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The Regional Rider - A Commuter Habits HolidayPrint

Thriving Communities | December 4, 2013 | By James Bruckbauer

Hey transit fans,

Wow! It’s going to be a cold, snowy winter here in northern Michigan. All you regular bike or walk commuters may want to thaw out on a nice, warm bus this winter. Brrrr…

We here at MLUI have an early holiday gift for you. We’ve just released the last two of three fact sheets that illustrate exactly how our commutes impact our timewallets, and our health. It’s part of our Local Motion program, which is dedicated to improving transportation choices in the Grand Traverse region. 
A few facts:

  • The average Grand Traverse area commuter drives almost twice as many miles per year as the national average.

  • On average we spend 46 minutes a day going to and from work.

  • Most of us only walk an average of six minutes daily. 

  • Grand Traverse area families spend, on average, about $15,000 a year on transportation alone.

  • Carpooling three out of five days a week could save you nearly $1,700 annually. 

For more facts and some tips on how to boost your commute, check out the three Local Motion fact sheets:

Fact sheet one: It’s About Distance
Fact sheet two: It’s About Money
Fact sheet three: It’s About Health
What’s happening around Michigan?
This year’s Trans4M Transportation Odyssey was a success. The group of travelers that trekked across the state using only bikes, buses, and trains looked at the challenges and opportunities with Michigan’s transportation system.
Here’s a recap of their journey, which began here in Traverse City.
Upcoming events

Parting thoughts
Five reasons your company should offer commuter benefits (MLUI)
To retain young people in Michigan, invest in mass transit (DetroitNews)
Could bus rapid transit in rural Colorado become model? (BoulderNews)
Grand Rapids explores second bus rapid transit line (WOODTV)
Over a year away, KC’s streetcar already driving investment (SGA)
How Utah turned its unpopular public transit system into a hit (AtlanticCities)

See you on the bus!
The Regional Rider is a monthly update on the efforts to coordinate transit service in the six-county Grand Vision region. It’s published by the Michigan Land Use Institute’s transportation policy specialist, James Bruckbauer. For feedback, or to receive an emailed version every month, contact James at or follow him on Twitter at @jimbruckb.