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August 2013

Bus and Bicycle Rides Bring ECD’s Newest Team Member to Work

Kelly Rector Shows How to Embrace Alternative Commuting in Houston

Early summer mornings, when the songbirds seem to revel in easy-going, eighty-degree temps, Kelly Rector begins her commute to work. A couple of times a week, this Energy Corridor employee does something that’s starting to catch on with Houstonians. She hops on her bicycle to catch a METRO bus for a low-stress ride into The Energy Corridor.

Rector is the newest member of The Energy Corridor District team. A believer in both sustainability and saving money, Rector often can be found riding her bike to The Energy Corridor District offices from the METRO bus stop at Dairy Ashford and I-10. For Rector, leaving her car at home to make an alternative commute is something she not only believes in, it’s something she enjoys.

“It takes a little extra planning,” says Rector, “but I like getting the exercise and reduced stress from not having to deal with traffic.”

And like many companies, The Energy Corridor District pays the METRO fare for its employees.

“So, I'm saving money, plus wear and tear on my own vehicle,” she explains.

Rector’s recipe for an alternative commute takes one part bus and two parts bicycle rides. Add in a dash of CarShare for those times when she needs wheels while at work, and Rector says she has a winning formula for alternative commuting.

Her day often starts with a leisurely two-mile bike ride to the METRO stop near her home close to downtown. The bus drops Rector at Shell’s Woodcreek facility off Dairy Ashford where she makes the half-mile ride to the ECD’s offices.

“Altogether it takes about 45 to 50 minutes from the time I leave my apartment in the morning to the time I arrive at work,” explains Rector. “If I need to use a car during the day for either work or personal errands, I can check out one of the vehicles available via the District’s CarShare program. That includes a free emergency ride home service, so I feel like I'm never stranded at work.

“The whole CarShare process – from reserving the car to accessing it – goes very smoothly,” says Rector.

There are now two CarShare installations in The Energy Corridor District where clean vehicles await commuters using alternative transportation – vanpools, carpools, METRO, bicycles or their own two legs – if they need to run that workday errand. There are now two CarShare vehicles at Eldridge Place at Memorial and Eldridge Drive, plus two more vehicles at Ashford Place, near Dairy Ashford and I-10.

For her role as Energy Corridor District intern, Rector brings several years of experience working to drive sustainability initiatives in California. In fact, Rector saw working with The Energy Corridor as a path to creating “a healthier, more sustainable and vibrant Houston,” according to her resume.

Rector helped increase attendance for Sonoma County, California’s Bike to Work Day and other green initiatives, working as an aide for the county’s Energy & Sustainability Division. As Program Analyst for the Regional Climate Protection Authority in Santa Rosa, Calif., Rector convened a policy work group to find solutions for developing an infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.

“Kelly has some great experience that we hope to leverage in order to boost participation in our own sustainability initiatives, such as CarShare and our annual Bike to Work Day,” says Clark Martinson, General Manager, The Energy Corridor District. “We’re excited to have her join the team. Besides, she’s a fellow cyclist who bikes to work.”

Martinson can often be found two-wheeling it into The Energy Corridor District offices on his vintage steel bike.

For more information on sustainable commuting solutions provided by The Energy Corridor District, visit energycorridor.org/mobility/commuter-solutions/car-share.

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