WALK/RIDE DAYS = Last Friday of Every Month!
Step 1: Consider your options
Step 3: Commute
Step 4: Celebrate at our retail partners
Walk or ride a bicycle, bus, train… Even carpooling, walking partway, or driving - we welcome your check-in!
Invite your colleagues, family and community…the more the merrier!
August 2016 Check-ins and Responses to Question of the Month
August's Walk/Ride Day on August 26, 2016 saw forecasts of rain, wind, and heat in the 90's. Results were as follows:
- 1366 total check-ins
- 323 total responses to Question of the Month and Comments
- 167 (12% of check-ins) provided substantive comments to the Question of the Month
August Question of the Month: Have you ever done WRD with another colleague? What was it like? Would you like any help from your workplace in promoting/supporting this?
SAMPLING OF RANGE OF COMMENTS:
BIKE COMMUTING: Possibly more than most, bicyclists were very opinionated and on both sides of issues, such as whether they HAD or HAD NOT bike-commuted with others and whether or not they would be interested in doing so. Here are some of the comments that show the breadth of the responses, as well as a little humor at the end:
- No- the biking thing is a solo endeavor.
- No, the closest is when I led a caravan for bike to work week. We ended up with about 20 people by the time we made it to Boston. It's a little tricky corralling that many cyclists at rush hour.
- I've done biking with colleagues, but not specifically celebrating this event day. It was OK. I prefer to bike alone to avoid having to coordinate with the other person as we cross intersections.
- No, but would love to get a few Bike to BU groups going!
- Nope, always solo! But biking with friends is a lot of fun, and feels safer when we ride two abreast.
- Bike commuters used to ride together on Fridays in April, May, & June. Friday commutes were definitely the most enjoyable of the week.
- It's better when biking with a friend.
- Last year during one WRD, I commuted in by bike with a friend who worked at Beth Israel. She is a regular cyclist and was very helpful in showing me a good route and educating me on cyclist etiquette and rules of the road, which were later reinforced by events at Dana Farber.
- I bike commute with colleagues all the time. No employer encouragement required!
- Nope, don't own a tandem bike :-)
- Not really, but many of us do ride to work and we occasionally run into each other (no one gets hurt ;) ) en route.
CARPOOLING: For many, carpooling was a great source of social contact, though carpooling did not make sense for all. As well as distance of commute, it seems as though some jobs (eg. teaching) and stages of life (eg. without daycare commitments) are more conducive to carpooling than others. Typical comments:
- No, it's hard for me to coordinate timing with others as I also have to drop off my child at day care.
- I carpool with close friends only. I travel with young children so car seats are a problem, as is coordinating exact times - children are unpredictable. Taking two strollers on a bus/train at the same time in peak hour almost impossible - even seating together is difficult.
- It was awkward to make small talk during an hour commute to a meeting.
- yes - i carpool with another teacher.
- yes, carpool. great for catching up on current events.
- Yes. When carpool, it feels like no time at all. It goes by faster.
- Yes, I think it is very cost effective, helps the environment and promotes social discussions.
- Yes, it was great way to save environment, and can also lead to lot of scientific discussions.
- I think it would be a good option for colleagues who live further away from work.
- At a previous job, another colleague and I carpooled one day/week. I loved it! Not only was it good for the environment, but it was good for our friendship as well.
- It's nice to commute together. Due to varying schedules, a standard carpool wouldn't work for me, but it does work on occasion when planned ahead.
- Yes, I have commuted in with another colleague before. It was nice to have the company and save on gas, but it was hard to coordinate our schedules leaving at the same time.
- I did it today! Carpooling is fun.
TRANSIT-POOLING: Transit-pooling was also something that many enjoy, though tended to occur more by chance than through formal transit-pool relationships. Some respondents, as in the last comment in this section, shared thoughts on why workplace relationships and commuting relationships have changed.
