies are hoping to convince people to try a new routine, one that doesn’t require them to drive solo.

Rideshare Week, which kicks off Oct. 3, is an annual event that focuses on the importance of commuters sharing the ride to get to where they need or want to go. It encourages employers and their employees to take the bus or train, vanpool, carpool, walk or ride a bike.

Here at Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) our marketing staff has put together a campaign to promote the week and worked with the community to offer incentives for those who choose to participate. Commuters in Orange County can pledge to share the ride one or more days throughout the week, and those who do, have a chance to win a variety of prizes including iPads, gift certificates, Disneyland tickets and a bike gift basket, which all have been donated.

There are many reasons why people may choose to rideshare. For some, it saves them time or the headache from traffic, and for others like David Styffe, it’s the financial savings along with the satisfaction of being environmentally conscious.

“I used to drive alone, but I recently started commuting on the bus from my home in Fullerton to my job in Santa Ana,” said Styffe, an Orange County commuter who in May began taking public transit. “My main reason to start riding the bus was to save money. I also appreciate the fact that I'm doing something environmentally and socially beneficial.  I was surprised about how good it feels.”

It is our job, as transportation agencies, to educate the public about the benefits of sharing the ride and provide incentives that encourage people to experiment with alternative transportation modes.

Very often the fear of trying something new keeps commuters away from public transit, but once they try our services they see how easy, efficient and relaxing it really can be.

Rideshare Week is just one part of OCTA’s efforts to encourage alternative forms of transportation. We also host Bike to Work Week, hold bike workshops and safety classes, subsidize the cost for vanpools and offer special transit passes to employers. In addition, OCTA is encouraging the use of commuter-rail service for recreational use by offering more train service to special events such as baseball games, concerts and the Del Mar Racetrack.

Together, these programs are bringing to light the benefits of ride sharing and ultimately should help make a dent in Southern California’s car culture.

For more information about OCTA’s Rideshare program, visit www.octa.net/sharetheride.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Is public transit doomed for good?"

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

November 7, 2017

‘Precarious’ Transit Workforce Needs Data, Research to Help Fill the Void

As experienced workers retire, the pool of people to hire away has dried up. In recent years, it has become clear that talent needs to be developed rather than poached.

October 31, 2017

Autonomous shuttles could end commuting woes

Public transit options haven't provided commuters with enough first-mile/last-mile solutions, but a driverless shuttle could be what wins drivers over.

October 31, 2017

7 Tips for Making, Saving Money for Your Transit Agency

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in thirty years about getting increased funding from your board, it’s that winners get investment. People want to invest in winners because they have already shown a propensity to get results with what they have.  

October 25, 2017

Practice is Key for Incident Response on Rail Systems

Working in subway tunnels is difficult under any circumstances and when you have to maneuver around an electrified third rail in an environment with less lighting, the task is even more daunting. Now imagine what it is like during an emergency...

September 20, 2017

The Transit Industry's Workforce Challenge is Still Real

Where are we today with the great anticipated retirement wave? It looks like it may finally be starting, if not fully underway. It seems at least a couple times each month we here of a transit CEO who is retiring, technical staff who are leaving, and the difficulty in filling maintenance and operations positions with skilled workers for those who have retired.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close