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MARCH/APRIL 2015

@livemore COMMUTE LESS & IMAGINE LIFE WITH MORE TIME TO LIVE

CHANGE YOUR COMMUTE AND . . . Head to the Islands Visit Your Grandkids Vacation Once a Month Rekindle Romance Learn to Cook GET YOUR LIFE BACK!


MARCH/APRIL 2015

In the next edition . . .

The Game of Heroes: 2015 World Police & Fire Games

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inside @livemore features Happy at Work BY JIJI RUSSELL

Going Car Free Made Travel Dreams Come True

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BY JESSICA TUNON

Mark your calendars for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games, June 26— July 5, at 53 area venues around Fairfax County and the National Capital Region. The event will feature 12,000 public safety athletes representing 70 countries taking part in 61 sports—that’s more athletes than the Olympic Games. The primary objective is to honor and celebrate public safety officers from around the world by delivering an amazing athletic experience and fully engaging the community to produce the best Games possible. The World Police & Fire Games are the second largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympic Games. The 12,000 athletes from police, fire and other public safety agencies will compete in 1,600 medal events, from track and field to motorcross,

angling to archery, and soccer to tug-of-war. The event is made possible by more than 3,000 volunteers—and more volunteers are needed. There are many volunteer opportunities still available, whether you want to help out with public relations and marketing, day-ofevent logistics, special events leading up to the event, or assisting with the competitions. The games are being organized by Fairfax 2015, a nonprofit established to organize, manage and operate all activities related to hosting the 2015 Games which will take place throughout the National Capital Region. Check out www. fairfax2015.com for information about the games. You can also email info@ fairfax2015.com or call 202480-9734.

on the cover Jessica Tunon gave up her car so she could take a vacation every month. Just switching to carpooling can save you enough money for a trip to Hawaii.

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What’s On Around Dulles

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Transit Gets Trendy

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Is Your Commute Killing You?

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Silverline Connects the Region

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95 Express Lanes Now Open

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Living More, Commuting Less. What Does it Really Mean?

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Working Together for Clean Air

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Commute Getting to You? Think DATA!


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@livemore

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From the CEO’s Desk

published by the Dulles Area Transportation Association

Welcome to @livemore, a brand new publication of the Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA) that will be distributed free to employees and residents throughout the Dulles region. We at DATA are extremely excited to begin publishing @livemore as a vehicle to help you learn how to Live More by capturing back some of your time and money that is wasted by commuting to your job everyday in your single occupant vehicle. In fact, we hope that this publication will become a common read of yours and that we can provide you with some great tips, anecdotes and insights on ways you can Live More and Commute Less. With the recent opening of METRO’s Silver line, newly established bus routes and easier ways to rideshare, DATA believes the options that the employees and residents have in the Dulles region will greatly enhance your ability to steal back some commuting time and money. That said, now you just need to figure out what you want to do with the windfall – we suggest you LIVE MORE!!

EDITORS Doug Pickford David Lillard DESIGN Aundrea Humphreys ADVERTISING SALES Hugh Barton Barbara Barton Kelly Woodword

Best Regards Always,

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Got a story idea?

James N. Larsen Executive Director/CEO Dulles Area Transportation Association

Email editor@livemore.us

For advertising info, hugh@livemore.us barbara@livemore.us 571.201.0949

C vertTravelers

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Taking the mystery out of customer satisfaction, one trip at a time

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Contact DATA

Jim Larsen, Executive Director/CEO jlarsen@datatrans.org

METRO

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4160 Pleasant Valley Road Burgess & Niple Building, Suite 200 Chantilly Virginia 20151-1226 Phone (703) 817-1307 Fax (866) 652-0847

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lbostain@datatrans.org

Co ve r

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Lynn Bostain, Director of Employer Outreach

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kwoodward@datatrans.org

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Kelly Woodward, Director of Sales and Marketing

Contact us to receive a sample research report at 571.252.3868 or info@coverttravelers.com

• Professional team of quality control and customer service evaluators • Years of experience working with airports, ground transportation providers, and airlines • Customized research reports within 24 hours • Areas of observation: safety, appearance, customer service and operations • Areas of expertise: market research, passenger survey, 3rd. party evaluations and acquisition management support services

www.coverttravelers.com


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What’s On Around Dulles Promote your event in @livemore!

Send notices by the 1st of the month to editor@livemore.us. Keep event descriptions to 125 words, following the format of these pages. One or two CMYK photos, saved as tiff or jpg at 200 dpi, are always welcome.

MARCH 1 Ice Breaker 5K

It’s the First Annual Ice Breaker Family Fun Run 5K. Put winter behind you and get active outside and prepare for spring. The course will take you through a scenic section of Herndon around the Herndon Parkway and Sugarland Run Trail. Sport Tek T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 800 registered runners. Race starts at 8am; Pre registration is $20 per runner and $25 on race day. Register at active.com or herndon-va.gov and click on parks and recreation.

