I’ve been working in the area of transportation demand management (TDM) for a mere two months now, but already I’m hearing these words spoken by a lot of people:
“But I don’t’ live in a big city - why should I care at all about transportation systems and alternatives?!?”
Driving – from acquiring our license, to being allowed to borrow our parents’ cars, to buying our first car on our own – serves in our society to identify us in a very personal and specific way. Do an internet search of “What Does My Car Say About Me” and you’ll get hundreds of options and opinions. Yes, it seems, we are what we drive. And most of us do drive. A LOT!
So how do my colleagues and I manage to encourage you, reader, and our fellow Frederick County residents to consider using a single-occupancy vehicle less often? Therein lays the challenge.
For the fourth year in a row, the Washington region was named "worst in the country" in the Texas A&M Transportation Institute's annual ranking of metropolitan areas based on how much time they say drivers spend "stuck in traffic" each year during the morning and afternoon commutes.(TBP Weekly Report of 2/12/2013). Yet many of us – dare I say most of us? – don’t mind sitting in traffic if it means getting to use our own car to get to a job that pays enough that we can make the car payments and maintain that car. What really matters is the freedom and the lure of the open road, right?
This blog will seek to answer that question and many more. At what point does it make sense to explore alternatives to driving alone in our own personal vehicles? How much does vehicle ownership REALLY cost the average person? Our local transit system is extremely busy and popular, but it’s a smaller system (we’re a smaller urban area) and it has its limitations, so how does someone learn how to use it? Many of us live in the more rural areas of Frederick County, so how can drive less and reduce our carbon footprint?
We’ll explore options to save time and money, such as local bus, MARC train, and Commuter Bus and ways your Employer can help, like Telework, Compressed Work Weeks, Commuter Pre-Tax Benefits, and more!