8 Road Trip Options Less Than 100 Miles From Seattle

Seattle is a stunning city in its own right and has all the makings of a great destination — lots of great food options, arts and culture, and geography that can take your breath away. Whether you live in Seattle or are visiting, you might consider short trips nearby to satisfy your travel itch or simply get away. Here are 8 weekend getaways from Seattle that are less than 100 miles away, listed from shortest to longest distance from central Seattle.

1. Vashon Island 

8 Weekend Getaways from Seattle | Metromile

If you’re looking for Seattle getaways that aren’t too far and really offer some local charm, check out Vashon Island. It’s a short drive and ferry ride away and you can enjoy the Point Robinson park and lighthouse, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, and biking. Head to the Vashon Bookshop to snag a new book to read and dine at Earthen Bistro. 

Distance from Seattle: 20.8 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr and 5 minutes 

2. Tacoma 


If you have kids and are looking for family-friendly weekend trips from Seattle, consider Tacoma. You can check out the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, The Children’s Museum of Tacoma, as well as the Museum of Glass. End the day with a sweet treat at Legendary Doughnuts

Distance from Seattle: 33.6 miles 

Time: Approx 30 minutes 

3. Whidbey Island 

Whidbey Island

If you want to explore all of Whidbey Island, it’s a local treasure and one of the best weekend trips from Seattle. You can drive the 54-mile scenic route of the island and explore the local parks and scenery. You can go birdwatching, hiking, biking and so much more. Dine at one of these dining hotspots on the South End of Whidbey Island, including some farm-to-table options. 

Distance from Seattle: 35.1 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr and 5 minutes

4. Langley 

Langley, WA

Ready to head to a small “village by the sea”? Look no further than Langley, which is a short drive and ferry ride from Seattle. Nestled along 60 miles of Whidbey Island, you can enjoy the waterfront scenery, galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, and more. There are also numerous public art installations, which you can see for yourself on a walking tour. Enjoy happy hour or dinner at Prima Bistro while you watch the sunset. 

Distance from Seattle: 35.8 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr 10 minutes

5. Gig Harbor 

Gig Harbor

If you’re looking for romantic Seattle getaways, consider Gig Harbor. The city’s tourism slogan is “Where Postcard-Perfect Views Meet Small Town Charm.” You can take a Gondola ride, Italian style, in Gig Harbor or check out plant shop Rosedale Gardens and take in the sights at the Bogue Viewing Platform. Dine at Tide’s Tavern on the water and enjoy your meal and the local views. 

Distance from Seattle: 43.8 miles 

Time: Approx 40 minutes 

6. Port Townsend 

Port townsend, WA

Looking for a seaside escape? Head to the Olympic Peninsula’s Port Townsend area and explore The Northwest Maritime Center or go on a wildlife cruise. You can also visitFort Worden State Park, a former army base, with tons of trails for you to hike or bike. Plus, you can check out the local antique shops, record stores, book shops and head to Finistere for dinner. 

Distance from Seattle: 56.2 miles 

Time: Approx 2 hrs

7. Anacortes 

Anacortes, WA

If you’re looking for a nearby island to get some rest and relaxation and enjoy the local charms, head to Anacortes. According to, “Anacortes, the crown jewel of Fidalgo Island, is conveniently situated halfway between Seattle & Vancouver BC, and is the destination point for the San Juan Islands and International Ferry runs. The island is known for its historic waterfront, 50-miles of hiking trails, and a mix of annual festivals.”

You can go whale watching, kayaking, explore local wineries and check out the local antique shops. Plan your visit and get local information here. 

Distance from Seattle: 80.6 miles 

Time: Approx 1.5 hours

8. Bellingham 

Bellingham - Mount Baker, WA

If you’re looking for weekend trips from Seattle, head to Bellingham, which is close to the Canadian border. The city offers an array of activities like hiking Mount Baker or skiing during the snowy months. You can also check out Larrabee State Park for its picturesque views and happens to be Washington’s first state park. Get your arts and culture fix at The Whatcom Museum and grab a drink and dinner at Bellingham Cider Company. 

Distance from Seattle: 89.5 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr 20 minutes 

The bottom line 

Whether you live in Seattle or are on vacation there, these eight weekend getaways from Seattle have you covered if you want to explore a bit more outside of the city. Less than 100 miles away, you don’t have to go far to see and experience more. While taking a road trip, you might want to consider if your car insurance has your back. At Metromile, customers can get pay-per-mile coverage and roadside assistance. Get a free quote and learn more.

​​ 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.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint from Driving

Climate change is no longer something that will affect us in the future. It’s something we’re seeing affect us today in real-time with wild and unpredictable weather patterns, rising sea levels, and melting ice caps. It can be overwhelming to think about. Unfortunately, one of the most common ways individuals add to the problem is by driving. In fact, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, the transportation sector has the highest share of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at 29%. On top of that, the EPA states that a passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. If you want to take action against car pollution and move the needle forward, here’s how to reduce your carbon footprint from your car.

How to Reduce Carbon Footprint From Your Car | Metromile

Reduce how much you drive 

The most simple solution to reducing car pollution is to drive less. Easier said than done in some cases, especially depending on where you live, but here are some things to consider for each trip:

EPA data states that, on average, passenger cars emit 404 grams of CO2 per mile. If driving less seems complicated, see if you can commit to one day a week. Not driving for one day and opting for biking or walking can cut your emissions, according to transport study data published in Science Daily. According to the data, doing this can reduce your carbon footprint by .5 tons of CO2 emissions a year. 

Drive efficiently 

How much you drive is an important factor when it comes to car pollution. But if you’re looking for more air pollution solutions, looking at how you drive — and not just how much — is also important. 

Going too fast and hitting the brakes can be dangerous, but it’s also inefficient and can waste gas and harm the environment. 

