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Commute alternatives can help ease traffic in wake of I-85 collapse

As commuters continue to struggle with traffic congestion in the wake of the Interstate 85 bridge collapse, Emory is monitoring the situation and seeks to remind employees about alternative commute programs.

"Our goal is to recognize the hardship this traffic interruption causes and to offer alternatives when feasible," says Lisa Underwood, associate vice president for Campus Services finance and business operations. "Other employers throughout the metropolitan area are engaging in similar efforts to hopefully alleviate some of the community hardship resulting with the collapse of the bridge."

Emory already has robust alternative commute programs and incentives in place. Currently, around 50 percent of the total Emory population uses an alternative method for commuting.

Programs include telework, alternative work schedules, carpools, vanpools and public transit. Since the bridge collapse, Emory has increased outreach to employees who may be interested in options or are concerned and frustrated with their commute. 

Managers are encouraged to work individually with employees who have long, impacted commutes to make reasonable accommodations.

Emory's Transportation and Parking Services is monitoring usage levels for current commuting options. If there is increased demand for transit passes, carpools or vanpools, they can easily be accommodated.

The Emory shuttle service is carefully monitoring ridership, but the service will not be expanded at this time because current service levels are able to handle the demand without any problem. If demand increases, Emory will evaluate the feasibility of service increases, adjustments or enhancements.

Emory is also in conversation with MARTA and with other regional providers, discussing demand on the public routes serving Emory. There aren’t plans currently to increase service, but MARTA ridership is also being monitored closely.

As far as a regional increase in service, MARTA has added additional rail service. Gwinnett County Transit has also added buses from six Gwinnett and GRTA Express Park and Ride lots to the Chamblee and Doraville MARTA stations.

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