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Is a Citation a Ticket?

You’re driving down the highway and start to see the flashing lights behind you. You get pulled over and asked for your license, insurance, and registration. The officer lets you know you’re driving beyond the speed limit and you get a citation. 

Whether it’s for speeding, street sweeping, or some other issue, getting a citation is no fun and can easily put a damper on your day. After the sting has worn off and you have to face the consequences, you might wonder what’s a citation and wonder if there is a difference between citation vs. ticket.

What’s a Citation vs. Ticket? | Metromile

Citation vs ticket, explained 

If an officer pulls you over and gives you a citation, you may wonder “Is a citation a ticket?”. The answer is yes, they’re the same thing. 

The word “citation” is the official term that is used by officers and the legal system at large. The term “ticket” is used more colloquially but both citation and ticket refer to the written paper that documents a specific type of violation. Citations are usually given out by police officers or other city officials (such as for parking enforcement). 

However, there are sometimes speeding or red light cameras that can trigger a citation later on. Not all states permit this technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has a state-by-state chart on automated enforcement laws here, so you can see if that’s something to be aware of in your state. 

When you get a citation, you’ll need to pay a fine and may need to go to court depending on the type of traffic ticket you get. 

What’s a citation?

If you’re wondering what’s a citation, now you know it’s the same thing as a ticket. But let’s get a direct definition from an official government entity. According to the North Carolina General Assembly:

 “A citation is a directive, issued by a law enforcement officer or other person authorized by statute, that a person appear in court and answer a misdemeanor or infraction charge or charges. 

(b) When Issued. – An officer may issue a citation to any person who he has probable cause to believe has committed a misdemeanor or infraction. 

(c) Contents. – The citation must: 

(1) Identify the crime charged, including the date, and where material, identify the property and other persons involved, 

(2) Contain the name and address of the person cited, or other identification if that cannot be ascertained, 

(3) Identify the officer issuing the citation, and 

(4) Cite the person to whom issued to appear in a designated court, at a designated time and date.”

Though citations can seem scary, they vary in severity depending on the charge. For example, a parking citation is much less serious than a speeding citation, though equally annoying. 

Different types of tickets or citations 

There are various types of tickets or citations that you can get. Citations typically fall under two umbrellas:

  1. A moving violation, that occurs when the vehicle is in motion. 
  2. A non-moving violation, that typically occurs when the car is not moving (but not always). 

Moving violations include:

  • Speeding tickets, which occur when you drive over the speeding limit. Each state may have different laws regarding how much you can go over before getting a citation. 
  • Not stopping at a red light or stop sign. Yes, this also includes the “California roll”, where a driver doesn’t stop completely at a stop sign or red light, and rolls through. 
  • Not putting on your turn signal. There’s a specific unspoken language to driving to help communicate with other drivers and that includes using turn signals when necessary. If you fail to use your turn signals, you could get hit with a ticket.
  • Careless or reckless driving, such as putting on makeup while driving or texting while driving. 
  • DUI or DWI, where a driver is under the influence or intoxicated in some way. This can be a very serious violation that can impact your insurance and can cause license suspension. 

Non-moving violations include:

  • Parking tickets, such as for street sweeping or in restricted areas. 
  • Expired registration tags, where it’s clear your vehicle registration tags aren’t up-to-date. 
  • Car repair issues, such as a broken headlight or turn signal. 
  • Not having car insurance. 
  • Not wearing a seatbelt. 
  • Red light or speeding camera tickets, where you run a red light or speed through and get caught by a camera. Though you’re moving, many states consider this a non-moving violation. 

As you can see, there are various types of citations you can get while driving or not driving. Each of these tickets have different degrees of severity and consequences when it comes to how much the fine is and what you need to do next. 

What should you do if you get a citation or ticket?

If you get pulled over and receive a citation or get one for parking in the wrong area at the wrong time, you want to handle it right away. 

If you’re dealing with an officer, you want to hand over the paperwork they ask for. This typically includes license, registration, and insurance. Even though it can be nerve-wracking, try to stay calm and answer any questions the officer has. 

When you receive a citation, you’ll need to sign it. It’s important to note that signing doesn’t mean that you’re admitting guilt. Rather, it’s stating that you will appear in court on a specific date that may be listed on your citation. For cases like speeding tickets, you may need to appear in court and also pay the required fine. 

On the other hand, parking tickets don’t go through the court system and outline a fine that you must pay by a specific date. 

After you pay your traffic ticket, the case will be considered closed and for traffic violations, the incident will come up as a conviction on your driving record

You may be able to avoid getting points on your record by going to traffic school, but this may be reserved for first-time offenders. 

If there is a mandatory court appearance, make sure to show up at the appropriate time and date listed on the ticket. It’s important you show up to court or pay off the ticket and take the appropriate action to get the citation settled. If not, you could get a misdemeanor and a potential warrant for your arrest. When it comes to problems to have in life, you’d much rather pay a ticket and show up to court than get arrested or have a misdemeanor. 

Is it possible to contest a speeding ticket? 

If you get pulled over for speeding, you may wonder if it’s possible to contest a speeding ticket. When you get pulled over, you can try to explain to the officer your reasoning behind speeding. Remember to do this, before the officer actually issues the citation. 

If you were unaware of your speeding and it was an honest mistake, you can admit that you didn’t realize and apologize. If there was a legitimate and good reason, such as a family emergency trying to get to the hospital or being late for an interview, say that. Don’t get caught in a lie that will hurt you later on, so be honest and forthright. 

You may be able to contest your ticket if you feel you shouldn’t have gotten one. If you don’t want to fight the traffic ticket and aren’t required to appear in court, you can plead guilty and pay the fine, sometimes referred to as “bail”. 