According to, “Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds, and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.” 

So if you want to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, drive at the regular speed, brake on time, and ease into accelerating. 

Be a more mindful driver 

Sometimes a little mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to reducing car pollution. That means becoming a smart driver and being more mindful of your trips and how it impacts the environment. 

For example, if you don’t have to drive during rush hour, wait a bit longer. Sitting in traffic can hurt your gas mileage. 

Also, think about your trips and errands. Can you batch errands and make less frequent trips? Additionally, remove any excess weight that is weighing your car down. According to, “An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by about 1%.”

Keep your car in good shape 

Just like it’s essential to keep your physical health in good shape, you want to keep your car in good condition as well. That means performing regular car maintenance like oil changes, changing your air and oil filters, and more. According to

  • Fixing an oxygen sensor can improve mileage by up to 40%
  • Having proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage between 0.6% up to 3%
  • Using the recommended manufacturer’s motor oil, you can improve gas mileage 1% to 2%

Maintaining your car has an impact on your gas mileage, which is measured by the term miles per gallon (MPG). According to data from the EPA, the tailpipe CO2 emissions from burning one gas gallon is 8,887 grams CO2. Keeping your car running well may improve your MPG and be a way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Swap your car for a greener option 

If your current car is a gas guzzler and doesn’t get great mileage and you want to reduce your carbon footprint, consider swapping it out for something that’s more environmentally friendly. 

You can choose from:


As you can see from the chart above, the higher the MPG, the lower the amount of greenhouse gases. The converse is also true, with lower MPG leading to higher amounts of greenhouse gases. 

An electric vehicle will have no tailpipe emissions, but the car may create other emissions depending on how the electricity is powered as well as in the manufacturing phase. 


Using this tool from the Alternative Fuels Data Center from the Department of Energy, you can see common electricity sources as well as emissions by type of vehicle. As you can see, all electric still wins out. 

If you’re unsure of what type of vehicle to look for and want more information, check out this Green Vehicle Guide by the EPA. 

Avoid idling 

You might think you need to “warm-up” the car in the morning or feel like you’ll just keep the car running for a bit while you make a quick stop or wait for someone. But it’s best to avoid idling completely when it comes to your car. According to, “Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use.”

Remember the scary stat earlier about how burning one gallon of gas created 8,887 grams of CO2? Idling can get you a quarter to halfway there then, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid. Just stop the car. 

The bottom line 

Car pollution is a big issue in the fight against climate change. If you want to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, taking these steps will be a good start. For more information, you can check out the EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator to see where you stand. Also, if it’s possible and easier for you, simply drive less to lower your environmental impact. If that’s possible, you can benefit from pay-per-mile auto insurance coverage. You pay for gas by the gallon, so it makes sense to buy insurance by the miles you drive. Using Metromile, you pay for each mile you drive and a base rate, so you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint. 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.

How to Get Around Los Angeles

Los Angeles is well-known for its sunny weather, amazing beaches, and car culture. Cars are practically a requirement to live or visit the LA area, but many other transportation options are available. In fact, Los Angeles public transportation was ranked number six for the best public transportation in the U.S. Read on to learn about how to get around Los Angeles and all of your options.

Your Guide to Getting Around in Los Angeles | Metromile

The Metro bus 

Metro is the transportation agency in Los Angeles, and according to their site, “​​We serve as transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder, and operator for the country’s largest, most populous county.”

As part of their service, you can take one of the many bus lines in and around Los Angeles. There are over 165 bus routes within the city with several different types of bus lines including:

  • The Metro Local (orange buses), which make regular stops throughout the city
  • The Metro Rapid (red buses), which has rapid service in busy areas, making fewer stops along the way
  • The Metro Express (blue buses) which is used by commuters and goes along city freeways 
  • The Metro Silver Line, which serves downtown LA and the South Bay as well as the San Gabriel Valley
  • The Metro Orange Line, which connects to the Valley and serves North Hollywood to Woodland Hills 

You can access the bus with a TAP card or using cash, with one-way fares costing $1.75. The fare is good for transfers for up to 2 hours. 

The Metro Rail 

The closest thing to a subway system LA has is The Metro Rail. The Metro Rail options used to be categorized by color but recently have shifted to letters. They include:

Los Angeles Metro Rail

Source/credit: Metro 

You can take the B line, formerly the Red line, to downtown’s Union Station, which is an architectural beauty. Then, go across the street to Olvera Street, LA’s first historic pueblo. Other lines take you to Pasadena, Santa Monica, Long Beach, and more. 

Ticket fares are the same as the bus and cost $1.75 with transfers for up to 2 hours. 

DASH buses 

DASH buses in LA connect local neighborhoods to bigger transit hubs and serve over 30 million passengers a year. The DASH buses are affordable and cost only 50 cents or 25 cents if you’re a senior and are available in 27 different neighborhoods within the city. You can use their Trip Planner to see which route is available in your area. 

To make boarding easier, you can use your stored value on your TAP card or buy a 31-day DASH pass for $18. 

Via car 

When it comes to getting around Los Angeles, going by car is the most popular option. LA is a car city through and through, especially as it’s so spread out and vast. Going anywhere, even if it’s “close”, can take at least half an hour. 

Traffic can be rough at practically all hours, but especially so at peak rush hours. It’s no surprise that LA was ranked number four when it comes to the top cities with the worst traffic. If driving, put on some good tunes (suggestion: “I Love LA” by Randy Newman, full blast)  and bring some water and your sunglasses to make the most of it. 


When figuring out how to get around Los Angeles, you may wonder if it’s bike-friendly. A car-centric culture like LA isn’t as compatible with biking. LA was named the worst city for bicycling in 2018. Though biking isn’t an ideal option, it’s possible in certain areas. You can check out LA Bike Paths and Bike Routes and Maps. 


There’s a famous Missing Persons song with the refrain “nobody walks in LA!”. Walking isn’t as convenient in LA with the sprawling nature of the city, but there are certain neighborhoods where walking is possible. 

For example, Hollywood, Koreatown, Downtown, and Santa Monica are very walkable. If you live in these areas, you can walk to the gym, to get coffee, or run your errands. Other neighborhoods may be more suburban and require a car and a freeway trip. 

Emerging mobility transportation options 

Aside from the more traditional transportation options listed above, getting around Los Angeles now includes emerging mobility transportation options as alternatives. 

Ride-share apps 

As noted above, if you want to figure out how to get around Los Angeles, a car is your best bet. But if you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive, you can still get a ride using the power of ride-share apps. Uber and Lyft are popular in the city and you can get a ride wherever you need to, using your mobile phone. 

Metro Bike Share 

Though LA isn’t very bike-friendly, the city is working toward making it more accessible for bicyclists in certain neighborhoods that are already walkable and bikeable. 

For example, there is the Metro Bike Share program, which just expanded to Hollywood and added 11 new stations. You can book a bike, unlock it, ride, and return and lock it at a designated station. It costs $1.75 for 30 minutes of riding. You can download the app to see where bike shares are accessible. 


E-scooters are also available in certain parts of the city and are ideal for short trips. You can use Bird or Lime, two popular e-scooter choices, to get where you need to go within the city. Though e-scooter ridership has dropped during COVID, it’s gaining momentum again. You can download the apps for these e-scooters and see what’s in your area. 

The bottom line 

Whether you live in Los Angeles or want to visit, there are numerous Los Angeles public transportation options to choose from aside from using a car. Getting around Los Angeles may be time-consuming, but you have choices. If you live in a neighborhood that is more walkable and public transportation friendly, you might be a low-mileage driver and benefit from pay-per-mile insurance. If you’re paying for miles you aren’t driving, it’s time to re-think your auto insurance coverage. Get a free quote with Metromile 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.

Got Foggy Windows? Here’s What You Need to Do

It’s that time of year again. As temps start to drop, it’s common to get foggy windows in your car. Trying to drive with your windshield obscured is dangerous and not ideal. Regardless of the weather, we’re here to share how to defog windshields at any time.

How to Defog Windshields | Metromile

How to defog windshields when it’s cold out 

It’s cold out, and you have foggy windows. You can’t really safely drive in this condition, so what are you to do? 

First, it’s important to note that foggy windows typically occur because there’s a significant temperature difference between the inside of the car and it is warmer than it is outside. 

One of the first things you can do is put on the defroster, which helps clear any lingering moisture on the windshield. But that’s a short-term solution. To create more lasting change, you can take various steps to relieve the problem. According to Lifehacker, this is how to defog windshields based on tips from former NASA engineer Mark Rober:

  • Put your car heater all the way up
  • Then turn on your AC to pull the moisture out
  • If you have inside circulation on, turn it off
  • Open up your windows to release humid air 

So even if it’s cold out, turning on the AC or cracking windows to get the cool air inside can help combat the issue of foggy windows. Though it may not be fun, it’s temporary and you can maximize the health benefits of being in the cold

How to defog windshields in warm weather 

Foggy windows aren’t just for winter or cold days, though it may happen more frequently then. When there is condensation and moisture outside, the exterior glass of your windshield can fog up. Again, you want to even out the temperatures from outside of the car and inside the car. 

The easiest thing to do to defog your windshield is to use your windshield wipers. Their exact job is to wipe the windshields, so using them should help eliminate any condensation left. 

If that doesn’t work, you can raise the temperature inside your car to match the outside temperature. You can warm up the car using a low setting on the AC or turn it off entirely. Since it’s a warm day, you may have the AC blasting but that could be creating more issues for you. If you have the recirculation button on, turn it off to try to manage temperatures. 

Other ways to manage foggy windows 

Aside from the specific tips listed above based on whether it’s cold or warm out, there are general things you can do to try and avoid foggy windows. We all know what a nuisance they can be and how difficult it can be to drive or get going when you can barely see through the glass. 

The first tip is to keep your windows clean! You can use an ammonia-based cleaner that can ensure your windows are clean and don’t have any residue that moisture can latch onto. Also, look at your car heating and AC settings. You may have the air recirculating when you want to access the fresh air. A simple change in settings may fix the issue. 

Another easy fix might be to crack a window or keep one open. If it’s cold, consider the rear window so the cold air isn’t hitting you directly. 

If there are persistent issues and these remedies don’t work, it may be time to get an HVAC inspection to see if there is a root cause that needs to be fixed. 

Lastly, be mindful of any items you bring into your vehicle that may have excessive moisture. For example, a wet bag from the rain, wet socks, and shoes, a soggy umbrella, drenched gym clothes, etc. It’s best to put these items in the trunk away from the window area where the added moisture could be a culprit for fog. 

If you live in a very rainy locale, consider keeping a cloth to wipe your shoes and perhaps an additional pair of socks in the trunk, just in case (because who likes soggy socks?!). 

The bottom line 

Driving is a delicate dance that requires managing a lot of logistics and circumstances. Experiencing foggy windows can be a hindrance and also be a danger. Using these tips, you can learn how to defog windshields effectively so you can get on with your day. On top of managing and maintaining your car, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car insurance. If you’re a low-mileage driver, you might be overpaying. It’s time to re-think your car insurance and pay for the miles you actually drive. Using Metromile, you pay a low base rate and for the miles you drive, and nothing more. Grab 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.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Naturalist David Attenborough has called climate change “the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced.” Fortunately, while some consequences of climate change, such as rising seas and coasting flooding, are irreversible, it’s not all bad news. According to NASA, “it may not be too late to avoid or limit some of the worst effects of climate change.” However, it’ll take a good amount of effort from governments and individuals alike.

