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Posted on February 19, 2020 at 1:01 PM by Brooke Kochanski
Posted on February 13, 2020 at 8:14 AM by Brooke Kochanski
Did you know that using public transportation can help the average commuter save as much as $600 each month on commuting costs like gas, parking, tolls and car maintenance? Commuting with PART and taking advantage of initiatives like our PART Rewards Program and the XPass Employer Discount Program can help put money back in your pocket. You can even use our cost calculator to find out how much PART can help you save each month.
Triad traffic isn’t as bad as some places, but it still exists. And it’s the little things like people cutting you off or getting stuck behind a slow driver that seem to cause the most stress. With PART, you can hop on the bus or in a vanpool and blissfully ignore all of these commuting woes.
With PART Express, you can turn your commute time into that “me time” you’re always promising yourself. Not having to focus on the road frees you up to read a book, binge your shows (we have WiFi!), catch up with a friend on the phone or even just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Before you know it, you’re arriving home refreshed and ready to spend time with your friends and family.
The average Triad commuter will spend 22 hours each month on the PART Express Bus. You can leverage this time to get ahead on work or school by answering emails, writing/reading reports or preparing for a meeting. And, it might even mean fewer days spent going into the office early or staying late just to get in some focused work time.
You can never have too many friends, right? If you have a more outgoing personality, try spending your ride to and from work chatting with fellow riders.
“Our route is like its own little community. There are 4-5 people I ride with daily and have developed friendships with. I look forward to seeing them each day. We have an open, friendly environment. I also enjoy interacting with the drivers – they are friendly and courteous, and the interactions are genuine.” – rider testimonial
When you’re a passenger on a route you drive frequently, how many times do you find yourself saying things like, “wow, I never noticed that!” or “how long has that been there?” Instead of being hyper-focused on the cars around you, PART lets you soak up the scenery. PART also helps connect you to cities or communities you may not take the time to visit on an average day – so instead of driving out to Winston-Salem or Mt. Airy for a day trip, why not let PART Express act as your chauffer? Look up #PARTDestinations on Instagram to see some of the places we’ve highlighted.
Removing cars from the road improves our air quality by reducing emissions – something PART knows to be true. Our PART Express Commuter Bus services reduced carbon monoxide emissions in the Triad by 15.667 tons last year. So, whether this is your primary motivator or an awesome side benefit, if you commute with PART, you’re making a positive impact on our environment.
Not only do road maintenance and construction cause detours, traffic and other commuting headaches, they’re expensive, too. Read our past blog on How Do We Pay for Roads. The fewer drivers on the road, the less we have to do to maintain them. And the less money we spend on the roads, the more budget is available for other services or tax breaks. It’s a long game, but it’s worth playing.
Studies show that public transportation can benefit the local economy by allowing citizens to invest the money they save on commuting in other ways. Read our past blog on Why Public Transit Benefits Everyone. The next time you find extra funds in the budget for new clothes, dining out, seeing a movie or supporting another local business, you might be able to thank your commuting habits.
PART is committed to making public transportation in the Triad convenient, affordable and – perhaps most importantly – EASY! Multiple routes, destinations and schedules make catching a bus to your destination simple. And now with our new TouchPass Mobile and Smartcard ticketing options, it’s easier than ever. No more worrying if you have gas or need to get your tires checked – just hop on PART instead.
Posted on January 7, 2020 at 9:18 AM by Brooke Kochanski
When it comes to transportation, a lot of the discussion in the Triad are about the importance of maintaining our roads. Here at the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART), we know that public transit plays an important role in preserving these asphalt lifelines to our communities. And they most certainly need lots of routine care and attention! There is a reason we are considered the “Good Roads State”, and we should be proud of those references. But there is a cost.
Like any other piece of public infrastructure, roads are a good example of the notion that there is cost to nearly everything we encounter in our daily lives. From street signs to lamp posts to sidewalks, we come across hidden costs more often than you might even realize.
So how exactly are our vital roadways paid for? How are the streets and highways we depend on every day financed — and where does the money come from to repair them?
The simplest answer is taxes. Like so many public services in our lives, roads are primarily funded by taxes. That goes for the side-street in your neighborhood all the way up to interstate highways like I-40.
This all starts with the federal fuel tax, which currently sits at 18.4 cents per gallon. Every time you fuel up at the gas pump, you are paying that surcharge on top of the cost of fuel. This money goes back to Washington, DC and Congress determines how these dollars collect from throughout our Nation get added into the overall federal transportation budget. Following the Legislative process, the money could end up going towards any number of transportation-related projects: roads, pedestrian improvements, public transit or maritime use, for example.
Portions of this federal tax fund also makes its way down to the state level; mostly in the form of grants that various agencies and groups can compete for. According to the NC Department of Transportation, this federal fuel tax “accounts for approximately 25 percent of NCDOT's overall budget and about 50 percent of its construction budget.”
States also charge their own fuel taxes. Now, every state’s funding structure is different, but we’re going to focus on our home state of North Carolina. As of the beginning of 2019, the North Carolina fuel tax is 36.2 cents per gallon. This funding helps account for 54% of the entire NCDOT budget, and it is often adjusted at the start of every year to account for both population and energy cost (fuel) changes.
Fees you pay at the DMV — such as when you transfer car titles, purchase a new vehicle or renew your registration — contribute another piece of the road-funding budget. These fees account for roughly 46% of the state budget and often go towards covering maintenance project costs.
Finally, there are toll roads. We have a few toll roads here in North Carolina (none of which are located in the Piedmont Triad). In general, toll roads help make up for a lack of local funds in a given area, meaning that there is not enough tax revenue generated by normal means. Toll roads present an interesting element to the funding of our roadways because they are the most tangible way drivers pay for the roads they use: you take a toll road; you pay a fee.
But as we’ve outlined above, there are many kinds of taxes that go towards paying for road improvement and maintenance. And while no one likes paying taxes, the daily vehicle use does impose wear and tear to our roadways, and requires mutual investment from both citizens and the government to keep them safe and drivable.
So the next time you hit the open road, take a moment to remember that the roads you’re driving on aren’t free. By using public transportation, carpooling, or vanpooling, you can reduce the daily wear and tear on our roadways; ultimately helping to lower our annual investment into infrastructure repairs. Find your bus route today at www.partnc.org/express or give us a call to plan your trip 336-883-7278, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share on social media.