You can also request an arraignment and plead guilty while asking for a fine reduction or community service. You may also plead “not guilty” or “no contest” and go to trial to see if you can contest the ticket. If in front of a judge, be prepared to state your case, apologize, and attempt to get the speeding ticket dismissed. 

How do citations affect your car insurance premium?

Getting a traffic citation may affect your car insurance premium. This depends on the type of citation as well as your driving history and the company you’re insured with. 

If it’s the first time you’ve received a citation, your car insurance company may not raise your car insurance premium. It’s best to check with your insurance company to see what their particular policy is. 

If the ticket does impact your car insurance premium, your rate can go up by hundreds of dollars per year. According to AutoInsurance.org  car insurance premiums typically increase about 15% after a speeding ticket. 

Based on NerdWallet state-by-state data on full coverage car insurance premiums after a speeding ticket, here’s how much your annual car insurance premium could potentially cost and what the increase might be  compared to a clean driving record in the following states: 

StateInsurance premium increase compared to clean recordAverage yearly car insurance premium after a speeding ticket 
Arizona$438$1,847
California$693$2,321
Illinois $320$1,483
New Jersey$522 $2,281
Oregon$288 $1,516
Pennsylvania $136 $1,303
Virginia $193 $1,153
Washington $273 $1,533

As you can see, the increase and annual car insurance rates can vary widely by state. It also depends on how many citations you’ve received and within what timeframe. 

If you have several citations that are in a short period of time, your license may be suspended after accumulating too many driver’s license points. How long your speeding ticket stays on your record will vary by state, but it can be several years. 

On top of that, it may show your insurer that you’re a risky driver and your car insurance premiums may skyrocket. In the worst case scenario, your insurance can drop you as well.

The bottom line  

If you’ve wanted to know the difference between a citation and a ticket, now you’re well-informed and know there is no difference between the terms. When it comes to citation vs ticket, it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s not pleasant and can have real-world implications on your car insurance premiums. The most important thing to do is to remedy the issue by taking action, which typically means paying a fine and/or going to court. 

If you’re concerned about your car insurance premium and are a low-mileage driver, check out your prospective rate with Metromile. Metromile offers pay-per-mile insurance where you pay a low base rate and a few cents for each mile you drive. Get a free quote today. 

​​Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Your Guide to Chicago Transportation Options

If you live in Chicago or want to visit the Windy City, you have a number of Chicago transportation options to choose from. The city is well-known for its public transportation options and was ranked fifth when it comes to the top 10 cities with the best public transportation in the U.S. Here’s your guide on how to get around Chicago. 

how to get around Chicago

Common Chicago transportation options 

If you want to figure out how to get around Chicago, you can start by reviewing the most common Chicago transportation options. 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) runs Chicago’s “L” trains which is a nickname that came from the word “elevated”, as many trains are on elevated railways (but not all of them). According to TransitChicago.com, the CTA executes about 1.6 million rides on a typical weekday, serving Chicago and 35 nearby areas. These cover 140 stations throughout the city and beyond. 

The “L” train lines include:

  • The Red Line
  • The Blue Line
  • The Brown Line
  • The Green Line
  • The Orange Line
  • The Purple Line
  • The Pink Line
  • The Yellow Line 

The Red Line runs 24 hours a day and goes between the North and South side and through downtown. The Blue Line also runs 24 hours a day and goes between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Forest Park and goes through downtown. The other lines’ hours of operations vary, but many run between 4am to 1am during the week. 

You can use the CTA’s Trip Planner to help you figure out how to get around Chicago and get where you need to go. You can pay for your fare at the station or get a Ventra card or Ventra ticket. The base “L” train fare is $2.50 for one-way. 

The Metra Rail 

Another Chicago public transportation option is the commuter rail known as Metra rail. The Metra rail connects Chicago suburbs to downtown and has the following lines, according to the Metra rail website:

  • Milwaukee District North (MD-N)
  • North Central Service (NCS)
  • Union Pacific North (UP-N)
  • Union Pacific Northwest (UP-NW)
  • Heritage Corridor (HC)
  • Metra Electric District (ME)
  • Rock Island District (RI)
  • SouthWest Service (SWS)
  • BNSF Railway (BNSF)
  • Milwaukee District West (MD-W)
  • Union Pacific West (UP-W)

You can check out a Metra rail system map here. How much it will cost you to ride the Metra rail will be based on how far you travel on the rail and is based on distance. You may be able to get a $10 day pass as part of a promotion for COVID recovery or get a weekend pass for $7. You can use this tool to find your next Metra rail departure to help plan your trip. 

The Water Taxi

One of the unique Chicago transportation options includes taking a water taxi. Residents and tourists can enjoy floating down the Chicago River by water taxi. As of 2018, the Chicago water taxi had more than 400,000 passengers, an innovative solution to dealing with brutal traffic. 

You can score a $6 one-way pass or a $10 all-day pass to board a water taxi. It’s important to note that water taxis are only offered at specific times, and the season is currently over but is expected to resume in the spring of 2022. 

By car 

If you want to figure out how to get around Chicago and have the most control over your time and directions, driving is a good option. Just be aware that you might hit traffic, as Chicago was ranked seventh as part of the top 10 cities with worst traffic in the U.S. 

You can also use this Chicago parking map to see what your options are. Chicago is made up of 234 square miles and comes in the third spot in most populous cities in the U.S. For these reasons, driving by car in the city may be good. If you don’t end up driving that often, you could be a low-mileage driver and can benefit from a pay-per-mile car insurance option like Metromile. 

