Make the commute your favourite part of the day
Commuting comes in for a bad rap – and we are the first to admit that it can be stressful at times. In fact, one of the top reasons given for working at home is avoiding the commute. But what if we saw travelling to work a little differently? The chance to grab a coffee and tune into a favourite podcast can be welcome moment of calm in an otherwise frantic day. Here are our top tips for making the most of the various modes of transport across Greater Manchester work for you.
Make it affordable
The commute can take a big chunk out of your daily budget. Transport for Greater Manchester has responded to the cost of living crisis by making bus fares a flat fee across Greater Manchester. The new fares are £2 for an adult and £1 for a child for a single bus journey plus a multi-operator ticket available at £5 for one day. We can expect further news about ticketing integration with the tram and the full hopper ticket next September when full deregulation powers come into force. Knowing that you aren’t paying the earth for the bus means you can relax and get on with our next suggestion…
Fulfil your good intentions
Want to read more? Meditate? Learn a new skill? Time on the tram or bus can be dedicated to a new hobby. Though it’s easy to be glued to your phone on the commute, the opportunity to sink into print shouldn’t be missed. Dive into a tome as the streets slip by from one of our favourite Manchester indie bookshops. Meditation apps, podcasts and learning apps are also ideal for this period of enforced concentration, so why not upgrade your skillset on the way to work?
Since lockdown our working patterns have changed, often for the better. While some people are firmly team office and some are team home, the majority like to combine the sociability of a day in the office with the chance to get one’s head down at home to personalise a schedule that works for them. If you’ve got a flexible working pattern then the Metrolink Clipper could be a bit of a godsend. A clipper is ten Metrolink day travelcards for the price of nine, to use when you wish as long as you use up all ten tickets within eight weeks, so if you travel more than one but less than five days a week this ticket is for you. You’ll need a get me there card, further details here.
Take a pal
Nowadays it’s become increasingly common for companies to allow employees to bring their canine companions into the office – fun for everyone and saves on doggy day care fees. Luckily, Metrolink has extended its trial allowing dogs on trams until December, which makes it that bit easier to get Mr Snozzles to work (business attire optional, Mr S). The trail has so far proved successful, but to make the most of the new rules we recommend avoiding the busier commute times and follow TfGM suggestions for a happy commute for all. Metrolink will allow a maximum of two well-behaved dogs per passenger without charge, but you will be liable for their behaviour which means keeping them on a lead at all times.
If the tram is your ideal mode of getting to work, but you live just slightly too far to walk to your nearest stop, then consider cycling to the tram and then tramming it to work. What to do with your trusty metal steed? Cycle hubs are a secure mode of leaving your bike for the day while you glide off on your golden carriage (ok, tram) to the city centre.
Protected by CCTV and a swipe-card entry systems, there are Cycle Hubs near public transport links and other convenient places across Greater Manchester. Memberships starts at £10 a year.
It can be difficult to fit exercise into your day – so why not combine your commute time with some cardio? One obvious way to get your heart rate going is to cycle to work. Regular exercise while saving on petrol and gym fees – what’s not to love? You can hit the BeeActive website here to find out cycling schemes developing near you to plan a safe route to work. If it’s been a while since you’ve been on your bike, well, you never really forget, but a little confidence building won’t hurt. There are lists of courses to help you get back on the road at the BeeActive site.https://beeactive.tfgm.com/cycling/courses-and-bike-maintenance/.
Get the nature cure
If walking or wheeling to work is more your speed then you’ll be glad to know that walking for 20 minutes a day can add up to seven years to your life. At this time of year, spending some time outdoors can really help with mood and walking through nature is especially calming. If you head to the https://gmwalking.co.uk/walking-routes/ GM Walking site you can find out how to plan a route that takes in parks, trees and squirrels for a wholesome start to the day.
Be an early bird
It’s a little-known fact that Metrolink also has an Early Bird discount, which means if you start your journey before 7am on weekdays using contactless your daily cap will be the off-peak travelcard price. So, if you’ve been considering adding in a visit to the gym before you start the work day, this could just be your incentive to work up a sweat.
While we can’t promise a soothing day at work, now you can start the day with a spring in your step thanks to Transport for Greater Manchester.