Holiday Cheer from Commute Options

kids biking to school in winter

By Katy Bryce, for Commute Options

It’s hard to believe 2017 is coming to an end already. It was quite a year for active transportation in central Oregon. Smaller cities like Redmond, Sisters, Prineville and La Pine implemented fantastic infrastructure improvements. Bend residents celebrated in the streets at the 2nd annual Bend Open Streets and our Safe Routes to School programs taught over 3000 school kids how to safely walk and ride their bikes to school. The City of Bend made some wonderful improvements for biking and walking and Cascade East Transit expanded services and added new low floor buses.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for 2017! We’re sure that next year will be just as exciting, so we’re sharing a few gift ideas and inspiration to get moving in 2018.

Ride your bike. The snow may fly this winter, but you can still get your bike ready for spring. Many of the local shops have specials on bike tune-ups so you can get your wheels rolling for next year – a great holiday gift for the aspiring bike rider! Next year, try exploring a new bike route to work. You might find a lovely path, a friendly neighborhood, or a new favorite coffee shop stop along the way.

Walk a little more. Walking IS the super food of activity and everyone can benefit from more walking. Even if you live too far away to walk to work, you can incorporate more walking into your daily routine. Combine walking to the bus stop and ride the bus the rest of the way. Or try (yes, on purpose) to park further away from your destination. You’ll get a little walking in and you’ll spend less time driving around looking for parking.

Get on the bus. Winter is a great time to give the bus a try! Cascades East Transit now has a mobile app that shows real-time data on bus routes so you can better plan your trips. They also recently added three new low-floor buses that help people board the bus safer and quicker. And don’t forget about the Mountain Season Pass for unlimited bus rides to and from Mt. Bachelor this winter. For only $149 for kids and $199 for adults, you can ski all day, then relax with a book or take a nap for the ride back to town.

Share the ride. Find a team of people at work, or near your work site, to share rides with during the snowy months. That way, you can share the task of driving and you’ll help reduce the number of cars on the icy roads. Treat your carpool buddies to coffee and snacks or chip in with your favorite audio book.

Work from home. If your employer allows it, try teleworking one day a week from home. With today’s technology, you can be connected to your workplace without having to drive there. If you are an employer, know that studies show that people who are granted work flexibility see a boost in productivity.

Happy holidays from all of us at Commute Options!

Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647 or visit

Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend.