Creative ways to commute to work

Water taxiWhen I was young, I loved watching “The Jetsons.” I thought that when I grew up, maybe I’d live in a place like Orbit City, have a talking robot and take flying cars to work every day.
Unfortunately, flying  automobiles don’t yet exist, which is too bad since they’d come in handy during the daily, often grueling, commute to the office. Yet even without air travel as an option, there are a lot of different ways to get to work these days, beyond sitting on a cramped bus or driving alone in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
If you’re like me and you’re sick of your daily commute, consider exploring some of the newer or more creative ways to get to work:

Water taxi/ferry
Water is known to have a calming effect, and who wouldn’t want to feel more relaxed and at ease heading into a potentially stressful day of work? For workers living near lakes or rivers, water taxis or ferries are a great option for their daily commute. Cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, Boston and Seattle, offer shuttle service to workers looking for an alternate, and more enjoyable, way to start and finish their day. Some even operate like a tour, so you can get a little history and culture while you’re on the ride. Depending on the city, the service may be seasonal, so be sure to check schedules and availability.

Technology-driven rides
Considering you can use your smartphone to do almost anything these days, it only makes sense that you’d be able to get a ride to work with just a few taps of your finger. Services such as Uber, Taxi Magic and HAILO have cropped up in cities across the U.S., offering apps where people can quickly book a taxi. This beats waiting in long lines at a taxi stand or jumping in front of someone on the street to grab that coveted cab so you’re not late for work. Plus, you store your credit card information in the app, so once your ride is over, all you have to do is say “Thank you” and get out, without worrying about breaking a $20. Plus some of these services allow you to rate your driver, helping to ensure you have a satisfactory experience each time you ride.

Social rides
On days when the weather is crappy, the buses and trains are packed and there’s not a taxi in sight, you probably wish it was acceptable, or safe, to hitchhike. The transportation network Lyft is basically like hitchhiking, but without having to stick out your thumb — or jeopardize your safety. Instead of using taxis, Lyft employs regular people with cars who want to make some extra cash. Riders can book a ride through Lyft’s app, and they’ll get picked up by a friendly — and thoroughly vetted — driver. The idea of the service is to make the ride more social; they encourage you to sit in the front seat and make a “new friend” while you’re on the way to work or wherever your destination may be.

City bikes
A lot of cities are making their roads more bike-friendly, and with that, they’re offering residents the chance to ride bikes without having to own one. Bike-sharing programs such as Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. have stations set up across the city so it’s easy to pick up and drop off bikes at your starting point and destination. The purpose of these bikes isn’t to take long-distance, leisurely rides; it’s to help commuters get from one place to another — thus why they’re ideal for workers heading to the office. As a bonus, you get some fresh air and exercise while you’re at it.
So the next time you get that feeling of dread as you start your daily commute, skip the train and opt for a more fun and creative way to get to the office.

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