September is Discover Transit Month, which is a campaign to promote transit use across the Commonwealth of Virginia and make Virginians aware that their local transit systems can be great alternatives to driving! In this blog, I will discuss benefits of using transit, share some great prizes available for you to win this month, and share some basic information about the transit services available to you. My experience has been that some residents are not always aware of transit systems that serve their communities, and if they are, they may not be certain of the areas that are served or the hours the systems operate.
Benefits of Transit Use
Discover Transit Month is an excellent opportunity for you, your family members, and your coworkers to rediscover transit in your community. With higher gas prices and inflation in general, this month of September is a great opportunity to put the keys away and save money. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), transit use can save a household almost $10,000 along with having one fewer vehicle. According to APTA, typical households spend 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, with most of this share allocated to costs to operate personal vehicles, which typically include gas, maintenance, insurance, and wear-and-tear. Yet another benefit of using transit is that someone else does the driving, allowing you to rest, catch up on work, or make a new friend.
And now for the good part: prizes! The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is administering two separate drawings for the Discover Transit Month campaign. The first is a sweepstakes, through which you will make a pledge to try transit or to continue using it (if you currently do so). Two entries will be selected, with the prize for one being two round-trip tickets for the Virginia Breeze intercity bus service, and the other being two round-trip tickets aboard Amtrak’s Northeast Regional rail service. One entry will be selected for each prize. For rules and entry information, please visit https://transitva.org/.
The second prize will be a $100 gift card. To enter the raffle for this gift card, you simply log at least one transit trip into the RIDE Solutions app during the month of September, as you would for a carpool trip, a telework session, or bike or walk trip. If you are not yet a member of RIDE Solutions, it’s free and very easy to join. Simply go to our website, www.ridesolutions.org, and click “Login/Create Account.” Once you do this, you’ll be asked to provide your first and last name, your email address, and a password. That’s it!
Aside from the transit raffle, every time you log a non-single-occupancy vehicle trip into the app, which includes transit, carpool, vanpool, walking, or bicycling commute or non-commute trips (such as those to the store, doctor’s appointment, entertainment venue, etc.) or a telework session, you’ll earn 100 points toward discounts on shopping, dining, activities, or services, or a chance to enter a raffle to win a gift card. You also get awarded 1,000 free points just to sign up!
Your Local Transit Agency and Additional Transit Resources
This section of the blog will inform you about which transit agencies serve your community, the types of services offered, the fares and operating hours, and the website. This section organized smaller regions served by Planning District Commissions, and includes Central Virginia (Lynchburg Region), the New River Valley, the Roanoke Valley, and the West Piedmont Region.
Another great resource for you to reference, which will provide additional information about public transit agencies throughout the State, as well as transportation resources for disabled individuals, senior citizens, and veterans, is Transit!VA, managed by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). This site, referenced earlier in this blog, will provide you additional information about Discover Transit Month, including the online form by which to enter the Discover Transit Month Sweepstakes. Transit!VA will provide you with additional information about public transit agencies across the Commonwealth, as well as transportation resources for disabled individuals, senior citizens, and veterans.
Central Virginia Region
New River Valley
West Piedmont Region