Bicycle 

Sometimes you just feel like the Queen lyric, “I want to ride my bicycle!” and explore the city on two wheels. The good news is that Chicago is a good place to get around by bike. According to Chicago.gov, the city has 200 miles of bike lanes, 13,000 bike racks, and an 18.5-mile Lakefront Trail. You can get a Chicago bike map here and get info on bike parking. 

Biking can give you a sense of freedom when traveling through Chicago, powered by your own two feet. Be sure to helmut up and bring your bike lock to stay safe and keep your bike intact. 

Walking

One Chicago transportation option to help get your daily steps in is walking. Chicago is a great place to walk, coming in at number 10 in terms of best U.S. cities for walking. By walking through Chicago, you can see the sights in a new way and avoid pesky traffic. Of course, this isn’t an option for all your trips, but if you’re in the downtown area walking can be a good option. Bonus: it’s good for the environment, it’s free, and you can get your steps in for the day. 

Alternative Chicago transportation options 

Aside from the more common Chicago public transportation options and driving, biking, and walking, there are other types of alternatives to use too. Here are some other Chicago transportation options. 

Uber/Lyft 

Ridesharing is here to stay and like many other cities, you can hail an Uber or Lyft as part of your travels in Chicago. Whether you’re a resident or tourist, if you’re traveling in Chicago, you can use your smartphone and use the Uber or Lyft app to get a rider to pick you and take you to your destination. 

The Divvy bike-sharing program 

The Chicago Department of Transportation has partnered with ridesharing giant Lyft to create a bike-sharing program called Divvy. The Divvy bike-sharing program has more than 600 stations and over 6,000 bikes across the Chicagoland area, according to the Divvy Bikes website. 

You can use the app or get an annual membership or pass to book a bike, ride on, and return the bike to a Divvy station. A single ride is $3.30, a day pass is $15, and an annual membership is $9 a month. 

The bottom line 

When figuring out how to get around Chicago, you have an abundance of options to choose from. From the robust Chicago public transportation options to other types of transportation, you can choose to use two wheels, four wheels, your own feet or take the city’s infamous “L” train. 

If you’re a resident of Chicago and don’t drive that often, consider the benefits of pay-per-mile car insurance with Metromile. You pay for gas by the gallon, why not pay for insurance by the miles you drive and an affordable low rate to make sure you’re getting a fair quote? See how much you could save by making the switch. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Guide to Selling a Car in Virginia

If you live in the state of Virginia and are ready to upgrade your car, you want to figure out what to do next with your old car. You could always bring it to a dealership and trade it in but that might not be the best option for you financially. It’s convenient but if you want to get the most for your used car, it’s best to sell it on the private market. If you’re wondering about the process, here’s how to sell a car in Virginia.

How to Sell a Car In Virginia | Metromile

Step 1: Organize and clean your vehicle 

You have to do a little prep work as part of selling your car. That includes organizing and cleaning your vehicle. You want to get it ready for a new owner, so you want to:

  • Remove your personal belongings
  • Take out any trash
  • Vacuum the floor mats
  • Get a car wash 
  • Make any minor repairs like buffing out scratches

Once it’s clean and organized, you can take the next step to make sure it’s sell-ready. 

Step 2: Have a car photoshoot

You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s true especially when it comes to selling a car. When your car is clean and ready, take photos at various angles and viewpoints. 

Let a prospective buyer see the inside and outside and take any photos of parts of the car that may have some damage. You want to sell your car and make sure your photos look good but you also want to be upfront to avoid wasting anyone’s time. 

Step 3: List your used car on several car marketplaces 

Now that you have the photos to entice prospective buyers, you want to put those pretty photos on various car marketplaces. Put your images up, write a thorough yet succinct description of your car and press publish. Make sure that you include the year, make, and model and be honest about any potential issues with the car. 

You can list your used car on Autotrader, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and other local car sites in your area. 

After hitting publish, you want to respond in a timely manner to prospective buyers and answer their questions. 

Step 4: Get a vehicle history report and inspection, if applicable 

To make the selling process go smoother, you can get a Vehicle History Report from CarFax. This can show a comprehensive vehicle history and include things like any accidents or major repairs, previous sales, and more. The vehicle history report will help the buyer get a good idea of the car’s history and provide info they should know before making the purchase. 

On top of that, a prospective buyer may want to get the car inspected by a mechanic. If that’s the case, they’ll pay for it and likely go somewhere they feel comfortable with. It can add another layer to the process, but it means they’re serious, so be open about getting one scheduled if you’re asked. 

Step 5: Get your vehicle documentation in order 

As part of selling a car in Virginia, you need to have a valid vehicle title. If you lost your vehicle title, you’ll need to get a new one to make the sale happen. 

You can apply for a new title online here or fill out the “Application for Replacement and Substitute Titles” (VSA 67). You’ll also need to pay the replacement title fee of $15 as well. 

It’s important to note that if you have a lien on your car, you won’t be able to get the replacement title as it would go to the lienholder. You also can’t sell your car if you still have a balance on your car loan, so you want to make sure that’s taken care of before making moves to sell. 

Step 6: Accept payment and turn over title to the new owner 

When you have a serious buyer and your title is ready, you can settle on a price and accept payment. Once you do that, you need to sign your vehicle title in the Section A portion and include the full name and address of the buyer. 

You’ll also need to include the odometer reading and include the final price you’re selling the car for as well. The buyer will also need to sign the title and include their information as well. 

Step 7: Create and fill out a car Bill of Sale in Virginia

Though the Virginia DMV makes no mention of a car Bill of Sale in Virginia, you still want to create one yourself and fill it out to make sure you have a record of the transaction. 

