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Provo’s Year of Transportation

transportation

Nobody likes getting stuck in traffic, but with rental bikes and scooters you can pass the traffic and get around quicker, all while helping the environment and air quality. See what Utah’s city of Provo is doing this year to combat these two issues.

Rental bikes and scooters are becoming increasingly popular in high traffic areas. Provo has become one of those booming, high traffic places, so it’s no surprise that so many transportation innovations have taken place in Provo in the last year or so.

Transportation is a giant part of our lives today. Everyone needs it and we often use it every day, sometimes several times throughout the day. Cities like Provo have a particular need for ample transportation. Not only is it a college city, but it has become a tourist spot, and home to numerous unique start-ups and businesses, attracting crowds from all around.

So because of Provo’s growing urbanization and success, Provo’s city council decided to start what’s being called Provo’s Year of Transportation. The initiative was begun by Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and has been ongoing since 2018. So far this transportation movement in Provo has included:

  1. Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)
  2. Rental bikes and scooters
  3. Provo airport expansion

Utah Valley Express bus (UVX)

The UVX is a free express bus with its own lane that goes between Orem and Provo station all day, Monday through Saturday. The UVX makes several new and convenient stops along the way to get people to key places between Provo and Orem quickly.

The UVX has been more than a success, giving more than 2 million rides since it began running! Provo has high hopes in having equal success with their other transportation initiatives.

The UVX is easy to pay for because, it’s FREE to all passengers! There’s really no excuse to not take advantage of this new city convenience. For other buses and the front runner, you can now pay for your tickets on the UTA GoRide app, making your UTA trips even more quick and convenient. And if you’re a student or employee at UVU or BYU, then your student or employee ID acts as a free annual UTA pass!

Rental Bikes and Scooters

The newest addition to Provo’s transportation movement is the electronic Spin scooter. Spin is the manufacturer of the scooters, and you use the Spin app to pay for, activate, and ride one of their scooters. But Zagster is the company the city council chose to oversee the overall operations of the scooters. Zagster will address and manage any problems and see to it that the new rental scooter program is a success.

They will also be adding rental bikes to their services in the coming months. The new bike rental program will be a docked system where the bikes are parked in permanent locations. They are planning to get this program up and running by January 2020.

But for now, you can use any number of the bike rental stores that already exist in Provo. Bikes are great for getting around the city quickly and avoiding traffic almost completely. But they’re also fun to rent as an activity with friends, to see the city sights!

  1. JigaWatt Cycles has 5 stars on Google. They have electric bikes for rent, with different bicycle types to choose from.
  2. Gary’s Bikes is the next 5 star review bike place in Provo. Their rental bikes can even be delivered to your home! They also sell bikes and bike accessories.
  3. Hangar 15 Bicylces is the final 5 star reviewed bike place on Google. They sell bikes and bike accessories as well.

Provo Airport Expansion

Did you know Provo had an airport? Because I didn’t! But people are hearing plenty about the Provo airport now since there are plans for major expansions. The first part of the Provo airport expansion is going to include a whole new terminal with 4 more gates. Eventually they plan on adding 10 more gates in total, allowing for more destination services to the airport right in Provo. This will not only make the lives of Provo residents easier, but a bigger Provo airport also means less traffic going into the Salt Lake airport!

Why We Welcome Provo’s Transportation Movement

better environment
 

Provo isn’t just expanding in order to draw more people and more traffic into town, but rather, Provo is accommodating the traffic already here. By providing these economically friendly transportation options, Provo can better manage its traffic flow, making getting around an easier feat for all.

These new travel options are also environmentally friendly and will help reduce the impact transportation has on the neighborhood’s air quality. The electronic bus and scooters that Provo has opted to use in their programs have a much lower impact on Provo’s environment than other options. For example, using electric buses for the UVX (instead of the traditional diesel buses) can lower emissions by as much as 87 percent!

