Win the Traffic Game: 7 Commuting Tips to Turbocharge Your Mornings
Snarled highways full of aggro drivers. Traffic lights that seem to have a personal vendetta against you. Unannounced construction projects. And, all the while, a clock that creeps ever closer to 9 AM.
Chilling. If that’s enough to get your palms sweating, we hear ya. That’s why these commuting tips and tricks are set to totally transform your morning journey to work—no matter how you get there.
It’s not the destination, it’s the ability to find a parking spot when you get there. Photo courtesy of Luxe.
1. PARKING, SOLVED: Meeting a client in the city? Have an important meeting in 15? Just don’t feel like circling the block for years? Signing up for a parking app cuts out a huge chunk of commuting stress in one fell swoop. ParkWhiz lets you input your destination before booking a nearby spot online—it’ll be waiting for you as soon as you roll up. And for some real indulgence, there’s the aptly named Luxe, a service that lets you treat the city like your own personal valet parking lot. Pros meet you as you drop off your ride, park it somewhere secure, and even give it a good scrubbing while you’re otherwise occupied.
Fret not—we’ve got tips for folks with spokes, too. Photo courtesy of SmartHalo.
2. BIKE TO THE FUTURE: Even commuters on two wheels have traffic to contend with. But with a little upgrade to your gear, you could be zooming along with aplomb. We’re psyched about SmartHalo (now on Kickstarter), a new system designed to turn your bike into a smart bike. Thanks to its light-up handlebar interface, you can seamlessly navigate without having to stop and pull out your phone every five minutes. And then there’s the nifty Faraday bike, which looks like a typical commuter bike but packs an electric punch to give you extra bursts of speed. See ya later, standstill.
Don’t exert more energy than you need. Find a charging station in advance! Photo courtesy of PlugShare.
3. PLUGSHARE: For those commuting by electric car, we salute you. We also direct your attention to PlugShare, which keeps a comprehensive list of local charging stations at hand so you can charge up whenever your battery’s running low—without wasting any more time or juice trying to find said charging stations in the first place.
The coast is (nearly) always clear, thanks to Waze. Photo courtesy of CooperGriggs/iStock/Thinkstock.
4. WAZE: An oldie but a goodie, Waze has the distinction of being the world’s largest “community-based traffic and navigation app.” The crowdsourced app, which was recently bought by Google, goes well beyond typical traffic forecasting, with live data on roadblocks, accidents, construction, and traffic jams provided by other drivers in real time, so you can dodge the obstacles instead of getting mired in the fray. Thanks for the heads up, guys.
With Morning Traffic Report, it’s your way *and* the highway. Photo courtesy of Kichigin/iStock/Thinkstock.
5. MORNING TRAFFIC REPORT: No, we don’t mean a generic radio broadcast. Morning Traffic Report is an entirely more personal service that keeps the commuting tips coming before you’ve even gotten out of bed. Each morning, the service analyzes traffic flows and roadblocks before texting you the best daily route into your office. Now that’s service.
Navigate any public transit snafu with Moovit. Photo courtesy of Carchi/iStock/Thinkstock.
6. MOOVIT: Drivers aren’t the only commuters who battle it out during rush hour. With signal failures, crowded carriages and other transit snafus, jumping on the subway isn’t always straightforward. Here to help with the public transportation guidance is Moovit, which collates schedules, maps, and live arrival details in one place, and even helps you find the fastest back-up route for when things go haywire. Life. Saver.
Cruise the friendly roads with pals in tow. Photo courtesy of monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock.
7. HOV LANES: When it comes to commuting tips and tricks, complement your apps and GPS with a bit of old school socializing. Yup: It’s hard to overstate the awesomeness of HOV lanes, which invite you to engage in some environmentally friendly carpooling as a trade-off for smooth sailing on the roads. Plus, your mornings will inevitably be brighter with a few friends along for the ride. Plus, you’re being a friend to the environment by reducing the number of single car drivers and overall emissions.