To create your own car Bill of Sale in Virginia, you can use a template online and make sure that you and the buyer both fill it out, Make sure to create a copy for yourself. 

Step 8: Remove license plates and report the sale to the Virginia DMV

As the final step in the selling a car in Virginia process, you want to remove the license plates as those belong to you. If you have over six months left on your car registration, you may also be eligible for a partial refund. You can do that by completing the Application for Vehicle Registration Refund Form (FMS-210) and mailing it along with your license plates.

To make sure you’re absolved of all liability, be sure to report the sale of the vehicle to the Virginia DMV. You can do that online or by calling (804) 497-7100. Also, be sure to notify your car insurance that you’ve sold your vehicle as well. 

The bottom line 

Figuring out how to sell a car in Virginia can be a process. Using these eight steps, you can be guided through to make it easier. The most important part is the paperwork, especially the vehicle title, car Bill of Sale Virginia, as well as notifying the DMV. 

If you’re ready to buy a new set of wheels and get affordable car insurance after selling a car in Virginia, you can look at all your options. You may find that pay-per-mile coverage offers you steep savings. If you’re a low-mileage driver, check out Metromile for a free quote and start saving. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Your Guide to Street Cleaning San Francisco

You’re walking to your car and ready to start your day. You realize you’re one of the few cars on the street and then see the dreaded paper on your windshield — a ticket. Getting a ticket is annoying enough, but getting one because you forgot about street cleaning adds an extra layer of aggravation because it could be prevented. If you’re tired of paying for street cleaning tickets in San Francisco, here’s what you need to know about street cleaning in SF.

All You Need to Know About Street Cleaning San Francisco | Metromile

How does street cleaning in San Francisco work? 

Street cleaning is a way to reduce trash and pollutants. And with the case of San Francisco in particular, it’s a way to lower the number of contaminants that get into the sewer as well as in the Pacific Ocean. 

San Francisco Public Works is the entity that manages the street cleaning SF program. According to their website, street cleaning covers 150,000 curb miles and gets rid of 25,000 tons of trash and debris each year. In order to do this, there is a regular street cleaning schedule that is maintained. 

The schedule for street cleaning in SF is typically:

  • Once a week in residential areas 
  • If not once a week in residential areas, at least two times per month
  • Once a week street cleaning in commercial areas 

As part of street cleaning, you must move your vehicle for the streets to be properly cleaned. 

When is street cleaning in my area?

If you live in San Francisco and want to avoid the fate of a ticket, you want to know when street cleaning is so you can actually prepare for it. Here are your options to find out when street cleaning in SF happens. 

  • Look at the signs as you park. Yes, it can be like learning how to read a new language but looking at the data directly as you park is your best bet. Set a calendar reminder on your phone to move your car as you take note of the sweeping street day. 
  • Review the 2021 SF street cleaning schedule. San Francisco Public Works has a 2021 street cleaning schedule that gives you an idea of when street cleaning will happen and lists out SF street cleaning holidays. Check it out here. 
  • Check out SF street cleaning maps. If you want to know about street cleaning in your area or at a specific address, you can check out two different SF street cleaning maps. You can see the street cleaning schedule, parking info, safety rank, and risk level via Xtreet.org. You can also use this SF Find tool to check out what’s in a particular area, such as libraries and parks, as well as the street cleaning schedule. Simply select a neighborhood or input your specific address and scroll down to see the schedule for street cleaning. 

Taking these steps can help you get the information you need for your residence, work, or wherever you’re going to hang out.

How much is a street cleaning ticket in San Francisco?

Getting a street cleaning ticket is no fun any way you spin it. But when you see the cost, it can feel even worse. As of July 1, 2021, the cost of a street cleaning ticket in San Francisco is $85, according to the SFMTA. This is up from $83 as of January 1, 2021, and up from $68 from just five years ago (hello inflation!). If you get several street cleaning tickets in a year, that’s a few hundred bucks that can take a bite out of your budget. 

What are the street cleaning holidays? 

If there’s a holiday, you may be off the hook when it comes to street cleaning in SF. But that’s not always the case. The SFMTA website lists all holidays and includes whether parking meters, nightly street sweeping, and other programs are enforced or not enforced. We’ve listed the SF street cleaning holidays that are not enforced. Not on this list? Assume it’s enforced and you should move your car. 

SF Street Cleaning Holidays Status 
New Year’s Day (January 1, 2021, and 2022) Not enforced 
Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2021)Not enforced 
Christmas Day (December 25th, 2021)Not enforced 

How to avoid getting street cleaning tickets in San Francisco?

If you keep getting hit with street cleaning tickets, you’re probably frustrated with how much money you’ve wasted. It’s not exactly cheap and is a nuisance. In order to avoid street cleaning tickets in San Francisco, be sure to stay on top of the street cleaning schedule. 

Also, Metromile customers can use the Metromile app to get up-to-date street sweeping alerts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, as well as Chicago. 

Depending on the preference you choose, you’ll get a sweeping street alert 12 hours before by text, push notification, or via email. An additional alert may be sent an hour before the sweeping street begins to help you avoid that dreaded ticket and keep money in your pocket. If you’re not yet a Metromile customer, you can sign up and take advantage of this perk. 

Is it okay to park after the street sweeper passes by? 

If you’ve seen the street sweeper pass by, but it’s still technically within restricted hours, you might wonder if it’s okay to park or if it’s even legal. 

The answer, according to KQED is “yes”. However, don’t get too excited just yet. You may think the process is finished, but it’s not. The KQED article on the matter states there are four steps to street cleaning, which can confuse people:

  1. First, there is a broom support truck that goes by. 
  2. Then the street flusher. 
  3. Next in the queue — your mortal adversary — the citation officer (hey, but they’re just doing their jobs). 
  4. Then the actual street sweeper comes. 

