Getting Around High Gas Prices
By Jim Durrett, President of the Buckhead Coalition and Executive Director of the Buckhead CID, and Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead
With gas prices hitting a nationwide average of $5 per gallon, people are looking for ways they can save at the pump. While much of the metro Atlanta region is still reliant on cars as the only way to get from Point A to Point B, years of investment in infrastructure and programs to support alternative transportation gives Buckhead workers and residents several options for driving less and saving more.
The Buc: On-Demand Rideshare
In April, Buckhead became the first major Atlanta business district to offer an on-demand, app-based rideshare service. The Buc, provided by Livable Buckhead and funded by the Buckhead Community Improvement District, provides free rides to and from Buckhead’s two MARTA train stations, and all other trips are just $3 each. The Buc is similar to popular ride-hailing services with people using a mobile app to call for a ride when they need it. The app’s intelligent algorithms match multiple passengers headed in the same direction to provide quick and efficient shared trips, without lengthy detours or inconvenient schedules.
The Buc operates weekdays during the morning commute (7 to 9:30 a.m.), lunchtime (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and evening commute (3:30 to 7 p.m.) with an extra hour of evening service on Thursdays and Fridays. The service zone covers most of central Buckhead, stretching from the Buckhead Village up to Piedmont Center, and across GA 400 to the Lenox MARTA Station.
The free Buc app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, and the first six rides are free regardless of the pick-up and drop-off locations.
Electric Vehicle Chargers
Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, and the development of infrastructure to support them is also picking up pace. Buckhead’s commercial office properties and retail locations including Lenox Square have offered EV charging for many years, and Livable Buckhead has supported the growth of Buckhead’s charging infrastructure through its EVery Mile Campaign. As a result, Buckhead now boasts hundreds of EV chargers within a two-mile radius of the central business district.
Better Sidewalks and More Trails
Improving walkability has been an important goal for Buckhead as its urban core has developed into a dense, urban district. Transformative projects like the streetscape work on Peachtree Road and in the West Village make it safer and easier for people to reach destinations on foot. PATH400 reconnects portions of Buckhead that were divided by the construction of GA 400 and provides pedestrian access from Miami Circle to Lenox Square, as well as connectivity from north Buckhead neighborhoods to nearby schools. Future projects such as HUB404 will continue to enhance Buckhead’s pedestrian infrastructure.
Through the work of Livable Buckhead, our community has long invested in programs to support commutes that don’t rely on a single-occupant vehicle. Many companies are bringing employees back to the office for at least a few days each week, which can add up to a major expense for employees. Employers who want to help reduce those costs without sacrificing time in the office can take advantage of Livable Buckhead’s programs to support transit ridership, carpooling and other alternatives.
Transit: More than Airport Travel Convenience
MARTA’s two Buckhead rail stations have long been popular for people who want a convenient way to reach the airport without the hassle and expense of driving. The good news is that MARTA is also a convenient way to travel for non-airport trips and at just $2.50 for a one-way trip, it’s a bargain. Access to rail transit is a tremendous asset for Buckhead, which is why the BCID invested in the Buckhead Station pedestrian bridge. If you haven’t taken a trip on MARTA lately, now is a great time to give it a try.