3 Healthy Kids Day

Time to keep kids up and running around. A day full of fun healthy activities for your children. 10am–1pm; Fairfax County YMCA Reston, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd, Reston , VA 20190; 703742-8800.

7 Lucketts Bluegrass

The Lucketts Bluegrass tradition continues into its 41st year and is one of the longest continuously running series of its kind in the country. Old time bands and exciting newcomers are featured from the first Saturday in October throughout the last Saturday

in April. 7–10:30pm; Lucketts Community Center; 42361 Lucketts Road, Leesburg, VA 20176; Contact 703-771-5281. Tickets $15 at the door.

14 Kids Trout Fishing Derby

Start an annual family tradition. Volunteers will be on hand to teach you how to bait, cast, hook, and cook your freshly caught dinner. Limited fishing poles and bait are available for use. Trout Unlimited will help clean and store your catch. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet or muddy (no sandals). Teens and adults ages 16 and older must have a valid Virginia State Fishing License to fish. All kids MUST be accompanied by an adult. Event meets behind the Herndon Police Station on the Sugarland Run Trail. $5 advanced registration, prior to March 13 at 5pm. $7 day of event (check or cash only). For information call Herndon Parks & Recreation 703-787-7300.

15 NoVa Mini Maker Faire

This extravaganza of fun, science, DIY, a Nerdy Derby, and sustainability takes place at South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Drive,

Kids Fishing Derby will be held March 14 behind the Herndon Police Station.

Reston; from 10am–5pm. The Faire features makers of all kinds working with drones, robotics, arduinos, bikes, electronics, and much more. Although this is a family-friendly event, millennials will have a great time too! Thinking about the future of transportation and our suburbs is a huge part of this event. Tickets $20 Adults. Get in free by volunteering. See www. makerfairenova.com/attend for information and for shuttle services—there is no onsite parking. Sponsored by Nova Labs, Inc.

17 Lunasa

Internationally recognized as the finest Irish instrumental band of recent times, Lunasa has performed around the world, appearing at venues including the White House, the Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney Opera House. Now on tour from Ireland, Lunasa is coming to Franklin Park to inaugurate a new tradition: a St. Patrick’s Day concert. Hear the passion and virtuosity that has brought Lunasa to the forefront of authentic Celtic music. 8pm at Franklin Park Arts Center, 36441 Blueridge View Lane,

Purcellville. Tickets $55. Call 540-338-7973 or email fparkarts@loudoun.gov.

18 Lunasa

A Reston tradition returns to the CenterStage when this delightful group of Irishmen hits the stage. The group has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with Restonians for more than 20 years. Internationally acknowledged as one of the finest traditional Irish instrumental bands in recent times, they have performed more than 1,000 shows across the globe since 1997.


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8pm, CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. For information call 703390-6167.

19 Family Picnic

There is nothing nicer than sharing a sandwich outside, on a blanket with your loved ones. Everyone is welcome. 6:30–8pm; Fairfax County YMCA Reston, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd , Reston. For information call 703-742-8800.

26 (thru 4/19) The Secret Garden

Experience the live, soaring musical score and compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal in this musical based on the beloved children’s novel. Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon; based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. March 26–April 19, 2015; NextStop Theatre Company; 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. For information call 703-481-5930 or email info@nextstoptheatre.org.

29 Mr. Vaudeville & Friends!

Vaudeville and Friends presents Spooktacular! It’s Halloween in March at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage. Not recommended to those with a weak heart or overly skittish by nature, Spooktacular! invokes the spirit of the vintage Vaudeville Ghost Show to present an afternoon of

thrills, chills, and plenty of laughs. Showtime is 3pm at CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston.

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will be provided. No square or contra dancing, please. 6:30pm in the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck

Road, Reston. Contact Karen Brutsché at 703-390-6157. Ticket at the door, $5; NonReston Ticket Price: $10 for 18 years and older.

16 Patrick Dougherty Lecture

The Greater Reston Arts Center in collaboration with the Initiative for Public

APRIL 1 BOOM!

Cynthia Oliver creates performance collages that move from dance to word to sound and back again toward an eclectic and provocative dance theatre. A Bronxborn, Virgin Island-reared performer, she incorporates the textures of Caribbean performance with African, and American, aesthetic sensibilities. BOOM! features Oliver and Leslie Cuyjet exploring black femininities, gender and racial dynamics, and life’s contradictions as they kinetically embody individuals, friends, strangers, and the younger/ older versions of themselves. Performance time is 8pm at CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. For information contact Paul Douglas Michnewicz, 703390-6167. Tickets $15 (NonReston ticket price, $30).

Ride the Washington Flyer Silver Line Express bus between Washington Dulles International Airport and the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

5 Sunday Country Western Dance

Line dance, two-step, shuffle and swing the night away to popular country/ western tunes played by RCC’s DJ. Dances are held monthly in the community room, which offers a spacious wooden dance floor and a smoke free environment. Refreshments

Washington Dulles International Airport

ENJOY • Front door service • Ample seating • Free Wi-Fi • Luggage storage

Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station

Washington, D.C.

