Small changes in your day-to-day travels can save you time, money, and improve air quality.
Tania Mashburn with UDOT shares the TravelWise strategies for familes.
What is TravelWise?
TravelWise is a UDOT program that encourages people to make small changes in the way they travel in their everyday lives. If everyone just does a little bit, we can all reduce energy use, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality.
TravelWise strategies include:
Alternative Work Schedules
UDOT has a tool to help people track the TravelWise strategies they are using, and see the difference it’s making. It’s called the TravelWise Tracker. If you use the TravelWise Tracker, you can see how small changes to your everyday routine make a big difference to Utah’s traffic congestion and air quality.
The TravelWise Tracker allows users to track and measure the money, miles, gas, and emissions saved by using TravelWise strategies. Each day, you can enter your trips and miles for each TravelWise strategy. You can use the TravelWise tracker from your computer or cell phone. Log your miles every day and see how quickly the savings add up.
Remember, you don’t have to use every TravelWise strategy to make a difference. Even small changes to your everyday life will make a big impact on traffic congestion and air quality in Utah.
TravelWise Tips for Moms and Families:
Active Transportation: Get moving! Physical activity is vital to the health and well being of our children. It keeps them fit, health and focused in class. Consider replacing car trips less than two miles with family outings on foot or by bicycle. You’ll get the opportunity to exercise together as a family and everyone will benefit from the time spent together.
Consider setting up a Walking School Bus: A walking school bus is a group of children who walk to school together with adult supervision (the “driver”). It can be informal (two families taking turns) or formal (set meeting points, timetable and volunteers).
Carpool: Rubber Meets the Road: Why should you do all the driving? Divide the ride with other families in your neighborhood to reduce emissions, save money and share responsibility. Here are some tips to help you arrange a carpool:
Consider families in your neighborhood with similar activities and/or destinations.
Approach them about consolidating efforts and sharing the ride.
Create a schedule with two or three families so each family can make plans on the days they don’t drive.
Keep a contact list of all parents in case you need to get in touch.
Check in with parents when picking up and dropping off kids.
Give as much advance notices as possible if plans change.
Tips for smooth travel with kids:
Have supplies. Make sure your kids have everything they need to enjoy the ride (food, water, etc.)
Be prepared. Know your itinerary, fares, wait times, etc. before you leave the house.
Keep strollers small and easy to carry or fold. If you child is over the age of two, consider letting them walk with you to avoid the stroller all together.
Focus on the positives. You can avoid parking hassles and fees, enjoy a safer journey, get some exercise and spend more time interacting with your family.
Enjoy the ride! Instead of focusing on the road, enjoy the adventure with your little one(s). Point out interesting sights on your wan and take advantage of extra bonding time.
Remember, the school bus is a form of public transit. Buses consolidate what could be many parent trips, eliminating the need for you to get behind the wheel. It’s a great option to reduce your emissions. Walk to the bus stop and board the big yellow bus!