It may not feel like you can fix climate change by yourself, but reducing your personal carbon footprint is a good place to start. Below, we’ll cover a few changes you can make in each major area of your life — transit, home life, food, and clothing — to do so.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint | Metromile


Out of all the air pollution solutions we’ll cover in this article, rethinking how you travel may be the most impactful.

  • According to the American Public Transportation Agency, “the private vehicle is the largest contributor to a household’s carbon footprint.” As such, one of the biggest things you can do to reduce air pollution is to drive less. In fact, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 17% just by reducing your driving by 2,000 miles per year.
  • For short trips, walking or biking are great eco-friendly options. For longer trips, switching to public transportation might be more practical. The APTA notes that “a single person, commuting alone by car, who switches a 20-mile round trip commute to existing public transportation, can reduce his or her annual CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year, equal to a 10% reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a typical two-adult, two-car household. By eliminating one car and taking public transportation instead of driving, a savings of up to 30% of carbon dioxide emissions can be realized.”
  • If you can’t go completely carless, there’s another thing you can do: drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid or electric car. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, even when accounting for the electricity used to charge these vehicles, they still usually have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars because they typically produce less tailpipe emissions.
  • Finally, flying less can also dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. While you probably don’t fly as much as you drive, the BBC says that “mile for mile, flying is the most damaging way to travel for the climate.” 

Again, you don’t have to cut all flights out of your life to help the environment. As one round-trip flight between California and New York can generate around 20% of the greenhouse gasses your car emits in a year, even cutting one flight can make a big difference. And if that’s not doable, you can also make other changes, such as flying nonstop, flying when it’s cooler, flying coach, and supporting airlines that use more efficient fuel. 


Being mindful of the food you eat — and how you shop for it — can also reduce your carbon footprint. Some of the most impactful food-related changes you can make include:

  • Eating less meat. According to Green America, a recent study found that “each meat-eater is responsible for 1.5 more tons of greenhouse gases than a vegan per year.” But you don’t have to go cold turkey (pun intended) to make a difference — even cutting back on your meat consumption, switching to poultry instead of red meat, or eating animals lower on the food chain, such as mackerel, can help.
  • Eating locally. Did you know food travels an average of 1500 miles to get from the farm to your plate? Eating seasonal, local food can help limit your “food miles” and reduce the carbon footprint of your food by up to 7%.
  • Avoiding plastic whenever possible. Around 4% of the world’s petroleum is used to produce plastic. Instead of buying flimsy plastic bags from the grocery store that you’ll likely throw out after one use, try switching to reusable shopping bags. Also, avoid plastic tableware and products with excessive plastic packaging whenever you can, and recycle the plastic if the label says it’s recyclable.
  • Only buying what you need. Food waste is a huge problem, with Americans wasting 40% of the food they buy on average. Wasting less food can reduce methane emissions from landfills and help conserve energy and resources, both of which can lower your carbon footprint. A few things you can do to lower your food waste include making (and sticking to) a list when you go grocery shopping, avoiding bulk purchases you wouldn’t be able to finish before they spoil, and reusing or freezing leftovers. 

Home life

According to a recent study, energy use in homes accounts for around 20% of US greenhouse gas emissions. There are two main ways you can go about lowering your energy consumption:

  • Using less energy: This includes tactics such as turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging electrical devices you rarely use, and turning down the heat.
  • Making your home more efficient: This strategy often requires an upfront cost but can pay off in the long run. Some ideas include sealing windows, switching to LED lights, replacing old appliances, and planting greenery around your house.
  • Another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint in your home life? Recycling. As the National Institutes of Health explains, “Recycling saves non-renewable resources. For example, by not recycling paper, 80% more wood will need to be harvested… to meet growing paper consumption demands. However, through active paper recycling, only 20% more wood will need to be harvested.”
    But paper isn’t the only thing you can recycle. Many communities make it easy to recycle everything from batteries to beverage containers, electronics, plastic, organic material, and more. However, the EPA found that in 2018, paper recycling reduced the largest portion of municipal solid waste — 46 million tons — which is roughly equivalent to removing over 33 million vehicles from the road for a year!


  • The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, as it takes tons of energy to produce, manufacture, and transport garments. In fact, it takes around 713 gallons (2,700 liters) of water just to produce a simple cotton t-shirt.
  • One of the most helpful changes you can make clothing-wise is to buy used clothing from thrift stores or online platforms such as thredUP. By buying secondhand, you can give clothes another life and divert them from the landfill, where they’d take a long time to deteriorate. Additionally, it can help reduce the clothing industry’s overall emissions, as the fewer new clothes people buy, the fewer clothes they need to make.
  • If you’re uncomfortable wearing someone else’s clothes, you can also support apparel companies that prioritize sustainability and choose fabrics that have a lower environmental impact, such as wool.

Bottom line

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. But helping fight climate change isn’t the only benefit of cutting back on miles. In addition to saving money on gas, driving less can also lower your car insurance bill if you switch to a pay-per-mile model with Metromile. In fact, our customers save an average of 47% compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurance provider. Get a free quote to see how much you could save — while saving the planet — today.

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

Introducing our Values: Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

We recently spent some time 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, and 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: Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

“My job is to understand people’s needs and wants, what would make their experiences easier or better. Creating fiercely loyal customers is very much what I’m working on,” said Brandie Smith, Senior Principal User Researcher. “I want to know how we can bridge business needs with user needs so that we’re not just focused on the company, but we’re also remembering that what we’re doing is in service of improving the customer experience.”