So you might not want to test your luck if it’s still within the restricted parking window.

The bottom line 

Getting a street cleaning ticket is one of life’s greatest annoyances. Using this guide, you can check out the SF street cleaning map and know the SF street cleaning holidays where you can relax a little. Remember, you can sign-up for Metromile to make the process even easier and get alerts in real-time so you can say goodbye to tickets while also potentially saving money on car insurance. Get a free quote and learn more about our app.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Welcome Kevin Rickard, Metromile’s First CISO

We’re excited to welcome Kevin Rickard to the team as our very first Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO. Kevin joins us with a deep security expertise, having built programs from the ground up for other consumer brands. Beyond his successes in the industry, Kevin spent six years in the Army Reserves, including a deployment to Afghanistan.

He’ll now turn his focus to Metromile, safeguarding our consumer data and ensuring the trust of our many stakeholders, from employers to customers and many others. 

Insurtech Careers: Metromile Welcomes a CISO

The security landscape is complex and changes fast, and a CISO operates as both a technician—ensuring we’re compliant with a number of complex sets of regulations—and a leader—educating every Metromiler on security practices and making clear the responsibility of each individual. “Our industry is highly regulated with fifty  Departments of Insurance and States Attorneys General all with data protection rules, in addition to a number of state data privacy laws.. And as a public company we have additional requirements to adhere to,” he said.

“Just as important, our customers and employees trust us with an enormous amount of personal data. As custodians of that data, we must ensure we have effective controls in place to protect this valuable commodity.”

Kevin’s excited to bring his leadership to a place that’s shaking up the status quo, too.

“I never thought insurance could be exciting. I guess that’s what makes an industry ripe for disruption. Metromile’s ability to create a fair product that prices based more on actual, individual risk than perceived, group risk is appealing. I was especially drawn to the idea of minimizing, and eventually eliminating, credit scores from pricing, which often adversely impacts the most economically vulnerable.”

“I’m a low-mileage driver since COVID, and my daughter will get her license soon, too, so I’m looking forward to becoming a Metromile customer.” Add in a remote-friendly workplace, and a culture that’s flexible and embraces change, and it was a good fit.

What’s Kevin’s number one security tip? Set up that password manager you’ve been dragging your feet on, and turn on multi-factor authentication! “We tend to reuse the same passwords or a set of rotating passwords. MFA adds another layer of security in the event our passwords are compromised,” he shared.

Looking ahead, Kevin’s goals are to build a crack security team that ensures a smooth and secure future. “My foundational principle is that security should enable the business. With the right team and controls in place, the company can achieve its objectives securely. There’s no reason good security has to be a drag—security can move at the speed of our business.”

Welcome, Kevin. We’re thrilled to have you leading the way.

* * *

By the way, Kevin is hiring! Take a look at our careers page for open roles on the security team and others.

Why Working From Home Isn’t Going Anywhere

The global pandemic has been a complete paradigm shift in many ways. The ways we travel, connect, work, and live have changed in some way since the arrival of COVID. Since the early days of the shutdown with moves to work from home, many companies were floating around prospective return-to-the-office dates. Due to the Delta variant, many companies have either pushed the date yet again or ditched the office altogether, opting for permanent work from home status. Here’s why working from home isn’t going anywhere.

Working From Home Indefinitely Is Part of the New Normal | Metromile

Employees don’t want to go back to the office 

Working from home has given a new taste of freedom that many employees hadn’t experienced before. So much so that many people are quitting or thinking about quitting due to mandates in place stating that employees need to return to the office. This article from Slate shares the many stories of people who simply don’t want to return to the office, citing commute time and energy as the primary issues.

Many people find they have additional time for both their work and personal life, leading to more productivity and balance. 

Though returning to the office is just one part of the equation, all of these shifts have led to a new workplace phenomenon called “The Great Resignation” with many people leaving their job. 

An Ipsos survey in partnership with the World Economic Forum found that 30% of employees would consider looking for a new job if they had to return to the office full-time. A survey by FlexJobs found that number to be almost double, with 58% of respondents saying they would look for a new job instead of returning to the office. 

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “job leavers” or those who quit their job voluntarily, continued to grow over the summer months:

  • As of June 2021, 942,000 people left their job voluntarily 
  • As of July 2021, 930,000 people left their job voluntarily 
  • As of August 2021, 822,000 people left their job voluntarily

Compare this to the previous summer during the beginning part of the pandemic when 595,000 people left their jobs voluntarily as of August 2020. As the pandemic continues without a clear end in sight, many people are re-thinking their work and life and what really matters to them. 

What many people are saying implicitly and explicitly is that they don’t want to “go back to normal” and more often than not, they don’t want to return to the office and face a long commute, interruptions, office politics, and micromanaging when the work can be done at home. 

The benefits of working from home outweigh the cons

Working from home can lead to distractions, technical difficulties and make it harder to officially unplug as you transition from “work” to “off work”. But even with those challenges, a FlexJobs survey found the benefits outweigh the cons. 

In fact, 84% of survey respondents said the top benefit of working remotely is not having a commute. Coming in a close second, 75% of respondents noted the cost savings associated with working from home

What’s astonishing is that the survey also noted that 38% of respondents estimate saving $5,000 per year by working from home, while 20% of respondents estimate saving double that at $10,000 per year. 

Many people are saving on gas, car maintenance, and more by ditching their commute. On top of that, if you work from home you can stand to save even more with pay-per-mile insurance. 