Bus www.washfly.com

Metro to Dulles. Closer than Ever.


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Register to run in the Ice Breakers 5K on March 1. Art-Reston presents an exciting environmental art installation by sculptor Patrick Dougherty in Reston Town Square Park, accompanied by an exhibit at the GRACE gallery documenting Dougherty’s works from around the

world. Patrick Dougherty is an environmental sculptor who is well known for his monumental, site-specific sculptures created from regionallysourced saplings. This ambitious project harnesses community volunteers to

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assist with the collection of saplings and the creation of the work itself. The completed sculpture will be presented to the public April 25. 7:30 PM; Jo Ann Rose Gallery; Reston Community Center Lake Anne and Jo Ann Rose Gallery is located at 1609-A Washington Plaza (Near the Intersection of Village and North Shore Dr); Contact Paul Douglas Michnewicz, 703-390-6167. Free

18 Gustafer Yellowgold

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show is a multi-media performance of live music,

animated illustrations and storytelling. With its unique crossover appeal, the show has been the wildcard opening act for Wilco and The Polyphonic Spree. Gustafer has appeared off-Broadway in his own productions of Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Sensation and Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock. 8pm, Franklin Park Arts Center, 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville. For information and tickets: 540-338-7973 or fparkarts@loudoun.gov.

26 Trout Fishing in America

Introducing folk music’s fresh new face-and Ezra’s daughter-Dana Louise! An infectious mix of folk/pop and family music is enriched by the diverse influences of reggae, Latin, blues, jazz and classical music. They’ve been playing music together since the 1970s—15 albums and four Grammy nominations. 3pm, CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston. For tickets and information contact Paul Douglas Michnewicz, 703-390-6167. Ticketd $15 (Non-Reston Ticket Price: $30).


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Happy at Work Workflex Promotes Greater Health and Wellness BY JIJI RUSSELL

stressful spillover from job to home; • less negative spillover from home to job; and • better mental health.

Employers who value loyal, happy, and productive workers cannot ignore the rapidly changing demographics and needs of our workforce. Many workers these days manage more than “just” a job and a family. They might serve as caregivers for an elder family member; they might be working beyond retirement age; or they might be single dads, to name a few circumstances. Today’s workers most likely do not look the same as their own parents did. Research shows that employees who enjoy workplace flexibility, which encompasses a host of options that could include scheduling flexibility and/ or telecommuting, also enjoy greater health and wellness. The Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRM), a national industry authority on people management issues of our times, works diligently to advocate for “workflex,” and cites comprehensive research that supports flexibility both from an employee perspective and as a sound bottom-line strategy for organizations.

Flexible and Favorable

Lisa Horn, who directs SHRM’s workplace flexibility initiative, “When Work Works,” points unequivocally to “a direct link between flex and better employee health.” Horn and her colleagues highlight the Families and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers (NSE) as “the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of the practices, policies, programs and benefits provided by U.S. employers to enhance organizational and employee success by addressing the changing realities of today’s economy, workforce and workplace.” According to Horn and her SHRM colleagues, findings from the NSE show that employees in more effective and flexible workplaces are more likely than other employees to have: • greater engagement in their jobs; • higher levels of job satisfaction; • stronger intentions to remain with their employers; • less negative and

Workflex as a practice covers a broad range of employee-centric flexibility options that deviate from the standard 9–5 work schedule. Such options could include compressed work weeks; alternative start and stop times; self-scheduling, and so forth. Flexibility for one organization might look quite different from that of another. Think of manufacturing versus online education. SHRM leaders note that specific flexibility options need to suit the industry and the organization, but that no industry or organization is without its own set of possibilities for flexibility.

Less Stress, Greater Health

The 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce underlined the link between flexibility and health and well-being by showing that employees in more effective and flexible workplaces are more likely than other employees to indicate: • being in excellent overall physical health; • a low frequency of minor health problems and sleep problems; • no indicators of depression; and, • a low general stress level.

Horn also referenced a Staples survey from 2011 showing that those employees who telecommuted at least one day a week remotely realized 25 percent reduction in stress level, reported being happier, felt more loyal, and noted other positive indicators. These findings might help to address a significant health issue of our times.

Workflex, or flex time, comes in all shapes and sizes. It works best when it is developed by employers and employees working together. Want to learn about how to get flexible schedules where you work? Invite a Live More Commute Less® team member to come to your office and explain how.

“Stress is a major precursor to more serious health conditions that employers care a great deal about,” Horn said. For those workers who are interested in workflex, Horn has this advice: “Present your request for flexibility, which will help you better navigate your work life, in a way that shows your manager or supervisor that the work will still get done. Workers need to take the business needs into account as well.” In the end, Horn says, “For flex to be successful, it has to

Email us at livemore@datatrans.org or call us at 703.817.1307, ext. 7.

work for both employee and employer.” JiJi Russell, a yoga instructor and Integrative Nutrition health coach, manages the corporate wellness program for American Public University System in Charles Town, W.Va. Reach her at jijiyoga@yahoo.com.

