With increased accessibility to FrontRunner, TRAX and bus routes, it is now more convenient than ever to use transit in Utah. Riding public transit is a great way to save money on gas, parking and car maintenance while reducing vehicle emissions and avoiding traffic congestion. The step to change your daily commute can make a big difference for Utah’s air quality.

According to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), their newer and cleaner bus technology only takes 1.26 passengers on a regular bus to offset the emissions of that bus. Bussing to a TRAX station and taking transit to work equals about 3 gallons of emissions per trip (7 miles average commute) versus 53 gallons of emissions emitted by a single occupancy vehicle in one trip. If everyone along the Wasatch Front who currently drives to work would take transit just one day a week, UTA would triple its ridership, take 300,000 car trips off the road every day, and eliminate 10 million vehicle miles of driving every day.

Just think if every employee in your department or company took transit, the difference your business alone could make for Utah’s air quality.  Not only does riding transit help clean our air, it can actually increase your productivity at work and beyond. Here are 11 ways to make the most out of your public transit commute:

  1. Read. Whether for work or for pleasure, reading can help get you inspired, focused and ready for the day ahead. If your job requires a lot of time in front of a screen (which seems like most every job these days), reading can also be a good way to give your eyes a break from the glow of a computer screen.
  2. Write and edit work documents. Bring your laptop along for the ride and type up that memo you didn’t finish yesterday or look over a report your co-worker just sent you for edits. UTA offers a free “internet on the go” wifi service on all of their express routes to make this even easier.
  3. Respond to emails. Walking into work with a clean inbox is an exhilarating feeling. Take time to organize and respond to emails that may have piled up overnight.
  4. Schedule your day. Glance at your calendar and make sure you’re prepared for the day. Public Transit commuting is a great time to prepare for your morning meeting or prioritize your work during a free hour you have later in the day.
  5. Create a to-do list or set some goals for yourself. Commuting on public transit can allow for a little more time for introspection. Write out some goals you want to work on in the coming weeks or create a to-do list of your most pressing tasks for the day.
  6. Catch up on a work project. If you’re coming up on a deadline for a project, what better time to work on it, free from distraction, than during your commute.
  7. Check your voicemail. Listen to your phone messages and follow up on missed calls.
  8. Make a phone call. Quickly follow up with a co-worker or set up next Friday’s meeting by making a phone call now, instead of while you’re in the office.
  9. Listen to a podcast or audiobook. Expand your perspective by checking out an interesting podcast or listening to an audiobook you’ve been wanting to read.
  10. Read or listen to the news. Scroll through your twitter feed for the latest headlines, read the newspaper, or catch a live stream of the morning news on your phone.
  11. Relax. Taking a nap is definitely something you can’t do when you drive your own car to work. Relaxing, listening to music and squeezing in a little shut eye can be the perfect way to unwind after a busy day at work. Just make sure you don’t drift into too deep of a sleep, you don’t want to miss your stop!

Utah’s business community can lead the way in championing public transit as a way to save employees time and money and improve our air quality. Changing your commute to public transit may seem overwhelming, so start small. Ride transit once a week and utilize the TravelWise tracker to find the best and most efficient route to work. Employers can also motivate their employees to drive less by providing transit passes or other incentives to encourage taking transit on poor air days. To improve Utah’s air quality and mitigate the effects of winter inversion, commit your business to riding transit and other clean air strategies at cleanairchampion.com.

Information mentioned in this blog regarding UTA’s Transit and Air Quality can be found HERE.