Do you use your car to commute a lot? Thursday, Metro Transit and scores of other public transportation agencies are urging commuters to "Dump the Pump" for a day.
Metro Transit, in particular, is urging riders to mark "National Dump the Pump Day" by taking them up on their Commuter Challenge, which ends June 30. The contest challenges drivers to pledge to take a bus or train, bicycle, carpool, walk, telework or vanpool instead of driving alone. Pledging drivers are entered into a prize drawing for things like Kindle Fires, netbooks, and gift cards, and can opt to track their transit usage. So far, over 15,000 Twin Citizens have joined the challenge, a Metro Transit spokesperson told Patch.
If you're participating, you'll be joining the scads of Southwest Minneapolis residents who already use the bus or bike. According to the US Census Bureau, around 44,000 Minneapolitans of working age used public transit or carpooled to work in 2010, out of around 200,000 total workers (more precise data wasn't available at press time).
Quite a few more rode the major bus lines that serve Southwest Minneapolis, according to Metro Transit. In 2011, the agency recorded 2,301,019 rides on the Number Six bus line, 3,086,294 on the Number 18, and 283,559 on the Number 46. The six connects Linden Hills and Fulton to Downtown, via Uptown; the 18 runs along Nicollet Avenue; and the 46 is a new route that connects 50th and France with Highland Park in St Paul.
If you're more inclined to enjoy the sun and get to work on your bicycle, the Met Council—Metro Transit's parent agency—and the City of Minneapolis are urging residents to download the CycleTracks app on their phones. The app, designed by San Francisco's transit authority, will help planners measure the routes cyclists take in order to improve bike infrastructure around the metro area.