Try transit...and we’ll give you $50. What a plus! Hop aboard Metro and leave traffic behind. Relax with the paper while the Fairfax Connector whisks you to your destination.

Talk to your Human Resources or Employee Benefits Manager about enrolling your company in the SmartBenefits® Program...there’s no charge! Ask him or her to call the SmartBenefits Sales Team. And before you know it, we’ll deliver your SmartBenefits card loaded with $50 worth of worry free commuting! CALL Your SmartBenefits Team

202.962.2793

Ask about the Fairfax Plus50 Incentive Program


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Transit Gets Trendy Pedestrian Friendly, Transit Oriented Communities Are the Rage LEASING RATES

VACANCY RATES

Reston is dominating the Northern Virginia office market, with companies sometimes willing to pay 30 percent or more in rent to be in Reston Town Center instead of other neighborhoods, according to research from the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

As leasing rates have increased in Reston, vacancy rates have been on the decline as compared to the rest of Northern Virginia, particularly in the Rosslyn – Ballston corridor

Recent data suggests that those areas that offer easy pedestrian and transit-oriented options have a whole host of new customers—businesses! Vacancy and leasing data suggest that transit-oriented “clusters” are attracting more businesses that want to serve

workers by day and residents by night and on weekends. This concentration of customers means property owners in these clusters are enjoying higher leasing rates, according to the real estate research firm of Cushman & Wakefield.

In a recent Washington Post article, Sarah Dreyer, director of Mid-Atlantic research for Cushman & Wakefield, cited Reston as an example. “Reston was just set up to have density. Employees who work there can go out and get their lunch, they can go get drinks

afterward, they can go shopping,” she said. “It seems that people are willing to pay a premium to be there.” Indeed, the data suggest that Reston is one of the most desirable areas in Northern Virginia. It surpasses both Tysons and the Rosslyn/Ballston

Corridor as a place where businesses are leasing more space at higher prices than years past, a direct impact, say real estate experts, of Metro’s new Silver Line.

Advertising in @livemore Advertising in @livemore is an effective way to reach 20,000 Advertising is easy. An @livemore ad sales exec will walk you readers who are looking for ways to enjoy life more. They are curious, through the process. Don’t have in-house design capabilities? We can open to new ideas, ready for something new. design an eye-catching ad for a modest fee. We make payment simple, too. We can email you an invoice for @livemore is published six times a year, and distributed in highvisibility sites in the Dulles area, including Reston, Leesburg, Chantilly secure online payment or payment by check. and Centreville and public libraries. Distribution sites include shops, For information contact sales@livemore.us. office buildings, and Live More newspaper boxes.


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Is Your Commute Killing You?

If you sometimes feel like you’ve already worked an entire day by the time you get to work, you’re not alone. By the time you get there, you’re stressed, exhausted, and tired. Dazed and woozy, you’re concerned that your commute might be making you sick. You could be right. The findings of a 2011 study in three car-centric Texas cities suggest the longer your daily commute, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure, an oversized waistline, and other health problems that increase your risk for chronic diseases. The study’s lead author Christine Hoehner, an assistant professor of public health sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, puts it this way, ““Long commutes really get under the skin in terms of affecting people’s health.” An analysis of over 4,200 residents living and working in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas metropolitan areas revealed

that long periods of time commuting to and from work are associated with higher weight and lower fitness levels. Hoehner and her team estimated the distance of each participant’s daily commute and collected data on health measures like habits, body mass index, waist size, cholesterol and blood pressure. People with longer commutes were less physically active, even after other factors were taken into account. Seventy-six percent of people who worked within five miles of their home averaged at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per day—the most common recommendation from health professionals— compared to just 70 percent of those whose commute exceeded 30 miles roundtrip. People in the 30-milecommute club were more likely to be obese and to have

an unhealthy waist size (40 inches for men, 35 inches for women). Excess belly fat is a known risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, strokes and other serious health problems. What’s more, blood pressure appeared to be even more sensitive to commuting distance. Commuting 20 miles round-trip had an increased risk of elevated blood pressure enough to put commuters in the prehypertension stage and higher. The research says it’s not just “lost time for workouts” that impacts health. Sure, when the researchers analyzed the data, they found that lack of exercise was largely responsible for the increased risk of obesity and excess belly fat associated with long commutes. But the leap in blood pressure was more puzzling. Perhaps it was stress, which is a known factor in elevated blood pressure.

Other commuting lifestyle factors could be at play, like fast-food marketed for commuters or the fact that many commuters rise hours before dawn—sleeping, on average, fewer hours

than non long-distance commuters. The research was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Chill out with a trip to Hawaii Aloha! If you commute alone at least 20 miles one way, ridesharing or using transit can save you as much as $6000 a year in fuel, maintenance, tolls, and other expenses—enough to afford a Hawaiian holiday! And, without the stress of fighting traffic, you won’t arrive at your job feeling like you’ve already worked a full day. Ride with two others or join a vanpool, and you can use the HOV and Express Lanes for free. Bike or walk to work and combine your commute with your workout. If your job is suitable for teleworking, you might even be able to work from home a few days a month. Now’s the time to begin Living More.


