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The Golden Triangle is going through a period of tremendous growth! Nearly 50 major public, private and transportation infrastructure projects are underway or planned over the next five years. The Shift team is here to help mitigate the impact of possible challenges created by construction and provide transportation choices to make it easier to get around. Check out the shift blog to stay up-to-date on the latest Golden Triangle transportation resources and experiences from commuters, residents and families in this area.

    Illuminating Solutions to Encourage Alternatives to Driving Alone
    by Shift San Diego | Aug 29, 2016

    Illumina is a large employer in the Golden Triangle area helping employees take advantage of alternatives to driving to work alone. The company goal is to encourage employees to explore carpooling, vanpooling, taking the COASTER, or biking as alternate ways to get to work.   

    Building on its culture of openness and collaboration, Illumina hopes to improve employee quality of life by making commuting a positive experience. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) refers to programs and strategies that manage and reduce traffic congestion by encouraging the use of transportation alternatives.  Illumina`s TDM efforts encourage an employee to ride a bike to maintain or improve one`s health and wellness while getting to and from work. It also highlights how people can foster camaraderie in a vanpool while reducing traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. Kelsey S. assists with Illumina’s commuter benefits program. Check out what she has to say about their TDM efforts.

    Q: How is Illumina working towards your TDM goal?

    A: Illumina is supportive of alternative transportation modes and offers commuter benefits such as a vanpool subsidy, a shuttle to and from the COASTER station, and special parking spaces for carpools and vanpools. Additionally, iCommute has helped us by showing our employees the benefits of commuting alternatives. iCommute helps the employees keep track of the changes they are making and how they are not only benefiting themselves, but also are helping decrease the amount of traffic in this area. By logging in trips in their free iCommute account, a person can see their impact on reducing CO2 emissions, burning calories, and even saving money. We even held a vanpool event to match employees for vanpools.

    Q: Describe your recent success with promoting vanpools.

    A: Our vanpool program has been doing really well. It is constantly growing and is projected to continue growing for the rest of the year. We started the beginning of the year with three vanpools, but we are now at nine. This is exciting!

    Q: How does an employee learn about commuter benefits?

    A: Our focus on alternative methods of commuting starts at employee orientation. We also communicate the benefits on our intranet and internal social network. Now that the program is up and running, we will be highlighting employees who carpool and vanpool throughout our campus to continue to build awareness of these programs for Rideshare month and to share with other employees their positive experiences.

    Q: How do you keep employees engaged in communicating TDM goals and successes?

    A: It is important to have open communication with our employees here at Illumina. Employees can share an idea or a goal and give feedback in coordination meetings and via internal postings. We look to our employees to suggest ways we can continue to support and improve the commuter experience.

    Q: What are the top challenges in getting people to change the way they commute?

    A: The top challenge is to reassure employees that using alternative transportation modes (carpool, vanpool, transit, walk or bike) doesn’t mean you are stranded or out of luck for emergencies or unexpected events. People like that safety net of being able to leave whenever they need or want to, and we want to use this challenge as an opportunity to offer a solution.

    Q: What are the solutions you are working on to address this challenge?

    A: iCommute offers free enrollment to the Guaranteed Ride Home Program. A participant receives three vouchers within a year for emergencies. This covers the use of a cab or rental car. These vouchers can help reduce anxiety, ease the mind, and provide reassurance that using alternative transportation can be done.

    For more information on how you, as an employer, can participate in the iCommute program, visit http://www.icommutesd.com/Employers/employer-services

    One of the vanpool groups at Illumina


    Aug 29, 2016
    And the award goes to…
    by Shift San Diego | Aug 08, 2016

    Sixty-one employers countywide were recognized last month by iCommute with Diamond Awards due to their outstanding efforts to encourage workers to use environmentally sustainable transportation choices.  Fourteen of the recognized employers are located within the greater Golden Triangle area.

    The Diamond Awards are administered by the SANDAG iCommute program, which provides a variety of commuter assistance and employer services to help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The number of Diamond Awards recipients has nearly doubled in one year, up from 33 employers last fiscal year.