Pay-per-mile insurance is a type of usage-based insurance where you pay based on how often you drive. Low-mileage drivers could save a significant amount, with Metromile customers saving on average $741 per year after making the switch. In some cases, customers save up to 47% compared to what they were previously paying. 


Source/credit: Statista/FlexJobs

Though there are cost-savings while working from home, there are still downsides that exist. The top gripes with working from home noted in the FlexJobs survey were difficulty unplugging (35%) and dealing with non-work related distractions (28%).

As you can see from the numbers, while there are cons to working from home many employees find that the benefits make up for it. 

There are many unknowns with COVID variants 

If you’ve been monitoring the COVID situation, you know that the Delta variant has changed the course of the pandemic. In early summer, it seemed that we might see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Then Delta hit and had its own plans and changed the course of the pandemic. Due to its highly infectious nature and transmissibility, many offices pushed back their reopening and more lockdowns and mandates of various degrees happened worldwide. 

The CDC notes that mutations in the virus are expected and at this rate, it seems like we’re going through the whole Greek alphabet when it comes to types of variants.

Given the setback with the Delta variant, it’s tough to make definitive plans for the future and have set plans to return to the office. The many variants and unknowns of the future make working from home a long-term possibility and a paradigm shift in what was once “office culture”.

The bottom line 

The pandemic has touched everyone’s life in some way and has changed work as we know it. One of the largest shifts is the move to work from home. At this point, working from home isn’t going anywhere as employers continue to stay on this path indefinitely or permanently because of the pandemic. 

If you’re working from home or want to work from home more, take advantage of the cost-savings with pay-per-mile insurance. Why pay for miles you don’t drive when you can pay based only on the miles you drive, along with a low base rate? Using Metromile you can do just that. Get your free, no-pressure quote to see how much you could save by making the switch. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Guide to Street Cleaning Chicago

Getting a parking spot in a big city like Chicago can feel like a big win. But on certain days, if you don’t move your car you could be hit with a ticket, thanks to street cleaning in Chicago. During the brutal winter months in the Windy City, you get a little break from street sweeping, making it even harder to remember what the Chicago street cleaning schedule actually is. Read on to learn everything you need to know about street sweeping in Chicago.

What You Need to Know About Street Cleaning in Chicago | Metromile

How does street cleaning in Chicago work? 

Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) manages many of the city’s non-emergency departments, including the Bureau of Sanitation which oversees street sweeping Chicago. 

The city of Chicago uses mechanical street sweepers that work to clean and sanitize the streets from excess trash and debris. 

Given Chicago’s unique geography and notoriously difficult winters, Chicago has a street sweeping season that starts the first of April and goes to mid-November. 

When does street cleaning Chicago happen in my neighborhood?

In order to avoid pesky street cleaning tickets, you want to know when street cleaning happens in your neighborhood. The way street sweeping Chicago works is by ward. The city of Chicago is divided into 50 wards and Chicago.gov offers a street cleaning map and the Chicago street cleaning schedule by ward. 

For example, this link shows you the street cleaning schedule for ward 1. Below is the Chicago street cleaning map for ward 1 as well. 

Source/credit: Chicago.gov

To find your particular Chicago street cleaning schedule and map, you can find it by ward here. You can also review this street sweeping zones map as well. For even more specificity, during weekdays this Sweeper Tracker Map shows real-time updates between the hours of 9am and 2pm local time. 

How much does a street cleaning ticket in Chicago cost? 

Getting a street cleaning ticket can be an unfortunate setback in your day and it’ll cost you a pretty penny. As of 2021, street cleaning tickets in Chicago cost $60 a pop and it’s the second highest ticket violation in the city. You might not have included paying parking tickets in your budget, so it could set you back. While one parking ticket won’t be the end of the world, it feels like a waste. Get more than one street cleaning ticket? It can add up fast and drain your finances

What are the Chicago street cleaning holidays?

Chicago street cleaning is a bit different in that it has a street sweeping season from April 1 to mid-November. Because of that, it basically skips over major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and MLK Day when it’s technically “off-season”. 

Aside from that, there is no published data on Chicago.gov about street sweeping holidays, only the 2021 holidays for garbage collection are listed. So your best bet is to check the street sweeping tracker on any holidays that may fall between April and November such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. 

How do you avoid getting street cleaning tickets in Chicago? 

No one wants to pay $60 because they forgot to move their car for street sweeping. Having that happen more than once can become a real problem. That’s why it’s best to check out the Chicago street cleaning schedule and add those dates as calendar reminders on your phone. 

Metromile customers in Chicago get the added benefit of getting street sweeping alerts by text, email, or push notification both 12 hours before and 1 before the cleaning starts in your area. 

That way you have an extra helping hand to help you avoid another street sweeping ticket. Metromile offers pay-per-mile insurance ideally suited for city-dwellers who might be low mileage drivers. While you save money on car insurance, you can also stay in the know about street sweeping as well. 

Is it okay to park after the street sweeper passes in Chicago?

If you see the street sweeper pass your street in Chicago, you may wonder if you can move your car back and still avoid a ticket. The street sweeper has passed, so no harm, no foul, right? You might want to re-consider to be safe. There have been some reports of Chicagoans getting tickets despite the fact the street sweeper had passed. 

If the parking sign says no parking within specific hours, it’s best to stay away during that time frame. 

The bottom line 

If you live in Chicago and mostly take public transportation, you might forget about your car and the parking rules. But one you want to stay on top of is the street sweeping in Chicago to avoid unwanted parking tickets. Using Metromile, you can get alerts for free if you sign-up for pay-per-mile car insurance. You can save money on car insurance and get help staying on top of street sweeping alerts. Get your free quote to see how much you could save. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Metromile Embraces No Meeting Days

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to work from home, meetings could overwhelm a typical workday and prevent individual time to think and focus. Now, remote work has only exacerbated the problem for employees and led to “Zoom fatigue” and burnout across the country. 