- I have a train buddy that lives in my town and we tend to be on a similar schedule. It is much more fun to have someone to talk to and grab a coffee with when you arrive in Cambridge. Good start to the morning!
- Not with colleague but with friends ride train together, makes it much more enjoyable experience!
- I have commuted with my daughter quite a lot this summer because she works down the street.
- Yes. It was trying. I did a lot of waiting when I could have been commuting.
- I have carpooled home with a colleague which was nice visiting time, but honestly, public transportation is much more reliable and relaxing when compared to being in an automobile.
- I encounter colleagues on the train sometimes, which can be fun, but I haven't intentionally met up with someone. The Red Line seems too chaotic for it to work terribly well.
- Yes, my roommate and I both work in the same area so we walk and ride the T together. It's a lot of fun and it's nice having that company (and that motivation when I'm late).
- No, but I have made fast friends on the train.
- Some time (mostly at summer time) I walking together with few of my colleagues from (to) Yawkey train station to (from) work. Very nice
- I used to ride the train when I had a job with flex time. Now my schedule is not flexible so the train doesn't work (it's not reliable enough).
- took the train with colleague - quite enjoyable
- If you mean have I carpooled or bused or rode the train together with co-workers, then the answer is yes, but ages ago. In those days, co-workers knew each other fairly well and weren't afraid to share personal information such as what neighborhood or town they lived in or how they came to work.
- It seems the workplace nowadays is less open to the situations which normally used to yield such information. And the economic reality is that co-workers live further apart from each other, now that we can't reasonably expect to live in this city on an income of less than $100,000, so finding a co-worker with a commute in common will be harder and harder as conditions continue to worsen for city workers whose wages will never be permitted to keep in step with the rising floodwaters of the current economic climate change.
WALK-POOLING: Walk-pooling, ie commuting with others on foot, had proponents for social and health motivational reasons.
- Yes! I walk with one of my coworkers a few times a week from Allston, and when we hit Coolidge Corner, we pick up another coworker and walk to Dana Farber together. We all motivate each other to stay fit and healthy!
- Sometimes I walk with my co-worker who lives across the street. It is nice to be able to catch up along the route. I do like both ways though, because I like to reflect in the morning too.
- I sometimes walk with one of my coworkers because we live near each other. It is fun!
- No, but it wouldn't mind walking with a colleague/or someone from a different co in the mornings
MULTIPLE MODES: Many commuters expressed flexibility and fluidity in their transportation choices, switching between various modes depending on their needs at the time.
- Once the weather warmed up and dried out, biking (route taught to me by a coworker) was my preferred way to work vs. carpooling. I could exercise commuting in, versus being in a car and BEING traffic. Each method has pros and cons. Biking is great for my mental and physical health, but can be risky. Carpooling is an excellent social outlet and a semi-outside of work way to get to know your colleagues but contributing to congested roads works against my grain.
- Yep! Whenever I don't bike, I normally walk with my roommate who also works at Dana-Farber.
- Yes, I have shared rides to the subway with colleagues. I have also carpooled with others from the North Shore from work.
YES, I WOULD, IF…: Many respondents said they WOULD like to trying commuting with others rather than driving or even commuting car-free by on their own, IF employers would help them find partners with whom to share their commute.
- Yes, I often meet a work colleague. Workplace ride groups would be fun.
- I have colleagues I often see on the bus when I am commuting, but we do not make an effort to commute together. I may be interested in my employer promoting it–I have never done this, so I'm not sure how useful it will be, but I'm not opposed either.
- No I haven't but it sounds like something that would be enjoyable.
- No I haven't that would be nice.
- No, I have not, but I would give it a try, if possible.
- I would be willing to if anyone were crazy enough to live out near me!
- No I haven't. Don't know any of my neighbors who work in the LMA, though I'm sure there are plenty if there was a message board we could post messages on.
- No, but a forum to communicate with other mega-commuters like myself would be nice.
- Not yet.