DATA doesn’t “take it for granted” that behavior change is easy, and is always seeking innovative ways to get commuters to consider choices like ridesharing or taking transit.  Through grants funded by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, DATA encourages commuters to live more by commuting less.  Here’s an update on how we’re doing!

It’s how DATA rolls at special events in support of its Live More Commute Less: FOCUS! grant.  We’ve reported on the Believe It! community created through this grant in previous issues. According to Grant Manager Sarah McGowan, the community now numbers almost 300 motivated Reston employees, employers, and residents interested in trying biking (or walking) to cover that “last mile” between their home or workplace and the Reston Metro or a transit stop.

Pedals and Pizza was held on the Plaza at Reston Station and featured bike experts who demoed different bikes (including one from Capital Bikeshare) and helped interested bikers plot safe travel routes on a super-size Fairfax County bike map.  There were giveaways, a raffle…and, of course, pizza!

Other engaging events for the Believe It! folks included two “sold-out” Capital Bikeshare rides from the Wiehle-Reston East station to DATA partner Oracle where riders were rewarded with a box lunch and a Believe It! t-shirt…and a new appreciation for how little time it takes to bike the trip.  The riders actually arrived back at the Capital Bikeshare docking station before DATA organizers traveling in a van.

In early April, DATA will sponsor another event at Reston Station featuring the Beeline, a mobile bike tune-up van from Reston Town Center cycle shop The Bike Lane.  A social media- driven contest in March will give commuting and recreational bikers a chance to win one of six free tune-ups.

Check livemore.us/believe-it/ later this month for details or follow @BelieveItReston on Twitter and Believe It, Reston on Facebook.

SchoolPool?  Dive In!

Have a child who attends a private or magnet school that provides little, if any, transportation for its students?  DATA is promoting Commuter Connections’ SchoolPool program, which helps parents whose children attend the same school share driving responsibilities by forming carpools.

It’s easy to start a SchoolPool and DATA’s already interested nearly half a dozen schools in participating!  First, a school enrolls in SchoolPool.  Parents register online and SchoolPool creates a personalized “matchlist” with the names and contact information of other parents interested in carpooling.  Only the parent’s contact information appears on the matchlist, ensuring the safety and anonymity of the children.  The parents arrange to meet to see if SchoolPool is a good fit.

DATA helps the school promote the program by holding tabling events, addressing the PTO/PTA, creating promotional materials, and providing content for the school’s social media platforms.

For further information on SchoolPool,
contact Mobility Manager Karla Nativi (knativi@datatrans.org) or
Grant Manager Sarah McGowan (smcgowan@datatrans.org).