To help address this problem, Metromile’s People team instituted a few No Meeting Days (NMDs) during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. Metromile employees reacted with overwhelming support of NMDs. Accounting Manager, Romain Bauer, says that the NMDs offered him “a break from Zoom and time to focus on work without too many distractions.” 

No Meeting Days | Metromile

Positive employee feedback spurred the People team to formally establish NMDs on the first and third Friday of every month. On these Fridays, “employees are given the autonomy and flexibility to choose what they want to do with their time, instead of structuring their days around company or team meetings,” Lindsay Orr, Director of People, explains. 

Lindsay outlined how having a company-wide initiative lets employees prioritize what is important to them during their workday. That might be going on a walk in the middle of the day, spending extra time preparing lunch, taking a deep dive into a project without interruption, or having a social catch-up with colleagues. 

Having pre-set NMDs allows people to plan ahead and encourages employees to take that day off if they prefer, without feeling like they will miss out on anything – whether key team events or company-wide meetings. These days also give employees time to focus on their mental health and offer a day to reset before the next work week. 

Brandon Loyd, Director of Product Management, uses NMDs to catch up on product requirement documents and look ahead at upcoming roadmap items. For Brandon, these days are also a reminder that Zoom meetings are not always the best way to communicate or collaborate with others. “I often find myself resolving open questions and making decisions much faster through internal wiki pages or Slack,” Brandon explains. 

While NMDs are designed to encourage more reflection, focus, and reset time, our customer experience and sales teams are still available as usual on these days to support our customers and prospects. As part of our effort to ensure that all employees – including our customer-facing teams – have time to reset, all Metromilers now have two additional floating holidays to use at their discretion. 

Shannon Shafer, Director of Customer Experience, said one of the things she loves about Metromile is how much the company supports inclusivity, regardless of role or title. 

“As a long-time CX leader, I’m passionate about ensuring the productivity and wellbeing of everyone on my team. My leaders have let me know they love the NMDs, and the floating holidays have really been a boost to our customer-facing team members.”

Metromilers are regularly reminded of NMDs but, of course, can still schedule time that day if they want to catch up with their teams, socialize, or reflect on their week with others. As Lindsay highlights, “the goal is to give employees the freedom and space to choose how they want to spend their workday – whatever that is.”

Introducing our Values: Be Outcome Oriented

We spent the spring and early summer months at Metromile refreshing our values to make sure they were aligned with who we are, the work we’re doing, and the future we’re building. The end result? Five updated value statements that express how we operate and treat each other:

  • Create fiercely loyal customers.
  • Invent the future
  • Be intellectually persistent
  • Be outcome oriented
  • Nurture diversity, inclusion, and belonging

When we put our values in writing and commit to them, we’re saying something about what’s important to us as an organization, but also what’s important to our stakeholders, customers, and employees.

The best way to introduce our values is to let Metromilers speak for themselves. After all, values don’t mean much without the people who believe in them.

Metromile Values: Be Outcome Oriented

Be Outcome Oriented 

Brandie Smith, Senior Principal User Researcher, has been around long enough to see former versions of Metromile’s values. “Be outcome oriented” in particular, she said, represents a “mind shift” for Metromile.

“I think it’s going to set us up on a really helpful path. It offers much more flexibility to make adjustments if we need to rather than just stay the course to get it done,” Brandie said. “It’s not so much about what we’re building; it’s more about how we’re solving the problem to get the outcome we desire.”

Customer Experience (CX) Manager Ti-Jael Stafford advanced her career with the customer service team during her time with Metromile, and it’s given her historical context for how Metromile’s values have evolved over the years. When Ti-Jael started as a CX Representative more than three years ago, Metromile had a firm “penalty miles” policy that didn’t allow as much flexibility for customers. The process was updated to be more tailored and fair, and eventually, the Pulse device was updated to better prevent penalty miles from being applied to a customer’s account at all.

“The old policy was enforced mostly through an automated process, and updating it involved changing how we connected with the customer, and eventually the device itself. It would have been easier to only update the policy without changing the device itself,” she said. “But being outcome oriented means that we value and prioritize follow-through, not empty promises or half-finished projects. It’s not enough to have a great idea and create a plan, that plan must be executed and completed. And in this case, it was a big win for our customers.”

Senior People Operations Manager, April Slater says it speaks to confidence in each other and the process. “This value shows a lot of trust in the people and managers we hire. It focuses on the outcome, not the tasks that get us there—so we know it’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and ultimately get to the outcome we’re looking for.”

Senior Process Manager Megan Kurin sees being outcome oriented as propelling Metromile’s other values forward.

“We have to have those end goals in mind every day when we’re making decisions,” Megan said. “It’s just all woven together.” 


Thanks for sharing your perspective, Metromilers. Want to read more? Check out what Metromilers share about our Nurture Diversity, Inclusivity, and Belonging value, and look out for more on the other values soon.

How to Get Around Seattle

Seattle is well-known for its stunning geography, lush greenery giving it the name of Emerald City, and its iconic Space Needle. Whether you live in Seattle or are considering a move or vacation there, the good news is there are so many Seattle transportation options. In fact, it was ranked eighth in the top 10 best public transportation options in the U.S. We’re breaking down your guide on how to get around Seattle. 

