May is Bike Month, and, specifically, the week of May 17th – 21st is Bike to Work Week here in Virginia, as part of #bikeva. During Bike Month this year, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), is promoting bicycling for commuting, recreation, or essential trips as a form of travel which is healthier and more environmentally-friendly than driving. The purpose of Bike to Work Week is to promote the use of bicycling as a viable form of transportation, whether you are commuting for work or taking essential trips. This year, RIDE Solutions is partnering with Piedmont Area Regional Transit (PART), which serves the City of Martinsville and Henry County, to promote combined bike and transit use. There will also be an opportunity to win a bag of goodies if you log the most bike/transit trips with PART. To learn how, please read on!
PART buses are equipped with bike racks which can accommodate up to two bikes at a time. If you plan to bike next week and you use PART as one of the modes of your non-auto trip, you will be automatically entered to win a bag of goodies offered together by PART and RIDE Solutions, as long as you log your trips in the RIDE Solutions app, available at www.ridesolutions.org. When you log onto the app, click on “Trips,” then “Record a trip.” After that, select “Mode,” followed by “Multi” as shown in the two screen shots below.
You may be asking how you would use your bike along with the PART bus. Well, consider this scenario. Let’s say you’d like to commute to work, to take a shopping trip, take a trip to your favorite restaurant, or to a church gathering. There may be a PART bus stop perhaps a mile away from where you live and/or where your destination is located. You would bike to the bus stop in advance of the bus arriving, and when the bus arrives, the driver will place your bike on the bike rack. After your ride, he or she will remove it from the rack and you will be able to continue to your destination.
PART serves the City of Martinsville and Henry County Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., via three routes. The buses for all three routes converge at Lowe’s home improvement store (Wal-Mart shopping plaza) every hour on the half-hour (8:30, 9:30, 10:30, etc.), where passengers can transfer between routes. The Northern/Collinsville Route departs Lowe’s/Walmart for Stultz Road, Liberty Street, Patrick Henry Community College, the Henry County Administration Building, and Virginia Avenue in Collinsville before returning to Lowe’s/Walmart. The Martinsville Route serves the City of Martinsville’s uptown area, Patrick Henry Mall, Food Lion, the Village of Martinsville shopping center, and other important destinations throughout the City. The Southside Route principally serves the U.S. Route 220 corridor from the City of Martinsville south to include shopping centers south of the City as far as Tractor Supply Company. The system map – which illustrates PART’s route network – and other information including schedules – can be found at https://www.martinsville-va.gov/residents/bus-system-p-a-r-t.
Bike Month and Bike to Work Week serve as excellent opportunities for us to experience the many benefits of bicycling, whether they have to do with personal health and fitness goals, our desire to do our part to improve the environment, to save money by saving gas and minimizing wear-and-tear on our vehicles, or just enjoying a more fun way to get to work or to another destination. If you currently use your bicycle and/or the PART bus to get to work or to other destinations, don’t forget that you will earn points toward great rewards every time you log a bike and/or transit trip into the RIDE Solutions app, which is available for FREE at www.ridesolutions.org!