    Awards recipients promote alternatives to driving alone including carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, transit, telework, and compressed workweek schedules. Some organizations also provide incentives, subsidies, or pre-tax deductions to support their employees’ participation in eligible programs.

    The Diamond Awards program recognizes employers as they meet milestones in the development of their commuter benefits programs. The program is based on a points system tied to employer engagement, Rideshare Challenge participation, and shifts in employee transportation choices.

    Congratulations to our local neighbors:

    Platinum
    BD Biosciences Pharmingen
    UC San Diego  

    Gold
    U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

    Silver
    Illumina, Inc.
    Qualcomm Inc.
    Sequenom
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

    Bronze
    BASF
    Covance  
    Mission Federal Credit Union
    Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.
    TD Ameritrade
    Texas Instruments
    USE Credit Union

    View a full list of winners here.

    View the event photos here.

    Employers throughout San Diego County are invited to take advantage of complimentary iCommute commuter program services to be eligible for Diamond Awards. To learn more, visit iCommuteSD.com.
     
    DiamondAward16_Event



    Aug 08, 2016
    Bus and Bike: Finding the Right Combination
    by Shift San Diego | Jun 27, 2016

    Combining bikes with transit is one of the great ways to get around the Golden Triangle area and make your commute by bike more manageable. Often times, riding a bike helps to connect the first and last mile of your trip.

    Henry uses both the bus and a bike during his 10-mile commute to his job at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has been doing this bus and bike combo commute for more than 15 years and encourages others to give it a try.

    Why did you start using alternative transportation?

    It is expensive to live in California. Biking and riding the bus was cheaper than using my own car.

    Share a happy moment associated with you taking the bus or biking.

    Taking the bus allows me some time to relax, enjoy the scenery, and to pray. Biking is good exercise. It helps me stay healthy and maintain my blood sugar levels.

    What do you like about your commute?

    The Rapid 237 is available every 15 minutes, which is convenient during my work hours.

    How did you learn how to use transit?

    I gave it a try and was surprised as to how easy it was to get around. It helps to also watch others use it and also read the instructions on the bike carrier.

    What would you tell someone thinking about taking an alternative way to work?

    I highly recommend transit. Using the bike and bus can lessen stress on your heart and mind. Stress can affect your health and I want to make sure I do what I can to stay healthy.

    Take it from Henry and discover a commute that works for you. Taking the bus and biking was the right combination for him. What`s the right combination for you?

    You can compare multiple transportation choices and plan an alternative commute using the iCommute TripPlanner at: http://icommutesd.com/commuters/tripplanner

    For more helpful guidelines for taking your bike on transit, visit these resources:

    iCommute: http://www.icommutesd.com/Bike/Bikes-On-Transit

    MTS: http://www.sdmts.com/rider-info-how-ride/bikes

    NCTD: http://www.gonctd.com/bike-and-ride

    Combining bikes with transit is one of the great ways to get around



    Jun 27, 2016
    Gearing up for Bike to Work Day
    by Shift San Diego | May 17, 2016

    Hats off (or in this case – helmets on) to Golden Triangle employers Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE), Biocom, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Vertex) for joining forces and gearing up for Bike to Work Day! More than 35 people attended their collaborative Bike 101 Seminar. Vertex`s very own bike commuter James S. led an informative session on bike commuting, bike rules of the road, and iCommute resources.

    “We are so happy our tenants enjoyed this fun session about bike commuting. James gave a great presentation to all bikers – starters and veterans. We support all alternative commuting choices and make it our priority to provide the facilities and support needed by our tenants. We have facilities for our bikers such as showers, secure bike lockers, and hope they encourage others to try commuting by bike as well.” – Jason Moorhead (ARE).

    “Bike to Work Day aligns perfectly with our core mission – to help our life science members on their quest to improve the human condition.  Healthy exercise, especially biking, is very popular across our community.” – Melanie Nally (Biocom)   

    “We are proud to reduce our carbon footprint and advance our employees’ health and wellness. In our growing Vertex community of bikers, we like to promote biking as a commute choice that is both beneficial to the environment and individual health and fitness.” – Tamara Fox (Vertex)

    What are you doing to get ready for Bike to Work Day on May 20? Let us know by leaving a comment or emailing us!

