Saturday, January 1, 2022

Your public transit resolution for 2022

Among the many benefits of public transportation, switching from a fossil-fueled private vehicle to public transit is one of the quickest, least expensive ways to immediately reduce your household carbon emissions. 

While New Year's resolutions are often dismissed by social media and pindits because it is hard to change habits and many people don't follow through, if you don't make a decision to change, you probably won't. If it's important for you to replace a less ideal behavior with a healthier one, then it's important to start and to try.

So, make a goal for 2022 to take public transportation when you can. As La Crosse greens its fleet with newer hybrid buses and electric buses, you will not only save money but you'll also help clean the air, increase public safety, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are some tips for new public transit riders.

  • Download and read the MTU route map AND circulator map 
  • Also pick up a paper copy of this map from the MTU Transit Center at Third & Jay. Having a paper map is recommended as you get started; you can mark where you live and where you want to go to get a better idea of which buses you want to use.
  • Decide how you will pay. A phone option will be coming later in 2022. For now you will need to pay by cash, token, or pass.
  • If you use a smartphone, get the MTU DoubleMap app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. This will show you where buses are in real time and when the next bus is expected at a particular stop.
  • Pick a ride to try or a route to explore. (If you want to  explore by riding a complete circuit, please mention this to the driver when you board the bus.) Figure out where to catch the bus. Use your app to track your bus before your ride day and time how long it takes you to get to the stop. Plan to get there a few minutes early. Have your fare ready. If you don't use tokens or passes, rolls of quarters are good to have on hand because exact change is required. Dress for the weather. Make sure you have your good mask. Go!
If you want help or want someone to ride with you the first time, please contact us! We'll find a Bus Buddy who can meet you and go through the whole process, answering questions as you ride. Email or text or leave a message at 608-315-2693.

Behaviorists say new habits can be formed if your goal is targeted and reasonable (ride the bus instead of driving at least one time per week, say) and if your motivation is strong (like, fight the climate crisis!) If you have thought about, visualized and plan for changing your habit, you'll have a better chance to succeed. If you anticipate challenges when you are planning, you won't be as likely to give up before you start. If you give yourself a pep talk while you are doing the new thing, you will help reset possible negative internal dialog. And, successfully completing the new behavior will increase your chances if future success.

Taking the bus is a great (new) habit. We encourage you to try it and repeat it.

One last thing - if you find it hard to take the bus because of current routes, schedules, or frequency, please join our effort to support and improve and local transit! 

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