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Silver Line Connects the Region For daily commuters, residents, employees and quite a few employers in the Reston – Tysons corridor, the opening of METRO’s Silver Line is making life golden. The Silver Line is now open, and thousands of daily riders are taking advantage of new, hasslefree, traffic-free connections between Fairfax County, Virginia and the rest of the national capital region. The first phase of the Silver Line opened for riders in late July, expanding the Metrorail system by 10 percent. The new rail line included five new stations in Fairfax County - McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and WiehleReston East Stations. The Wiehle-Reston East Station, at the western end of the line, is proving itself to be a commuting powerhouse. Convenient bus transfers, a secure bike room and a large parking garage provide commuters with easy access to the Silver Line. And for riders headed to Dulles Airport or the National Air and Space Museum’s UdvarHazy Center, bus connections are available at the Wiehle-Reston East Station. Heading inbound from the Wiehle-Reston East Station, the Silver Line takes riders to popular destinations in Tysons, Arlington County and downtown D.C., and continues out to the eastern end of the line at Largo Town Center Station in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In coming years, the second phase of the Silver Line will extend the line another 11.4 miles with six additional stations in Fairfax and Loudoun

Counties, and will connect riders to Dulles International Airport. People living near the five new Silver Line stations now have an alternative to congested traffic. Concerts at the Verizon Center, sporting events at Nationals Park and FedEx Field, and downtown employment centers are all a train ride away. The Silver Line provides the entire region with new opportunities for dining, entertainment, living and shopping available in Tysons, and connects workers to major employers in Virginia’s largest economic hubs. Since opening, the Tysons Corner Station has become one of the few stations in the entire Metrorail system where ridership is higher on Saturday than regular weekdays. This demonstrates the draw of Tysons Corner Center, the Galleria and other nearby shopping destinations. With 60 percent of the first year ridership projections in sight, Metro gave residents more reasons to try the Silver Line this holiday season. The holidays kicked off with Santa ditching his sleigh to ride the Silver Line to Tysons Corner Center, and Metro teamed up with Tysons businesses and hotels to offer discounts for riders displaying their SmarTrip cards on “Silver Saturdays” in December. Metro also participated in the Tysons Corner Christmas Market and Winterfest, and will continue to pursue partnership opportunities in the new year that help riders enjoy the many destinations now accessible by the Silver Line.

Riding the Metro system may be a new experience for some Silver Line passengers, so it’s important for riders to familiarize themselves with basic Metro travel and safety practices, get to know the fare system, and sign up for MetroAlerts. Riders can do all that and more at wmata.com.

The #s 25,000

Estimated Weekday trips on Silver Line after 1 year

15,000

Weekday trips on Silver Line after first 2 months (60% of annual estimated ridership)

6,000

Estimated new riders using the Silver Line each day

3,000

Reverse commute ridership on the Silver Line

1991

Last new METRO Line to open - the Green Line

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Percent of Silver Line riders going to DC

23

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Percent of Silver Line riders transferring from bus & using SmartTrip

Percent of Silver Line riders parking at WiehleReston parking garage

Percent of Silver Line riders bound for MD destinations

Noon - Date of first train to run on the Silver Line

Source: METRO news release September 24, 2014


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Going Car Free Made Travel Dreams Come True When she moved from car-centric South Florida to Arlington, she went car free. And hasn’t looked back. BY JESSICA TUNON

I recently passed my five-year anniversary of beginning my new life as a passenger, walker, cyclist, and user of public transportation. Using “active transportation” while growing up in South Florida was not easy, convenient, fun, or logical. In fact, I love cars—antiques especially. I went to the annual car show that was held at the Miami Convention Center and drove at least 24,000 miles a year. And, in South Florida, your car says much about you. My Honda Accord LE personified me at the time: sporty, luxury, comfort, fun, and reliable. I used to love driving. I even drove to clear my head on beautiful, scenic A1A, which runs along the coast south of Jacksonville. Back in 2007, I couldn’t have imagined being car-free. But then, after moving to the Arlington, Va., neighborhood of Ballston in May 2008, having a car became costly and inconvenient. It was $650 per month to park at work, play, and home; maintain and insure the car; and pay for gas and the Virginia property tax. In my case, the pros of getting rid of my car outweighed the cons. Pros: Using the $650 that I would have spent on a car to have fun and save money. Cons: Learning about how to be car-free and actually doing it. It’s one thing to write a pros and cons list, and quite another thing to actually live it. But I kept it in the back of my head that it would all be worth it, knowing I had $650 in the bank allocated to fun activities like vacations I could take as a result of going car-free. I also decided that if, at any point during my new lifestyle, I wasn’t enjoying the car-free life, I would get a car.

