Most of us â€¨depend heavily on cars, often because we â€¨live far away fromâ€¨ our jobs, schools, and â€¨stores. Here in the Grandâ€¨ Traverse region, we driveâ€¨ almost twice as many milesâ€¨ as the national average.
Those long-distance commutes are having a big impact on our free time, health, and wallets. But there’s good news: Community leaders and businesses are applying new strategies to meet the growing demand for other transportation choices. Workers, too, are taking small steps to boost their commutes.
|Local Motion: It’s About Distance|
Local Motion, a new northwest Michigan program for improving transportation choices in the Grand Traverse region, is rolling out a series of fact sheets to outline our current transportation habits. This first sheet reveals the current reality: Most commuters in the Grand Traverse area drive very long distances to get to work.
Grand Traverse area motorists drive almost twice as many miles as the national average [14,000 national; 23,000 Grand Traverse area].
98% of us drive more than 18,000 miles, or the entire way around the Earthâ€¨at the 45th Parallel.
85% drive more than 21,000 miles, or about 85% of the way around Earth’s equator.
More than 12,000 workers commute to Grand Traverse County from outlying counties.
But despite our auto-oriented culture, this long-distance trend is reversing. More people choose bikes, buses, and trains over cars; people are willing to pay more for transportation choices over building new roads; and the Grand Traverse region is moving forward with new approaches to modern mobility.
So how can you boost your commute?
Our bus systems are improving â€¨their service by making routes more convenient for commuters. Can you drive, bike, or walk to your nearest bus stop and jump on a bus into town?
Companies are reducing risk and retaining talent by offering commuter benefits. Doesâ€¨your company offer incentives for “smart commuting” or for living closer to work? If not, we may be able to help.
There’s a strong demand for homes, condos, and apartments near job centers. Can your community leaders facilitate more housing near jobs and transit?