12 Ways to Drive Less

bike and bus

Driving around in your own vehicle is convenient, but it’s also expensive. When you tally the costs of gasoline, parking, tolls, insurance, maintenance and even stress, it can really add up!

With all the transportation options now available, try out some new ways to leave your car parked and get around by alternate modes.

  1. Take a Walk. OK, maybe not right now when the heat index exceeds 100°F, but late fall, “winter” and spring in North Texas are usually quite pleasant! Stroll to a nearby restaurant for dinner, stride over to the neighborhood drugstore or even walk to and from the nearest transit stop. You’ll get to your destination while getting some exercise in the process. 
  1. Carpool with others. There’s no reason for your whole group to drive separately to a festival or concert. Meet at someone’s house, pile into one vehicle and give the driver some gas money. It’s more fun to travel with friends and you can even use the HOV lanes!
  1. Ride a Bike. Cycling is a great way to run near-by errands or get to a transit stop. If you’re not ready for the open road, many cities offer wide sidewalks and hike-and-bike trails. Most of DART’s rail stations and bus transit centers offer bike hoods where you can lock up your wheels, and all buses and trains also have low-floor entrances and bike racks in case you want to take it with you. Learn more at DART.org/bike. http://www.dart.org/riding/bike.asp
  1. Take the train to an event. DART goes to great places like the American Airlines Center, Fair Park, the Dallas and Irving convention centers, to several downtown and entertainment districts. Next time you’re going to a game, a show, a convention or a festival, use DART to get there and skip the parking hassles. Need ideas where to go? Check out DART Rider Insider Online.
  1. Trade your parking pass for a transit pass. Find out if your company or college offers DART passes as an alternative to parking access. A corporate annual pass [http://epass.dart.org/] costs less than buying it individually and can be purchased with pre-tax income. Some employers and colleges even subsidize the cost. Learn more about DART’s Corporate and Higher Education pass programs.
  1. Relax on an Express Bus. For work commuters, DART’s Express Bus routes offer more comfort and fewer stops. The coach-style vehicles feature high backed chairs, cushy seats, leg and foot rests. Most routes go to Uptown/Downtown Dallas, one traverses Plano, and two connect to rail stations. Explore where you can go at DART.org/Express.
  1. Join a Vanpool. If you live near your coworkers or work near your neighbors, then start riding to work together. With the DART Vanpool Program, six to 15 people can share the ride to work, with the cost divided among all riders. DART supplies the van and insurance. We’ll even help match you up with other riders.
  1. Board a Streetcar. There are two free streetcar systems in Downtown Dallas that serve entertainment districts and connect to the DART System. In the Dallas Arts District and Uptown, check out the vintage vehicles of the M-Line Trolley. Or ride the modern Dallas Streetcar between Union Station and the Bishop Arts District.
  1. Share a Ride. When you don’t want to drive or it’s too far to walk, use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to drive you. Save money by using ride sharing to get to and from a DART rail station, then use transit for the longest portion of your trip.
  1. Rent a Zipcar. OK, so it’s still driving, but it’s not your car! Reserve by the hour or day and run errands, visit friends, or venture out on a road trip. Zipcar has vehicles parked at DART’s Mockingbird and Inwood/Love Field stations, as well as at spots in Downtown Dallas, Uptown and Deep Ellum close to DART Rail stations. Learn how Zipcar works at http://www.zipcar.com/dallas.
  1. Take a Road Trip. Get out of town for a few days by taking an inter-city bus. Both Greyhound and MegaBus pick up riders in Downtown Dallas at stops close to DART stations, then transport you to destinations throughout the country.
  1. Go Multimodal. DART integrates many transit options with vehicles to give you more transportation options. Ride your bike to a bus stop. Take Uber or Lyft to the rail station. Use buses and trains in the same trip. Ride the streetcar then walk. The combinations are endless and they all add up to you spending less time behind the wheel!

About Karen Ptacek

Karen is a Communications Representative at Dallas Area Rapid Transit. She is the project manager and primary writer/editor of DART's Inmotion newsletter and the annual Progress Report publication. She also contributes to DART Daily, Rider Insider and other newsletter articles.
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