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How to Ride

Explore Your Commuting Options with Ride Solutions

RIDE Solutions redefines your commute in Virginia by providing a mix of cost-effective, time-efficient, and Eco-friendly travel options. Opt for public transit and enjoy a productive commute that lessens your carbon footprint, potentially lowers insurance costs, and offers tax advantages. Embrace the convenience of ‘bikes on bus’ services or find the perfect carpool match using an extensive, community-driven database. For the health-conscious, our scenic trails encourage walking or biking, easily integrated with transit options. Join RIDE Solutions to be part of a community-centric movement, making each journey enriching for you and the environment.

Transit

Benefits of Transit

Taking public transit is a great way for commuters to save money, wear and tear on their vehicles, improve regional air quality, and include a healthy activity in their day. And commuters can use the travel time to read or relax. More specifically, transit:

  • Provides an economical alternative to your monthly gas bill
  • Provides time to read, relax, view emails
  • Provides a tangible way to positively impact local air quality by reducing a commuter’s carbon footprint
  • Can possibly reduce auto insurance. Contact your auto insurance agent, some insurers will change the status of your vehicle to “leisure auto” and lower your auto premium.
  • Possible tax break. The Commuter Tax Benefit program allows commuters the opportunity to pay for a portion of their commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars.

Valley Metro offers bikes on bus service. There is no charge for using the bike racks on the front of the buses. If the bike rack is full, you may ask the bus operator if there is room to bring your bike on the bus without causing safety issues. If the bike rack is full, and there is no room on the bus you will need to wait for the next bus that comes along.
RIDE Solutions can help you find the best transit option, and as a RIDE Solutions member, you are eligible for the Guaranteed Ride Home program.

Get There By Rail

Amtrak’s destinations throughout the country can be accessed via Roanoke, Lynchburg, Danville, and Clifton Forge.

Amtrak has now expanded its carry-on bike program for Northeast Regional trains operating in Virginia, allowing passengers to store their bikes inside the passenger coach for a nominal fee. Learn more here.

Carpool

Interested in starting or joining a carpool?

Carpooling involves two or more people sharing a ride in a private vehicle on a regular basis. It’s a straightforward, casual arrangement that continues for as long as the participants agree. If you’re seeking a convenient carpool, we’re here to assist. The ConnectingVA app offers complimentary commuter matching services to anyone living, working, or studying in Central Virginia.

To start forming or joining a carpool or vanpool, simply sign up and create a profile on the ConnectingVA app. This user-friendly system puts you in charge of your search, letting you set your own criteria and preferences. You can easily spot your matches on a map and get in touch with them through the app. Feel free to update your schedule, locations, search radius, and profile details anytime.

Bike & Walk

Request a Route

You can request information on safe bike routes directly from RIDE Solutions.

Enjoy the Ride

If you’re considering switching to biking or walking as a healthier, cleaner alternative to driving for your daily commute, or simply enjoying taking advantage of the region’s greenways, trails, and bike paths for recreational use, the Roanoke and New River Valleys and the area offer ample opportunities for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Even if your trip is long, consider walking or biking for part of your trip. Use one of the Park & Ride Lots or you can walk or ride to the bus and put your bike on the bus. View the transit drop-down for a comprehensive list of regional services.

Commuting by Bike

Cycling to work or school is simple, healthy, clean, and economical. We have gathered a compilation of safety and commuter tips and resources to assist all bicyclists – from beginner to advanced – have a safe and fun bicycling experience.

Finding a Biking or Walking Route

Would you like to bike or walk to work, school, transit or shopping? Developing the best route to your destination is not always easy and often requires trial and error in finding the best route. Travel time, road conditions, bicycle facilities, traffic flow and geography are all considered when planning your route.

Safety should always be a top concern for cyclists riding on the street with cars. There are a number of steps that bicyclists can take to improve both their safety and that of the motorists on the road. Bicyclists should always ride with caution, obey all traffic laws and behave predictably.

Details to Consider

Commuting by bicycle forces you to consider the weather and make plans for transporting clothes, work or school supplies, and other necessities. In addition, having a secondary transportation option, in the event of an emergency is important. Local Planner and avid cyclists Shane Sawyer has developed the Guide to Bicycle Commuting (link to edited/shortened version of Shane’s summary) that outlines some great tips and considerations for commuting by bicycle to work.

Emergency Ride Home: RIDE Solutions Emergency Ride Home Program provides any registered member a freed ride home in the event of an emergency. This bike commuting “insurance policy” is your assurance you will not get stranded at work.
Transporting Bikes on Buses: Sometimes the distance to bike to work is too far or there is a gap in route options, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of local buses. All of the buses in Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Lynchburg are equipped with bike racks located on the front of the bus.

Bike Shops, Clubs, and Resources: Within the southwestern RIDE Solutions region of New River and Roanoke Valleys, greater Lynchburg area, and West Piedmont area is a wealth of opportunities with which to experience our beautiful rolling terrain and plentiful rivers. Further, there are many cyclists and bike shops in the area to provide you with information, expertise, and bicycling camaraderie.

Commuting on Foot

Walking is the most common and used form of transportation. It is also one of the easiest and least expense forms of exercise. However, in a car-centric world, developing a strategy to ensure you stay safe and visible is important. Further, expanding the pedestrian environment – sidewalk, crosswalks, pedestrian islands, etc. – has become a focus and desire for all of the localities within the RIDE Solutions region.

Walking Routes: Would like to walk to the store, transit, shopping, or school? Get your neighborhood’s Walkscore to learn how walkable your neighborhood is. The Walkscore tool will rate the overall walkability of your home address, including access to things like grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, and so forth.

Telework

Telework, or telecommuting, is yet one more option to reducing your commute costs and getting more out of your workday.

As employees become more connected to their workplaces without being at their workplace, the familiar elements of 9-5 schedules, cubicles, and conference rooms become more flexible tools of a workday. Such distinctions can actually be obstacles for workers whose creativity and work styles don’t fit these traditional patterns.

For some workers, the changes in technology can eliminate the traditional work commute altogether. Via telework, workers can maintain their productivity – in many cases even increase it – while working from home. And telework is good for business, reducing the infrastructure demand for parking and office space while providing a valuable lifestyle benefit to high-quality, creative employees.

We provide employers with technical assistance to determine if teleworking is right for their business and employees, develop policies, and determine the technical capacities needed to successfully launch a program. We can also help you determine how you’ll evaluate the success of your program and ensure employees continue to be productive and accountable even when they aren’t at their desks.