    Make sure to register for Bike to Work Day here.

    Bike 101 Seminar


    May 17, 2016
    Real Talk: Make Your Commute Easier
    by Shift San Diego | May 04, 2016

    Let’s get real – life is busy and time is precious. Most of us search online to find the quickest ways to get where we need to go. A new, interactive SHIFT real-time traffic feature is available to help plan a better and efficient commute to work or school in the Golden Triangle area. You can:

    • Access real-time traffic information via computer, tablet or mobile phone
    • Avoid congested routes
    • Make informed decisions on alternative routes
    • Enhance your overall travelling experience

    If you weren`t stuck in traffic, what would you do with the extra time? Stay ahead of traffic with integrated real-time data and be apprised of any construction advisory notices. Information is at your fingertips with ShiftSanDiego.com. Now that`s real easy.

    Real-time traffic feature available now



    May 04, 2016
    Vanpool 101 in the Golden Triangle
    by Shift San Diego | Jan 20, 2016

    Did you know there are currently over 100 vanpools traveling to destinations in the Golden Triangle area (La Jolla, University Town Center or UTC, Torrey Pines, and Sorrento Valley)? Joining a vanpool could help save you time and reduce stress when you commute during construction.

    What is a vanpool? A vanpool is like a carpool, only bigger! A vanpool can be a great way to save time, money, and reduce stress when commuting to the Golden Triangle. A vanpool consists of five or more individuals who share the ride to work in a leased SUV or van from one of the approved SANDAG Vanpool Program vendors, Enterprise and vRide.

    What is in it for me? Choosing a vanpool can dramatically reduce your commute expenses. A vanpool vehicle lease includes insurance, roadside assistance, and maintenance. Best of all, SANDAG provides a subsidy - up to $400 per month - towards the cost of the lease. Participants simply share the remaining cost of the lease and gas. A 75-mile round trip commute from South County to the Golden Triangle area may only cost about $100 a month per person. Plus, vanpools can travel in freeway HOV/carpool lanes and potentially save you time.

    Sounds good, but I don’t know how to find a vanpool. Since there are over 100 vanpools going to employers in La Jolla, Torrey Pines, UTC, or Sorrento Valley, try reviewing the SANDAG vanpool open seat list and contacting a driver directly for a seat in an existing van. You can join the vanpool interest list to be notified if there is a vanpool matching your preferences, or when there is interest in starting a new vanpool in your area. You can also find a vanpool match online with TripPlanner. To get started, sign up for an iCommute account and enter your start and destination address. You can also talk to coworkers with similar commutes, or ask your employer to contact iCommute to set up a company-wide program.

    I already have a group of interested coworkers. Where do we sign up? Contact one of the vendors today (Enterprise - (858) 450-2834  / vRide - (619) 377-7669)! For more information, call 511 and say “iCommute” or email  a SANDAG Vanpool Program representative.

    OK, but seriously, I don’t know anybody who vanpools. There are hundreds of people who vanpool to the Golden Triangle through the SANDAG Vanpool Program alone. Savannah R. works at Covance Laboratories off Campus Pointe Drive, and was commuting over 75 miles round-trip from South County every day. Savannah attended a vanpool formation meeting organized by her employer and signed up the same day. She just completed her first full month in a vanpool and here’s what she has to say:

    Joining the vanpool has been an amazing e
    xperience. The representatives are friendly and helpful. Not only do I get to spend my driving time with awesome people; I save money while doing so! The van is very comfortable and roomy with all the bells and whistles needed for commuting in traffic in the city. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far with my vanpool and will continue using it for as long as I can.
    Savannah R., Golden Triangle Vanpoo
    ler

    Check out RedesignYourCommute.com
     for more information.

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    Jan 20, 2016
    Welcome to the Shift blog!
    by Shift San Diego | Jan 01, 2016

    Numerous transportation improvements are planned and/or underway in the Golden Triangle area! The Shift team wants to help you navigate through construction and provide the transportation choices to make it easier to get around. 

    The Shift San Diego blog will:

    There is a lot of information out there and it’s easy to be overwhelmed, so the Shift team is here to help you get where you need to go!

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    Jan 01, 2016