About Spin Electric Scooters

There are currently 200 scooters in Provo, but if all goes well this number could increase if necessary. A scooter costs $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of use, capping out at a maximum $10 an hour. They can go a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and are equipped with GPS. The scooters are great for getting around to nearby places in Provo, for getting in between your other transit stops, or for sightseeing. They are extremely easy to use—you can either download the Spin app with your smartphone to activate and pay for your scooter rental, or if you don’t have a smartphone you can just text the barcode number.

As great as this all may sound for some, there are those who are skeptical about the scooter program and worry about problems arising. For those worried about the scooters being where they shouldn’t and getting in the way, worry no more! Scooters are only permitted anywhere bikes are already allowed, and they will actually shut off if the user tries to ride into an area where scooters are prohibited. For instance, the scooters aren’t allowed on BYU campus, so Zagster and Spin created a geo-fencing system that disables the scooter if it crosses that virtual fence. The scooter program also has up to 40 employees to keep the scooters from piling up at hot spots, and to gather the scooters up again each night and put them back.

How to Rent a Scooter

It is advised that you wear a helmet while operating one of Provo’s rental scooters.

  1. Open the Spin app and find a scooter near you.
  2. With the app, scan the QR code on the top of the scooter to unlock it.
  3. Once you are on the scooter use the right throttle to accelerate.
  4. When you are done just park it at a bike rack, or close to the edge of the sidewalk, where it won’t be in anyone’s way.

Heavy Traffic & Emission Problems Near You?

traffic problems
 

If you don’t live in Provo, but your city or town has similar problems with traffic congestion or pollution from car emissions, there are some things you can do to help! First of all, every town has a website, or people you can contact if there are changes in your neighborhood you would like to see. For instance, Provo residents can visit Provo.org to stay informed about their community and help make their town a better place. Start by getting more connected with your local community and government!

You can also buy your very own electric scooter or bike! You can buy online or go to a local bike shop near you and purchase your very own eco-friendly ride.

A scooter or bike can even help you beat the morning rush and get to work on time. It can also help you save on transportation costs since bikes and scooters don’t require gas. According to Business Insider the average person spends anywhere from $400 to $1,300 or more on gas each year, depending on the state you live in. Imagine what you could do, and the debts you could get rid of, if you only didn’t have to pay for gas?

If you need this kind of help in your life, but don’t have the funds to buy a decent bike or scooter right now, visit our website and get a Check City Personal Loan so you can start pedaling and saving asap!


READ MORE

Save even more money on transportation with tips from these articles:

Saving Money on Transportation

How to Save Money on Transportation


Make Your Own Adventure Club and Get Outside!

outdoor-club-adventure

As a kid you were probably forced outdoors at some point during the day to play outside and get your energy out. You probably noticed as you got older that now, if you want to get outside time you have to provide it for yourself. And if you live in an apartment or the city you may not be able to get quality outdoors time just by going into your backyard. If you live in the city you might have to plan your outdoor time even more as you coordinate trips to local outdoor hot spots. Getting yourself out in nature might be easier if you form a like-minded group to get you going. With the steps and tips below you can make your own Adventure Club and explore nature with your friends!

Why Going Outside is Good for You

Get vitamin D. You can actually get vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important to our health and it doesn’t always come in abundance in the foods we eat. One of the best ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D is through being outside in the sunshine. It can help you have strong bones and protect you from certain diseases and ailments. Improves your immune system.
Opportunity to exercise. Unless you’re sitting in a chair it’s hard not to exercise at least a little whenever you go outside. And every ounce of exercise contributes to your overall health! Even a short stroll outside can do wonders for your physical health.
Elevate your mood. A lot of things about being outside can give your mood a healthy boost. The light, the sun, the fresh air, or the flowers and trees can help you feel a little better about the world if you give them the chance. But there are also studies to support this idea. The National Institute of Health (NIH) found in a study of theirs that just walking outside for a bit each day boosts creativity by 81%. Who knows what creative potential you might unleash just by getting yourself outside a little each day!
Good for children. Studies show that being outdoors helps kids focus better. Spending at least an hour outside every day can increase their focus, overall wellbeing, and help them get better grades.
It can be easy to let kids go run around outside and get all the exercise and vitamin D they need, but as we get older it can become harder to find time to get outside. One way to make getting outside easier is to give your outdoor time some kind of purpose.