“Fiercely loyal” is a level of passion you wouldn’t normally associate with insurance, Customer Experience (CX) Manager Ti-Jael Stafford said. “We actually want to create customers who love our insurance,” she said. “We want the customers who’ll blog or tweet about how great an experience they have with us, that’s the kind of feeling we want to inspire.”

This commitment to customer experience runs deep at Metromile, and spans departments, Ti-Jael said.

“I moved from supporting customers on the phone, up to digital support, and I am now a manager with a team of CX agents. I have seen this value play out from all sides and angles.”

That customer-focused view goes beyond Metromilers who are directly engaging with customers.

“We are engineers who really care about customers and the product and the experience,” said Senior Software Engineer Prachi Shah. “We want the tools to be easy-to-use, and more than that, enjoyable to use. We also have a very focused team who takes customer feedback and acts on it right away.”

Whether it’s a byproduct or a main goal, the drive to create fiercely loyal customers has a payoff in company culture as well.

“I’ve always loved that we call it a Customer Experience (CX) department rather than a service department. We all have the same capabilities, so when you call, you get help with whatever you need; you don’t need to be transferred to a specialist,” Ti-Jael Stafford said.

“We’re not highly scripted. We’re all equally capable, and so we’re able to work together better. Even though CX can be at the bottom of the hierarchy at some companies, that’s not the case here. I’ve never felt like I didn’t have a voice. I think all our values—inventing the future and being intellectually persistent and being outcome oriented—these are the ways we’re going to make sure we create these fiercely loyal customers. The values really build up to support our number one value, the customer.”

We’re building a community of drivers who come to Metromile for the savings and stay for the experience. Our diverse team combines the best of Silicon Valley technologists with veterans from Fortune 500 insurers and financial services giants focused on using technology to reinvent insurance as a tool for financial resiliency.

Check out open positions at Metromile or give our pay-per-mile auto insurance a try by taking a free Ride Along™ trial from the Metromile app.

What is a Car Axle, Explained

Your car is made of many moving parts that work together seamlessly. Like an orchestra, these parts come together at just the right time to make it all work. As a result, you get to drive without really thinking about the mechanics of your car and how it works. But there’s one part that literally keeps your car moving and that is the car axle.  Read on to learn what is an axle, how many axles a car has, and everything you need to know.

What is a Car Axle? | Metromile

What is a car axle? 

If you’re wondering what is an axle, it’s a steel rod that connects to a pair of wheels and uses torque from the transmission to get the wheels moving. Torque is a fancy word for rotational force. The car axle acts as a bridge between the tires and takes the power from the transmission to propel the wheels forward so the car can move. Because cars are designed to move, axles are the secret superhero that keeps your vehicle on the go.  

How many axles does a car have? 

If you’re wondering how many axles does a car have, it can depend on the type of vehicle you have. At a minimum, cars typically have two axles that work with the front pair of wheels and the back pair of wheels. If a vehicle is larger than a passenger car, there may be more axles. 

There’s an easy way to identify how many axles a car has though. According to, “As a general rule of thumb, cars and trucks have 1 axle for every pair of wheels. These are referred to as “2-axle” vehicles, which encompasses most vehicles you’ll see on the road.”

Different types of car axles 

There are different types of car axles that serve different purposes. According to, “Car axles can be categorized by their position into the front and rear axles, but also by their function. The primary job of an axle is to endure the weight of the vehicle and transfer it to wheels. A horse-drawn or modern trailer can have one or more dead axles, which do not rotate with the wheels. Live axles rotate to transfer power to the wheels.”

So basically, there are: 

  • Live axles, which help keep the wheels moving
  • Dead axles, which support the total weight of the car but don’t move the wheels 

Live and dead axles are based on function. The axles based on position are:

  • The front axle, which is located in the front, can be either live or dead. A live front axle can help move the wheels and support steering while managing shocks from any rough terrain.
  • The rear axle is located in the rear of the car as the name suggests and is typically live, helping move the wheels forward. There are three different types of rear axles as well, including the semi-floating axle, full floating axle, as well as three-quarter floating axle. These rear axles serve different purposes and are typically part or larger vehicles. 
  • The stub axle can typically be found in cars with rear-wheel drive and is connected to the front axle with kingpins. The kingpins connect both the sub axle and front axle.

According to car manufacturer Kia, the stub axle has various types including: 

· Elliot: This type is attached to the front axle by using a yoke, kingpin, and cotter.

· Reverse Elliot: This stub axle has the reversed arrangement of an Elliot stub axle.

· Lamoine: In a Lamoine stub axle, an L-shaped spindle and kingpin are used instead of a yoke.

· Lamoine Reverse: It has the reversed arrangement of a Lamoine stub axle.

As you can see, the answer to “How many axles does a car have?” isn’t so simple and can vary by vehicle. 

How do you know if you have a bad axle? 

Your car axle is an integral car part to keep your car moving. If your car axle is bad, it could spell trouble for you later on. But how do you know if you have a bad axle?

According to Sun Devil Auto, some telltale signs that you have a bad axle include:

If you’re dealing with any of these situations, you may have a bad axle and want to get it looked at by a professional. 

Does car insurance cover damaged axles? 

If you’re dealing with a damaged or faulty car axle, you might wonder if car insurance will help cover the cost of the repair. Typically, car repairs and maintenance are your responsibility. However, if a car axle is damaged and it is directly due to a car accident, it may be covered if you have collision or comprehensive coverage

The bottom line 

Your car axle literally keeps your car on the go. It’s important to be aware of the signs of a bad axle and get any necessary repairs to make sure you stay safe and keep your car in good condition. As part of your overall car maintenance, you want to consider your car insurance as well. 

You may be paying more than you really need to for your current insurance. Why pay a flat premium, when you can pay based on the miles you drive? You pay for gas by the gallon, so why not pay for car insurance based on the miles you drive plus a low base rate? Using Metromile you can do just that. Grab a 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.