Fortunately, the process of adopting the car-free life wasn’t daunting. I had: • Purchased three cars and could easily purchase another if necessary; • Previously used public transportation (in New York City, Washington D.C., and South Florida); • Read the Car Free Diet; • Was dating someone with a car; • Lived with my sister, who owned a car; • Was acquainted with taking taxi cabs; and, • Received special concessions from my employer in advance. On May 13, 2008, I started my new lifestyle and began carpooling and taking the bus to and from work. At the time, my job required me to visit clients and potential client sites. Carpooling was the only realistic mobility option for me since I worked in heavily-congested Tysons Corner, where Metrobuses and circulators aren’t exactly timely and I was intimidated by bicycling to meetings. (I occasionally cycled throughout my life, but not as a mode of commuter transportation.) As time progressed, I got more used to my travel patterns. I used commuting time to catch up on business tasks, reading, and planning my work day. It was by no means easy or fun 100 percent of the time. But on June 14, I was ready to begin spending the $575 I calculated that I had saved in my first car-free month (insert smile and big bright eyes). Once again I created a list of pros and cons. However, this list was more of a pros list. I could take a monthly weekend vacation and budget the $575 for it, or not spend the funds and instead have a longer vacation at a later time.

Mobility Lab contributor Jessica Tunon (right) with Make Roads Safe campaign director T. Bella Dinh-Zarr and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.

I loved the possibilities of being able to afford to see friends and family in New York City (via D.C.’s regular bus service up the East Coast) and South Florida (through Spirit Airlines’ $9 fare club). Also, the money could be spent on events, concerts, festivals, theater, and sporting events. The $575 entertainment budget was awesomeness, and I kept that up for one full year. As I was getting ready to live alone for the first time in my life and would have new expenses—like buying items to fill my apartment—the saved funds would be of great help.

It is now five years since I started my car-free lifestyle. I reflect fondly on that first year, when I was still a newbie at this mindset. But it is more than clear that my quality of life and freedom have improved by leaps and bounds since making my decision. Jessica Tunon is a senior project specialist for UrbanTrans, where she helps the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission reduce congestion on roads in Prince William County. See UrbanTrans. com. This article is reprinted by permission from Mobility Lab of Arlington, Va. One of the largest mobility-management programs in the U.S., Mobility Lab removes 45,000 car trips from the county’s roads each work day.


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95 Express Lanes Now Open E-ZPass Flex works like a standard E-ZPass but allows carpoolers to switch between HOV and toll-paying modes. The switchable E-ZPass Flex lets the Express Lanes operator know which vehicles are HOV-3+ so that they aren’t charged a toll. E-ZPass Flex works like a standard E-ZPass on all other Virginia toll roads and wherever E-ZPass is accepted – regardless of the position of the switch.

E-ZPass Easy To Get

Long gone are the days of unpredictable trips along the I-95 corridor. The 95 Express Lanes opened December 29 of last year, providing congestion relief and faster, more predictable travel options to drivers on I-95. The 95 Express Lanes—a conversion of the former high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes—are 29-miles of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, which run from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to the Edsall Road area in Fairfax County. The 95 Express Lanes provide a seamless connection to the 495 Express Lanes and into Tysons, creating a regional HOV/transit network. Additionally, new access points better connect drivers to Virginia-based destinations and major military sites.

Express Lanes E-ZPass

and

All drivers, including carpoolers and hybrids, must

have an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex to use the Express Lanes. Good news: This means any eligible vehicle can use the 95 Express Lanes at any time, not just during rush hour. Carpools, sluggers, or those who travel frequently with three or more people in the vehicle can travel tollfree on the Express Lanes, 24/7, with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode. If you travel alone or with one other person, you’ll need a standard E-ZPass, which will automatically pay the toll for every trip. If you already have an E-ZPass, it will work on the Express Lanes.

Benefits for Carpools

With the 95 Express Lanes, carpoolers can enjoy 24/7 toll-free travel, an allday HOV-3+ benefit, relief from the Dumfries bottleneck where the HOV lanes previously ended and access to new destinations including Stafford County, Tysons Corner and Ft. Belvoir.

Virginia E-ZPass customers who carpool can exchange their standard E-ZPass for an E-ZPass Flex or add an E-ZPass Flex as an additional transponder on their account. Visit www. e zpassva.com/EZPages/ Get-Flex.aspx or call the Customer Service Center at (877) 762-7824 for more information. You can also pick up an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex at a variety of local Virginia retailers including: • AAA Mid-Atlantic locations • Select DMV, Giant and Wegmans grocery stores in Northern Virginia • Tysons Corner Center • E-ZPass customer service centers

For more information about where to purchase an E-ZPass, visit www.ezpassva. com.