Your Guide to Getting Around Seattle | Metromile

Most common Seattle transportation options 

When it comes to how to get around Seattle, there is no shortage of options. These options include Seattle public transportation and other options as well. Let’s dive into some of the most common Seattle transportation options that can get you around the city. 

King County Metro Transit bus service

One of the most prominent Seattle public transportation options is the King County Metro Transit bus service which goes through downtown and surrounding areas. 

Bus fare costs between $2.75 to $3.25 for adults and you can download the mobile app to make transit even easier and more seamless. 

To get more information and plan your trip, you can use the King County Trip Planner. You can also get an ORCA Card, which costs $5 and can be used on multiple Seattle public transportation options like this bus service, light rail, and more. 

The Sound Transit Link Light Rail 

The Sound Transit Link Light Rail is another popular Seattle public transportation option, going through downtown for commuters, to the University of Washington for students and SEA-TAC airport for travelers. The light rail comes fairly frequently, about every six, 10, or 15 minutes based on the time of day, according to KingCounty.gov data. 

On top of that, most days you can use the Link Light Rail starting in the early morning, beginning at 5am up until 1am, to accommodate various schedules. However, on Sundays and holidays, you lose an hour on the front and back end, with light rail hours starting at 6am and going to midnight. 

Expect to pay between $2.25 to $3.50, which will vary depending on the distance you travel. You can pay using the Transit GO Ticket mobile app, your ORCA card, or a ticket from a light rail station. 

Streetcars

On top of the more traditional bus and light rail options, there are also Seattle streetcars that you can take when getting around Seattle. Fun fact, Seattle’s first electric streetcars hit the city stage in 1889. 

According to KingCounty.gov, there are two active  Seattle public transportation streetcar options:

The city was in the process of building the Center City Connector but has been on hold due to lack of ridership and funds, due to COVID. 

The First Hill Line connects bustling neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, the International District, and Pioneer Square, and more. You can take this line between 5am and 10:30pm during the week, 6am to 10:30pm on Saturday, as well as 10am to 8pm on Sundays and holidays. The First Line streetcar comes every 12 to 25 minutes, depending on the time of the day. 

The South Lake Union line offers another transportation option from the South Lake Union area to downtown. This line is available from 6am to 9pm during weekdays, 7am to 9pm on Saturday, as well as 10am to 7pm on Sundays and holidays. It costs $2.25 for a single-fare to ride the Seattle streetcar. 

The Seattle Center Monorail 

Seeing the Seattle Center Monorail cascade through the city center is a sight to behold and makes you want to take it whether for fun or to get where you need to go. According to the Seattle Monorail website, more than 2 million passengers per year take the monorail. 

The monorail comes about every 10 minutes and takes passengers between the Seattle Center station and the Westlake Center Mall station. 

To ride the Seattle Monorail, it’ll cost you $3 one-way and you must use an ORCA card or debit/credit for payment. 

Driving in Seattle

Since Seattle is such a public transportation-friendly city, you may not need to drive at all. But there might be some neighborhoods that are easier to access with a car or if you want to go hiking in the area, driving might be your best bet though you may have to deal with traffic. 

The good news is the city is relatively compact, so you may not need to drive that much. If you do drive a stick, beware of some of the hills, especially around Pike’s Place Market. If you’re a resident of Seattle and don’t drive that often, you might get substantial savings by switching to pay-per-mile insurance and pay a low base rate and for the miles you drive, and nothing more. That way you can get rewarded for driving less. 

By bike 

If you’re trying to figure out how to get around Seattle and looking for a flexible option to stop and go, you can explore the city on two wheels as well with a bike. It’s free and you get some built-in exercise, so it’s a win-win. 

You can check out this Seattle Department of Transportation guide to biking around Seattle as well as this bike map of the city. 

Walking 

Another underrated Seattle transportation option is walking! You can go at your own pace and explore the city and see things you can’t always see with a car or on public transportation. 

It’s also kind of like the choose-your-own-adventure option. You can go different routes, stop and see public art, street art, and other things that are unique to Seattle. Similar to biking, it’s also free and is basically getting a mini workout in. 

Alternative and up-and-coming Seattle transportation options

On top of the more common Seattle transportation options listed above, there are also more alternative and up-and-coming transportation options to consider as well. 

Uber and Lyft ride-share options

Using the power of your smartphone, you can quickly and easily secure a ride to get around Seattle using one of the ride-sharing programs. Uber and Lyft are ride-sharing options that you can easily use within the city all from the comfort of your phone. 

Rent a bike with bike-sharing options 

If you want to explore the city or get around by bike, but don’t have your own, don’t fret. The city of Seattle has a bike-sharing program that allows you to use a bike. Simply use your Uber app to reserve a JUMP bike and pay 15 cents per minute. You can also use Lime to get a bike for rent as well. For Lime, costs vary by the minute and it costs one dollar to access the bike and use it. 

Use a scooter to see Seattle 

If you’re curious about how to get around Seattle using more off-the-beaten-path options, consider renting a scooter. The city of Seattle has a scooter-share program so you can get around the city quickly. This can be a good option to go short distances or run a few errands or go down the street if you’re running late. 

You can use:

It’s important to note that costs can vary, helmets are required and you aren’t allowed to ride scooters on the sidewalk.

The bottom line 

As you can see, there are numerous Seattle transportation options to choose from. So depending on the day, your mood, energy, and the weather (hello, Seattle rain!) you can choose Seattle public transportation options or decide to drive yourself or get an Uber. 

If you live in Seattle and have a car but don’t drive that often, check out pay-per-mile car insurance with Metromile. Just like you pay for utilities based on how much you use, you can pay for car insurance based on the miles you drive along with a low base rate. Get your no-hassle quote to see how much you could save. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.