How to Get Around Portland

Portland, Oregon is a haven for lush greenery, strong coffee, and is a biker’s paradise. Whether you already live there, are considering a move, or want to visit for a short trip, you want to get acquainted with Portland transportation options. There are many Portland public transportation options, with the city ranked number 9 for best public transportation in the U.S. To understand all the ways to explore the city, here’s your guide on how to get around Portland.

Your Guide to Getting Around In Portland | Metromile

TriMet bus 

The transportation authority in Portland is TriMet which runs the city’s bus services, light rail, and commuter rail. There are over 84 bus lines in the Portland metro area, with many connections to get you where you need to go. One-way tickets cost $2.50 for up to 2 ½ hours and the day passes are $5. It’s important to note that as of 2019, TriMet stopped taking paper tickets, so you can pay using your phone or a Hop card. Use the TriMet Trip Planner to see which bus lines go to your desired destination.

The MAX Light Rail 

One of the best Portland public transportation options is the MAX light rail. “The MAX” as it’s commonly referred to is short for ​​Metropolitan Area Express and has various lines that connect downtown Portland to other nearby areas like Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Gresham.


You can easily take the MAX Red Line to and from the Portland International Airport (often voted one of the best airports in the U.S.). Since the MAX is also run by TriMet, the fares are the same as the bus at $2.50 for one-way for up to 2 ½ hours. There are five different MAX lines including:

  • The Blue Line
  • The Green Line
  • The Orange Line
  • The Red Line
  • The Yellow Line 

Figuring out how to get around Portland is easy with the MAX, given the diversity of lines and the fact that it runs about every 15 minutes or less.

The Portland Streetcar 

The Portland Streetcar originally began in 2001, serving the downtown area around Portland State University and up to NW 23rd Avenue, commonly referred to as The Pearl District. 

Streetcar service has expanded to offer riders service across Tilikum Crossing, the newest bridge connecting the East and West sides of Portland (Side note: Portland is divided into quadrants, with East and West divided by the Willamette River and North and South divided by Burnside Street). 

The streetcar is in service Monday through Friday starting at 5:30am to 11:30pm, on Saturdays from 7:30am to 11:30pm, and Sundays from 7:30am to 10:30pm. During the week, it runs every 15 minutes, and during the weekends, every 20 minutes. 

Tickets are $2 for 2 ½ hours or $5 for the day and can be purchased on the streetcar or you can use your other TriMet tickets that cost $2.50 on the streetcar as well. 

Driving around Portland 

Another Portland transportation option, though seemingly less popular, is driving. Driving in the City of Roses is fairly intuitive given that the city is mostly on a grid and divided by quadrants. The main things to be aware of when driving in Portland are:

  1. Bridges! There are a lot of them. 
  2. Bicyclists, buses, and pedestrians. 

You can make a wrong turn and end up on a bridge going to the East side. Also, as noted above, Portland is very big on public transportation and biking, so be aware of bike lanes and bike boxes. Lastly, be mindful of one-way streets that can be dangerous if you’re not going with the flow of traffic. 

If you’re a low-mileage driver in Portland and rely mostly on biking and Portland public transportation, check out pay-per-mile car insurance to lower your costs. 


The city of Portland is a bicyclist wonderland and comes in the second spot for best bike-friendly cities in the U.S. There are a whopping 385 miles of bikeways comprised of 162 bike lanes, 94 miles of Neighborhood Greenways, and 85 miles of bike paths, according to Portland Bureau of Transportation data. The city was also named the top biking city in the U.S. by Bicycling magazine for several years as well. 


Portland is primarily on a grid and has numerous bridges with walkways connecting various parts of Portland, making it a pretty walkable city. The city has a Walk Score of 67, making it pretty walkable, though some areas like downtown and the Pearl district are better than others. 

Aside from using your own two feet for how to get around Portland, walking is a beloved activity recreationally as hikers take to the many trails and parks in the area. 

Alternative Portland transportation options  

There is no shortage of choices when figuring out how to get around Portland. But aside from the Portland transportation options listed above, there are newer, alternative options as well. 

Ride-sharing programs

If you don’t want to take Portland public transportation or don’t have access to a car or you simply don’t want to drive, you can use a ride-sharing program. Ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft are household names now and available in Portland. Though Uber is typically used more often, as of 2019, Portlanders used Lyft more often, according to Willamette Week. Simply download or use the apps on your phone to call a ride to get where you need to go. 

BIKETOWN bike-sharing program 

If you don’t have your own bike in Portland, don’t fret. You can still get around on two wheels, thanks to the city’s signature BIKETOWN program. There are 1500 bikes available at over 180 stations, according to the BIKETOWN website. It costs just $1 to unlock the bike and 20 cents per minute while riding, making it an attractive option for quick jaunts or errands. You can download an app, unlock a bike, and get riding. 

Electric scooter 

Another Portland transportation option to consider is going by electric scooter, more commonly referred to as an e-scooter. There are various e-scooter providers to choose from, including Lime, Spin, and more. You must wear a helmet and stay off the sidewalks. Portland launched e-scooters as part of a pilot program that is being reviewed. You can find more info with this 2019 E-Scooter Report and Next Steps.

The bottom line  

Getting around Portland comes with an abundance of choices. You can use Portland public transportation or more alternative transportation options as well. Regardless of what you choose, figuring out how to get around Portland is easy with so much available in the city. If you’re based in Portland and don’t drive that much, you may be overpaying for your car insurance coverage. Why pay more when you can pay for the miles you drive plus a low base rate, using pay-per-mile insurance? Check out a free quote with Metromile 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.

