Last week I used this space to share my inexperienced, scattered thoughts on my first time using DATA and Triangle Transit buses. I hope it was a fun, interesting read!
But today, I’m skipping the GIFS to share, a bit more seriously, the motivation behind my decision to try transit and how I’ve been using it since my first ride from Durham Station.
Why I Tried Transit
- I needed to walk the walk if I was going to talk the talk. Today is my one month anniversary as a Go Triangle/Triangle Transit employee! At the very beginning of this month, I knew that I needed to at least give public transit a shot. Every day I work on this team makes me feel more strongly about the need for public transportation and how it can benefit our community. So participating in the system was a no-brainer.
- I heard the challenge. Getting acclimated here and gaining understanding of this industry has got me reading… a lot. One particular article that spoke on the status of public transportation support really stood out to me. It called attention to the fact that a lot of “people believe transit has collective benefits that don’t require their personal usage.” It even cited an Onion headline poking fun at the issue, “98 Percent of U.S. Commuter Favor Public Transportation For Others”. Well, I don’t want to be a part of these statistics. So, challenge accepted.
- The benefits added up. I live relatively close to our office and, typically, commute in the opposite direction of most traffic build-up so my drive is fairly short. Even still, I roughly calculated (keep in mind that I write for a living because I can’t really do math) that I’ll save about $50 and 400 miles a month just by commuting to work via the bus instead of driving.
My Take-Aways and Why I’m Officially a Smart-Commuter
- It was too simple! I found my stops easily. Our Trip Planner and the Trans-Loc App were super helpful in planning my commute. I even called the Regional Transit Information Center (919-485-RIDE) when I had route questions and they quickly gave me the info I needed.
- I feel super relaxed. The most surprising effect I’ve seen is how relaxed I feel. I get to work awake and already in a working mindset. I’m able to decompress at the end of my day before I even get home. I’m able to think freely without having to focus on traffic or driving.
- I’ve read four books in the last two weeks. I love to read but I’m also super social outside of work so finding the time can be difficult. By taking the bus to and from work I end up getting home at the exact same time as I did when I drove everyday. Only now, I have up to an hour and 1/2 everyday to read.
- I feel better. I walk about half a mile to my stop and it’s the perfect distance to get my blood flowing and wake me up. (This is vital because I’m notoriously NOT a morning person.)
- I can do my job better. When I’m on the bus, I’m in the mix and can see things that aren’t working or even get to experience the little victories. (Such as the young girl I mentioned last week who offered her to seat to an older woman.) Our ridership is great about giving constructive feedback but there’s another type of value found in using the system and getting to see, first-hand, what’s happening. I have yet to experience BOSS but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that day is soon.
- How I feel after riding the bus and getting all the great benefits :
Come on, you know there had to be at least one GIF!
What would you do while riding the bus that you can’t do while you’re driving? How much could you save? Has riding with us improved your commuting experience?
We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts about how transit has benefited you and what you like about it in the comments.