What’s SmartTrips All About?

Posted on Posted in Newsletter

Four people taking various modes of transportation.

SmartTrips Ithaca is a community of people who are interested in improving our community by walking, biking, riding the bus, or sharing a ride more often instead of driving alone. We’re happy you decided to be part of SmartTrips! But did you know that SmartTrips are also being taken by people all over the country? The trips you and 70 other participants in downtown Ithaca are adding up with the efforts of people from Portland, OR to Austin, TX and more. Our program is just a baby compared to the others, so if you’re having fun now imagine how awesome SmartTrips Ithaca can be as the program grows!

You may already know too-well about the negative impacts of our car-centric culture, from increased pollution and traffic to more personal effects like poorer health and higher costs. While the problems are similar across the country, the solutions are different from place-to-place and person-to-person. This is why SmartTrips exists. Our goal to help people shift and stick to a car-lite or car-free lifestyle follows the guiding principle that the solutions to transportation problems are unique to each community. So, what’s the story with downtown Ithaca?

Infographic of Fall 2015 Downtown SurveyWe wanted Ithaca’s first SmartTrips program to be where the greatest number of transportation options are available. In Ithaca, that’s the downtown core with its excellent TCAT and Ithaca Carshare service as well as its flat bikeable terrain and walkable streets. In a survey conducted during the fall of 2015, we were excited to find out that downtown Ithacans walk regularly. The survey also revealed where there was room for improvement: a third of downtowners seldom or never take TCAT, while over 80% seldom or never ride bicycles. The survey also clued us in to why taking TCAT or biking in Ithaca can be challenging. Read all about it in our cool infographic from the survey!

From the survey results, we got to work on ways that we could improve the experience of living car-lite or car-free in Ithaca. We developed MySmartTrips, which is the easiest way to plan your trips on TCAT. MySmartTrips can also help you plan trips by bike, making sure to direct you on less congested routes so you can have a smooth ride. In July, we will also organize fun events and workshops for SmartTrips participants and friends that will help you navigate Ithaca’s streets on all of the transportation options that are available. Let us know if you have a great idea for an event! And, as always, we are always happy to chat with you about transportation in Ithaca by email or phone.

Keep an eye out on future announcements regarding fun activities and prize drawings exclusive to you, our SmartTrips Ithaca participants. Thanks for being part of Ithaca’s maiden voyage of SmartTrips. We’re really excited to help you get to where you want to go!