8 Quick Weekend Getaways from Los Angeles

Whether you live in Los Angeles or just want to visit, there’s so much to enjoy. You can enjoy the sunny weather practically year-round, go to the beach any time, and have access to world-class arts and culture. Each neighborhood in LA has a different vibe, so if you’re ready for a mini-adventure you can explore somewhere close by, whether it’s a different ‘hood or a nearby city. Here are eight weekend getaways in Los Angeles including one-way distance from central LA and time (assuming no traffic, which is rare), starting with the shortest to the longest trip.

1. Burbank


Whether you’re visiting LA or live in the area, you can head to Burbank within Los Angeles County for a day of unique Hollywood-based entertainment (though, technically in Burbank). In Burbank, you can go on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood and also see the Walt Disney Studios. Unfortunately, Disney tours aren’t public but you may be able to go at certain times if you’re a part of the Disney fan club or through Disney Movie Rewards or specific Disney-based itineraries. You may even be able to go to a TV taping as well and can end your evening with some laughs at Flappers Comedy Club. 

Distance from LA: 11.6 miles 

Time: 13 minutes 

2. Anaheim 


When it comes to weekend getaways in Los Angeles, residents and tourists alike can take a mini road trip to Orange County and go to Anaheim. Anaheim is home to no other than “the happiest place on Earth” also known as Disneyland. The park is a world-famous attraction for adults and kids alike. Check out the shows, ride Space Mountain, and see your favorite Disney characters. You can also explore the Disney California Adventure Park next door to get the most out of your time. 

Tickets start at $104, and it’ll cost you $60 more to explore California Adventure Park after 1 pm. Grab your tickets here. 

Distance from LA: 26.5 miles 

Time: 28 min

3. Malibu 


Whether you live near the beach or not or are just visiting LA, there’s one beach that is particularly remarkable — Malibu. You can go to the stunning Point Dume and the Point Dume Nature Reserve and go to the local hot spot Neptune’s Net (hint: get the fish and chips) and get lost in a juicy book while enjoying the surroundings. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and water. 

Distance from LA: 33.2 miles 

Time: 40-60 minutes

4. Catalina Island 


If you want to leave the Los Angeles area completely for a weekend escape, you can go to the quaint and charming Catalina Island. It’s a bit of a trek, as you need to drive to Long Beach, Dana Point, or San Pedro first and then take an hour-long ferry to the island. The island is 22 miles from the Southern California coast and can transport you back in time and get you away from the intensity of LA. 

Once you get to Avalon (where you dock on Catalina island), you can check out the Catalina Museum for Art and History and dine at the Bluewater Grill. You can also go on hikes with more than 165 miles of trails, take in the sights, or go whale watching. 

Taking the Catalina Express from Long Beach round-trip is $76 and you can take a one-day getaway from Los Angeles or stay multiple days. 

Distance from LA: 48 miles 

Time: 25 min driving from Los Angeles to Long Beach, 1-hour ferry ride, for approx. 1.5 hrs total. 

5. San Juan Capistrano 


Are you looking to explore a bit of Southern California’s rich history and have a quick getaway from Los Angeles? Go just beyond Orange County to explore San Juan Capistrano. You can check out the local landmark Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is more than two centuries old and is considered the “Jewel of the California Missions” and is well-known for its return of the swallows, birds that return in the spring after spending the winter in Argentina. If you have kids, you can take them on pony rides or to enjoy a petting zoo at Zoomars. You can also hike, bike, and go on horseback via San Juan Capistrano’s Open Space Foundation

Distance from LA: 54.5 miles 

Time: 50 minutes 

6. Ojai 


If you’re looking for relaxing weekend getaways from Los Angeles but don’t want to venture too far, consider the scenic town of Ojai. About an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles, you can explore downtown Ojai on foot and check out art galleries, shops, and various dining options. There’s also a trolley that operates between Ojai Valley Inn and downtown. You can also explore other activities such as hiking, biking, golfing, and horseback riding. 

Distance from LA: 82.9 miles 

Time: 1 hr and 24 minutes

7. Temecula 


If you’re looking for a wine weekend that isn’t Napa and is a bit closer than Solvang or Santa Barbara, your best bet is Temecula. The area is home to close to 50 diverse wineries, so you can choose based on types of wine, ambiance, and production. You can see a wine map here. Also, check out various transportation options so you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving and can avoid a DUI. If you want something unique and magical, you can book a hot air balloon ride. You can also check out shopping and dining options in Old Town Temecula.  

Distance from LA: 84.9 miles 

Time: 1 hr 19 minutes 

8. Big Bear 


Looking for some outdoor adventure, no matter what season it is? Big Bear is your best bet when it comes to weekend trips from Los Angeles. In the summer, you can enjoy Big Bear Lake which includes 22 miles of lake shoreline and includes nearby trails and you can go mountain biking.  In the winter, Big Bear turns into a haven for snow sports, like snowboarding and skiing. To end your day, enjoy dining at the Pines Tavern on the Lake

Distance from LA: 96.8 miles 

Time: 1 hr 51 minutes 

The bottom line 

If you’re a resident of LA LA land or visiting for a trip, you can explore these weekend trips from Los Angeles. Whether it’s a one-day excursion or a multi-day adventure, there’s so much to do. You can explore the great outdoors, SoCal wine country, arts and entertainment, and more. Just be mindful of potential traffic when planning your trip. If you don’t drive that much or want to see if you can score a lower rate, get a quote for pay-per-mile insurance with Metromile which is available to Angelenos. 

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.

Are Electric Cars Actually Better for The Environment?

There’s no doubt that climate change is one of the most pressing concerns of our time. As an individual, that means not just thinking about our carbon footprint but also our “climate shadow”. According to this Mic article, climate journalist Emma Pattee explains that your climate shadow refers to “how the sum of our life’s choices influence the climate emergency.” One action you may consider taking to reduce your environmental impact is to trade in your gas guzzler for an electric vehicle. But are electric cars better for the environment? The answer is generally “yes,” but it is more nuanced than that. Read on to learn more about what to consider.

