Transitioning to a Smart Commute

Transitioning from driving alone to a smart commute can seem like a major commitment. 

We're here to help you get rolling. The “what ifs” are bound to cross your mind as you rethink your ride. Don't let these be a barrier—we've got solutions.  

“What if…”

"...I need to leave work to handle an emergency."

The Commuter Connections Guaranteed Ride Home program provides faculty and staff who regularly (twice-a-week) commute sustainably with a free and reliable ride home when life happens.

"...my rideshare partner and I need to drive separately today."

Use a bundle pack pass. Bundle packs allow a vehicle to park on campus for a total of 10 separate days and cost $75. Pack are available for purchase at Regents Drive Garage.

"...my rideshare doesn’t work out."

If your carpool or vanpool dissolves, you’ll switch back to your previous permit and retain your original parking assignment.

Creating a sustainable commute routine

We want your new commute to be truly sustainable: it should be both friendly for the environment and feasible for you most days of the week. These tips will set you up for success.

Talk logistics

Most people find that conversations about logistics are critical to the success of their new commute. If you’re carpool or vanpooling, do you have any flexibility with departure times? Will you and your ridesharing partners share the cost of gas? If you’re taking transit, speak with your supervision about your new commute schedule. If necessary, see if working on the bus or train can count toward your daily hours.

Ease in to your commute

Start commuting sustainably just once or twice a week. We think you'll like letting someone else drive or feeling the breeze in your hair when you bike to work. 

Pack for the weather

Your new commute might involve time outdoors. If your commute involves a walk, leave your work shoes at work and wear sneakers when you leave the house. Consider keeping an extra umbrella or rain poncho in your work bag or at your desk.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Rewards

DOTS offers many incentives for smart commuters, including pre-tax payroll deduction for transit costs, bike commuter parking and shower access and half-price permits for registered carpoolers. Log your sustainable trips in the Smart Commute digital platform to earn rewards that are redeemable for prizes.

Smart Commute Success Stories

Many members of the UMD community are enjoying a new, sustainable commute experience. Find out how they made the switch.

Trading Traffic for the Train

How a UMD staff Smart Commuter saved $3,000 and regained work-life balance by switching her commute from the car to the MARC Train. Read more.  

Marc Train

Biking to Work, Oh Deer!

Cate Barger's drive from Mt. Rainier to UMD was only about six miles, but traffic made her commute feel much longer. In August 2018, Cate got the jumpstart she needed to switch to biking full time—burning 56,400 calories, saving more than $1,500 and seeing more deer than she expected in the process! Read more

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