On Wednesdays, I head out to Rancho Cordova where I am the bike-pedestrian coordinator at an elementary school. Right now, we scan in kids who are signed up for the Active4Me program. A4M was designed by a local guy to help encourage kids to walk and bike to school. Each student gets a bar code that is scanned when they arrive at school. It immediately sends their parents a message that their child has arrived at school, absolving any fears of abduction or disappearances. It also keeps track of the number of miles the student has accumulated and the number of car trips they've replaced. Right now, we have about 60 kids signed up out of a school of roughly 1200. We hope to double the program's enrollment this year. Today, we scanned in 17 walker/bikers. There are many other students who still walk or bike but aren't signed up. Needless to say, we have a long way to go.
To get to school in time for scanning, I leave the house just after 6am, ride to the light rail station, take the transfer bus, then ride to the school. It gets me there earlier than I need but it's better than the alternatives: a 2-hour bike ride with a couple of difficult sections or a 30 minute drive (that's subjective to my own opinion). I love the restful travel of public transportation. Once I figured out the timing and connections, it all went smoothly. Using my folding bike, the Mobic, was extra helpful because it is small enough to easily fit on the light rail and light enough to pick up for the bus rack while still being a comfortable ride.