Are Electric Cars Better for The Environment? | Metromile

Are electric cars more environmentally friendly than gas cars? 

If you’re considering switching to an electric vehicle and in the research phase, you want to know if electric cars are better for the environment. 

When it comes to emissions while driving, the answer is a definitive “yes”. Electric vehicles (EV) have zero tailpipe emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

On top of that, electric vehicles are more energy-efficient, with stating, “Electric vehicles (EVs) are more efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. An EV electric drive system is only responsible for a 15% to 20% energy loss compared to 64% to 75% for a gasoline engine.”

These two significant points make electric vehicles an attractive option. On the surface, it makes them more environmentally friendly as well, but there’s more to it. 

Though electric cars have no tailpipe emissions, they may add carbon pollution based on how the electricity is generated to charge the car. 

For example, if the electricity that charges the vehicle comes from sources like natural gas or coal, then there will be some carbon pollution. However, if the electricity comes from renewable sources such as solar power or wind, there won’t be added pollution. 

Unfortunately, if you’re in the U.S., fossil fuels are the main way electricity gets powered. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of 2020, roughly 61% of electricity was generated from fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, as well as petroleum. Approximately 20% of electricity was generated via renewable resources.

So while electric vehicles are beneficial due to the lack of emissions, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture. The energy source fueling the electricity can be somewhat problematic. But there’s some good news. 

The EPA combats the myth that electric vehicles are worse for the climate and unequivocally states, “Electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging.”

How does the way electric cars are made affect the environment? 

Electric vehicles may have fewer emissions and be better for the environment, but what about the way they’re made? 

There are growing concerns about manufacturing electric vehicles, especially as it relates to the environmental impact of electric car batteries. The “Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave: How Electric Cars Beat Gasoline Cars on Lifetime Global Warming Emissions” report (pg 31) states:

“The largest manufacturing difference between gasoline and electric cars, of course, is the production of the lithium-ion battery. Emissions from producing the battery come from extracting raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, copper, and iron ores, processing these materials into finished metals, and then fabricating them into the parts of the battery. Finally, when the battery is assembled and installed in the car, there are global warming emissions from the assembly.”

Though the manufacturing of electric vehicles may contribute to global warming, the report also states, “On average, battery-electric vehicles have much lower global warming emissions than comparable gasoline vehicles, despite higher emissions from vehicle manufacturing.” (pg 31)

The EPA agrees, showing lower greenhouse gases (GHG) for the lifecycle of an electric vehicle compared to a gasoline vehicle. 

When considering emissions, you can look at direct emissions, which relate to tailpipe emissions, as well as do a lifecycle analysis to look at emissions throughout the manufacturing and production process.

As you can see in the image below, taking into account total greenhouse gases from manufacturing and end-of-life (which includes recycling and disposal) as well as operation, electric vehicles still have fewer overall emissions. 

Source/credit: EPA

So while electric cars aren’t entirely without a carbon footprint or emission-free, from a lifecycle perspective, it has fewer emissions and may be the lesser of two evils. 

Are electric car batteries recycled?

As noted above, there are concerns about the environmental impact of electric car batteries. Manufacturing them can lead to more emissions, but through the overall lifecycle, it still comes out as a win. 

But as electric vehicles grow in popularity, a new problem has come to the forefront — how to recycle all of the lithium batteries. An article on notes that many current electric vehicle batteries aren’t set up to be recycled, which only adds to the problem as more electric vehicles hit the market. 

Given this issue, the U.S. government is working to create solutions with the ReCell Center, an initiative by the Department of Energy (DOE) that helps recycle lithium-ion batteries

A CNBC article notes that car manufacturer Ford is working with a startup to reuse the materials from electric vehicle batteries. 

Currently, there isn’t a perfect solution to this issue but according to the EPA, it’s a work-in-progress. The EPA website notes, “Recycling EV batteries can reduce the emissions associated with making an EV by reducing the need for new materials. While some challenges exist today, research is ongoing to improve the process and rate of EV battery recycling.”

Are electric vehicles better for the environment if they’re not zero emissions?

If you’re thinking of buying an electric car, consider the pros and cons first. If your primary reason for going electric is the environment, you might wonder, “Are electric vehicles better for the environment if they’re not zero emissions?”

Based on the data above, it’s clear that in many cases, the answer is still “yes”. While EVs have no emissions while driving, they still create emissions in the manufacturing process.  

The Wall Street Journal worked with researchers at the University of Toronto to compile data about electric vehicle vs gas CO2 emissions and created an interactive illustration with their findings. For their example, they compared a Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Rav4. 

Based on The Wall Street Journal data, we’ve included the chart below. 

Distance Driven (miles)
CO2 emissions
Electric carTraditional car
0 (manufacturing plant) 12.2 tons7.4 tons
20,60014.7 tons14.7 tons
100,00024.1 tons42.7 tons 
200,00036.0 tons 78.0 tons 

As you can see, in the manufacturing plant, the electric car creates more emissions at first. What’s interesting is at the 20,600 mileage point, both cars are even. After that point, the electric car continues to have fewer emissions than its gas counterpart. 

So even if EVs aren’t zero-emission, the data shows that they can be a better alternative than traditional cars in the long run. 

The bottom line 

If you’re thinking of opting for an electric vehicle, it’s natural to wonder “Are electric cars better for the environment?”. While there are concerns about the environmental impact of electric car batteries, it’s an issue that is being addressed and in the long run, EVs have fewer emissions. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. If you’re a low-mileage driver, then it makes sense to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance. Why pay for miles you aren’t driving, when you can pay only for the miles you actually drive, plus an affordable base rate? Check out your potential savings with a quote from Metromile

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.