  • Exercise outside.
  • Go for a daily stroll at the same time.
  • Get outdoor furniture. Once you have some place to set up camp outside, it can be easier to take things you normally do indoors, outdoors while you soak up some sunshine.
  • Make your outside time a group activity by creating your own outdoors club!

outside-nature

What Kind of Outdoor Club Do You Want to Do?

There are many things to do outside and everyone has different interests. Some people really like swimming, or hiking, or kayaking. What outdoor activities most interest you? These are the things you’ll want to incorporate in the purpose of your outdoors club. Having a clear purpose for your club will help a lot once you start bringing other people into the group and involving them in planning.
You can focus on one thing. You can make it a club all about just one thing you know you like to do:

  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • A sport
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Running
  • Kayaking
  • Biking

Or you can involve many outdoor activities. Instead of making a hiking group, you can decide to make an adventure club! That way you can plan activities around all things adventuresome.

Whatever the purpose of your outdoor club, you’ll also want to keep in mind who you want to invite to the group and the level of difficulty everyone will be ok with. For instance, hikes and trails are often ranked by difficulty. They can be considered easy, moderate, or hard. So while you are deciding your club’s purpose remember to also consider the level of experience and difficulty you want to involve, and remember to disclose these things to those you invite to the group.

Who Do You Want in the Group?

Outdoor groups can be for all groups of people! You can make no restrictions about who can join the club, or you can decide to make your group exclusive in some way. For example, if you’re a dad looking to bond with your kids through fishing, you might make a fishing club specifically for dads and their kids. You can also restrict the group to certain age groups, like if you’re interested in getting to know more people your age.

Logistics

The last thing you’ll want to figure out before publishing your new group is all the logistics. Below are a couple questions to consider and make decisions about before going live with your new club idea.

  • How are people going to get places?
  • How are you going to get equipment?
  • How will your group stay in contact?

Maybe you’ll expect everyone to use their own cars and equipment to get places, or maybe you’ll want to talk to local rental places for any equipment your group might need. You can also keep in contact with your group in many ways. If you all know each other you can simply create a group text message. Or you can make a Facebook group, or use other messaging apps like Slack, or GroupMe. There are almost infinite options nowadays for where to keep your group’s base of operations.
flyer-outdoors-club

Now that you have your group all set up you can start reaching out for people to start joining. One great way to get members is to create a public Facebook group online. You can also try inviting some people you know and ask them to bring a member or two of their own.

You can also make flyers to hang up around town to meet new people! A flyer doesn’t have to be complicated, just make sure it has all the information they’ll need.

Fun Ideas

There are endless ways you can really have fun with getting more involved in your community and getting to know new people through starting a club like this.

  • Bring snacks.
  • Have a group potluck event.
  • Be educational. You can make a presentation about outdoor etiquette, safety, or hire a trial guide to teach your group about different plants you come across during your hike.
  • Do volunteer work every other month. You can volunteer to clean up a place you visit.
  • Make a website, a blog, or social media accounts for your group and post about the trips and activities you do!

Other Good Ideas

  • Have regular meetings.
  • Assign responsibilities to different people. You can nominate different group members to be the President, Vice President, Trip Coordinator, Treasurer, or Social Media Manager.
  • Fundraise for your trips. You can have a group yard sale or bake off to save up money for your bigger trips or activities. Sometimes your outdoor adventures are going to require fast funds while you’re in between paychecks. If your Adventure group finds itself short on cash, you can always get a payday loan or a personal loan from Check City and pay it back when you return from your trip.

Getting yourself outside is important. The great outdoors are meant to be appreciated and can shower you with mental and physical benefits. You don’t have to go through the trouble of making an outdoor club to get outside, but it can help motivate you to make going outside more of a habit, and who knows! You might just make some great new friends along the way.


READ MORE
Read all about vitamin D and it’s health benefits.
 
Check out another Check City Blog article, “Getting Outside This Spring” to learn some other great ways to get outdoors more often!
 
FEATURE IMAGE BY PETER CONLAN
OTHER IMAGES BY BLAKE LISK

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