What to Know Before You Go

The Express Lanes rules of the road are in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s important to have a basic understanding of how the lanes work before your first trip – here’s what you need to know: • Tolls on the Express Lanes are dynamic, meaning they change periodically based on real-time traffic conditions to keep you moving. There are no tollbooths or

options to pay cash. • Buses, motorcycles and emergency vehicles can use the Express Lanes toll-free • The Express Lanes are open to two-axle vehicles only—18-wheeler trucks cannot access the Express Lanes • The 95 Express Lanes are reversible. The entry and exit points open and close depending on which direction traffic is flowing – letting you know if you can enter the Express Lanes. If gates are blocking access to an entry point, do not attempt to enter the lanes • The Express Lanes end and the HOV lanes begin

E-ZPass Tips The 95 Express Lanes opened on December 29, 2014. Drivers should get an E-ZPass and learn about the rules of the road before traveling on the new lanes. When you open a prepaid account, you’ll receive a small electronic transponder that attaches to the inside of your vehicle’s windshield. Each E-ZPass transponder comes with adhesive mounting strips and installation instructions. Follow these E-ZPass tips for a smooth trip on the Express Lanes: Make sure your E-ZPass is correctly mounted in your car Make sure your E-ZPass account is linked to your license plate Make sure your E-ZPass can be read through the windshield Make sure your E-ZPass account is in good standing with sufficient funds Ensure your address is updated and correct with the DMV

• Online at www.ezpassva. com

Consider setting your account up with auto replenishment to avoid having to remember your balance

• By calling E-ZPass Virginia at 1-877-762-7824

To learn more about E-ZPass visit www.ezpassva.com.


MARCH/APRIL 2015

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on I-395 just north of Edsall Road. The rules on the I-395 HOV lanes are the same as they’ve always been. It’s important to know how the rules in this area may affect your trip • On-road signage will guide you to the lanes, explain the rules of the road and display current pricing – be sure to follow directions on dynamic message signs at entry points and within the Express Lanes

Safety First

The 95 Express Lanes are easy to use, however there are some new aspects of the road that are worth reading about to help you prepare. Visit www.ExpressLanes.com to learn more about how tolling works, what signs to look for as you approach the lanes and safety tips – such as: Pay attention to the new lane use management system and the variable speed limit system. Follow the speed posted on the variable speed limit

signs. The lane use management system will alert you if a lane is closed to traffic. If a red “X” is displayed above, you should exit that lane as soon as it is safe to do so Stay alert and exercise caution when driving in and around the Express Lanes corridor as drivers adjust to new traffic patterns. Avoid distractions—such as using cell phones, driving while drowsy or eating in the car

If you ever need to stop while on the Express Lanes, locate the closest shoulder, pull over and stay in your car – please do not exit your vehicle unless it is an emergency. Additionally, you should never stop, attempt to reverse or slow your vehicle to dangerous speeds while driving in traffic Learn more about new access points, safety tips and rules of the road at www.ExpressLanes.com. We hope to see you soon on the 95 Express Lanes.

Connect with @livemore @livemoreVA

facebook.com/livemorecommuteless

What does Live More Commute Less Really Mean? Think of it this way. If your commute is 45 minutes each way—door to door—you spend more than a month of days just getting to and from work. Do the math yourself ! What does it mean to live more, commute less?  You are home for breakfast and dinner. Got kids? You can eat with them.  You can return personal emails and texts at your leisure, and concentrate on your office work on office time.  Enjoy more miles a week of walking, running, biking—it’s your time!

 Depending on your current commute, save enough money for A TRIP TO HAWAII BABY!!!  Hey, you might find you need only one car. The savings in fuel, insurance and maintenance mean one more vacay, college savings, or a larger contribution to your retirement.  You and your doc could notice a considerable reduction in stress.  A flex schedule could mean improving your golfing handicap, biking skills, yoga infusion, and knitting skills.

 Walking or biking to work could lead to all kinds of discoveries—new parks, eateries, neighbors, wildlife and a healthier life.  No road rage!  Deeper thoughts—not watching bumpers.  HOV baby!!  Making Friday night happy hours before the 7 pm deadline.  Relaxing—not driving.  Money, Money, Money… What does more time and money in your life mean to you? Please let us know at editor@livemore.us.

DON’T TEXT & DRIVE

IT’S THE LAW!


MARCH/APRIL 2015

®

Working Together for Clean Air Surrounding the perimeter of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, the Dulles area is a major artery in the transportation network and home to thriving retailers, activity centers, and the Washington Dulles International Airport. Thousands of vehicles drive through the Dulles area daily. Washingtonians experience traffic congestion as part of their everyday routine. For many drivers, upwards of 70 hours a year are spent sitting in traffic, costing a lot of money and emitting pollution that we all breathe. The Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA) works closely with regional air quality organization Clean Air Partners to encourage area drivers to use alternative transportation to reduce their impact on the environment and improve air quality. Did you know by switching a 20mile round trip commute to public transportation, a single driver can reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 4,800 pound a year? It’s that easy—and it’s that important. With 7.5 million people in the greater metropolitan Washington-Balti-

more region living in areas affected by unhealthy air quality, Clean Air Partners is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses alike to take simple actions to reduce their contribution to air pollution. Simple changes like pursuing alternative commuting options can protect both these millions and your own health during unhealthy air quality days. Air tends to be unhealthiest on bright, hot days when the sunshine and heat produce pollution that can be hard to breathe. Your actions are especially important during “ozone season” (May through September) when temperatures are at their highest. To help inform which days are healthy, Clean Air Partners distributes free regional AirAlerts— daily email air quality forecasts and real-time notifications that rate air quality by color codes and levels of air pollution. Poor air quality is classified as Code Orange, Red, and Purple. Air quality is important to anyone who likes to spend time outside, but it particularly affects children, individuals with respiratory or pulmonary conditions, senior adults,

and those who are active outdoors during summer months. Luckily, there are clear and easy steps to make sure the air is healthy for all of us. Join the 5,000 Clean Air Partners participants who have committed to taking simple actions to reduce their impact on the environment and protect their health on unhealthy air quality days. These actions include: • Rather than drive to work, bike, walk, or use public transportation. • Create a rideshare, carpool, and/or telework program at your office. • Use an electric-powered lawn mower and leaf blower. • Refuel your car after dusk during the summer. • Bundle errands to reduce drive-time. • Clean heating filters each month. Visit CleanAirPartners.net to get daily AirAlerts and discover additional steps you can take each day to improve our region’s air quality, protect your health, and improve the environment. It’s easy to do!

NOBODY WINS!

Be Polite Prevent Road Rage

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COMING SOON! Live More Challenge Get Your Employer Involved in the Live More Challenge and discover how DATA’s employee commuting programs can help you achieve real business goals. MAKE MONEY by helping ensure your customers (and employees) have easy access to your business. SAVE MONEY by reducing absenteeism and recruitment costs. MAKE MONEY by guaranteeing continuity of business in an emergency. SAVE MONEY by expanding your staff without having to move your offices. MAKE MONEY by becoming the “green business” so many of today’s consumers want to patronize. Compete with other businesses in the Dulles Corridor to reduce your employees’ dependence on single occupancy commuting. Encourage them to carpool, vanpool, use transit, bike or walk to work and you and your employer can win prizes and recognition. Call DATA’s Live More Team to schedule a presentation on DATA’s Live More Challenge today! E-mail Challenge@Livemore.us or call 703-817-1307.

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Commute Getting To You? Think DATA What helps you speed past highway traffic in a comfortable captain’s chair while you answer e-mails and schedule meetings? Lets you enjoy the scenery while you “work out.” And shows you how to be so productive you’ll get promoted . . . even if you haven’t stepped a foot out or your house!

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DATA, the Dulles Area Transportation Association, helps you discover alternatives to driving alone to work. Carpooling, vanpooling, biking or walking, teleworking, or taking transit all improve your quality of life while helping reduce congestion on area roads and safeguarding the environment.

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Concerned about the environment? DATA’s E3Calc survey measures the carbon footprint created at your workplace by the employee commute . . . sometimes as much as 80 percent of your employer’s total carbon footprint. E3Calc will also compare your employer to businesses of a comparable size . . . and suggest

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DATA works with your employer to promote these commuting choices and to offer programs like flextime/ compressed work week and commuter benefits. Flextime helps reduce traffic during rush hour by letting you commute to and from work outside normal business hours or by working extra hours to eliminate a day in the office. Commuter benefit programs enable you to save money by taking a pre-tax deduction to cover your commuting costs; your employer may even elect to underwrite all or a portion of these costs. DATA is a public-private partnership that works with Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties to bring educational transportation events to your workplace, community center, or public venue. As part of its Live More Commute Less® initiative that focuses on the positive aspects of leaving your single occupant vehicle in the driveway, DATA conducted a Live More Block Party at Reston Town Center in October where organizations from Clean Air Partners to Enterprise and vRide vanpool providers to the I-95 Express Lanes showed commuters how to save time and money to spend on what matters most. DATA also sponsors the annual Live More Commuter Challenge that rewards commuters with gift cards and other prizes for trying and tracking alternative commuting during a 2 week period.

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DATA Service Area Map. inexpensive ways to reduce that carbon footprint. If you’re a member of your company’s “green team,” DATA can also help you gain points toward LEED certification. DATA also helps area residents who may not have easy access to transportation find reliable and affordable ways to and from work. In partnership with community organizations like Cornerstones and employers like hotelier B.F. Saul, DATA’s Onsite Rideshare Program assists employees who may not have sufficient language or computer skills to use on-line ridematching software to find car and vanpools. DATA also works with employees who bike or walk to work to make sure they are following appropriate safe procedures and the “rules of the road.” Want more information on DATA and Live More Commute Less®? Visit www.livemore.us or call 703.817.1307, ext. 7.

JUST IN CASE. A Free Ride Home For Those Who Rideshare REGISTER NOW FOR GUARANTEED RIDE HOME

800.745.RIDE | commuterconnections.org *some restrictions apply


@livemore March/April 2015  

@livemore is a bi-monthly publication that helps you get your time back by helping free you of the single-car commute.

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