Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"The wheels on the bus go round and round"

When we moved to NC, we downgraded to one car. Jared's Saturn found a new home with his brother to help their family with the high fuel costs of driving a huge truck and a van. Our only vehicle is my 2002 Toyota Corolla, and aside from a few minor glitches, having one car hasn't been too bad for us. Part of the reason for that is the good old Triangle Transit Authority.

I had been told prior to my interview that there was esentially no parking available on campus. My boss shared with me that if she had to do it all over again, she would move somewhere near the bus line and just ride the bus in to work every day. I kept her thoughts with me as the process continued forward.

When I got home from my interview, I started looking at some of the additional benefits I could qualify for as a university employee. Because the university recognizes the parking issue, they established the Commuter Alternatives Program. I could get a free TTA bus pass for a year, as well as a sticker to park in certain park-and-ride lots, and a card for discounts at supporting merchants. Plus, I would be using public transportation, which has always seemed like a great idea to me! After I was offered the job, we found an apartment complex not far off of a bus line, so it seemed practically perfect!

So now, after about two months of using the bus, I have generally positive feelings about it. I walk about 10 minutes from our apartment to the bus stop, catch the bus at 7:26 a.m. and ride to work. The bus stop lets me off about 10 minutes from my building, so I get to walk through the rose garden on campus on my way to the office. Compared to my hour commute each direction last year, riding the bus for 20 minutes is really great. I am able to read or just sit and relax. I have made some acquaintances on the bus who I see nearly every day, which is kind of fun. My morning driver is much better than the afternoon driver, but they both get me where I need to be, so I can't complain too much!

From a carbon emissions standpoint, I have reduced my carbon footprint from 37.04 tons of CO2 last year when I was commuting to .20 tons of CO2 since I started taking the bus. Awesome. Every little bit helps!

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