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  • How do you get to work? Commuters share their stories

    In our last issue of eScoop, Beth Gorman with the County’s Department of Environmental Quality wrote about her experience as a bus commuter. We decided to see who else uses an alternate mode of transportation to get to work.

    Name: Cory Dent

    Department: Human Resources
    How do you commute to work (bus, carpool, trolley, bike, walk)?  Express Bus
    Cory Dent 
    How long have you been commuting that way? 4+ years
    Why do you choose that mode of transportation? Economical (gas, parking), stress reduction, reduced wear and tear on car (tires, oil changes, mileage), County subsidy of bus pass, bus buddies (support network), and it’s the only chance I get to respond to emails and texts. 
    What’s the best thing about … (bussing, walking, etc.)?  Everything. It’s a win-win-win. After converting from driving myself in for 11 years, I hate having to drive in if I have a medical appointment. There’s no going back.  
    What’s the craziest/funniest thing that has happened on your commute? One morning, one of my bus buddies and coworkers was running late and ran across all six lanes of traffic on Golf Links to make it to the bus stop.  Right in front of us a police officer put on his lights and detained the coworker.  The bus stopped anyway and the police officer let him go with just a warning.  We all applauded his release when he got on the bus.
    Anything else to share? I have struggled with motion sickness all my life and thought it might be a deal breaker. I just tried seats until I found those that work best to fend off motion sickness and stick with them as best I can. I rarely experience it anymore…maybe once a year, and not severe. Don’t assume if you have a history of the same. Try it out first.

    Name: Alan Walker

    Department: Clerk of the Superior Court-Civil Unit
    Alan Walker
    How do you commute to work (bus, carpool, trolley, bike, walk)? Walking. I have been working for the Clerk of the Superior Court for 15 years. For some time, I rented an apartment in Oro Valley and commuted by bus using the county employee bus pass program. I used it at that time as it was far less expensive than paying for parking and the gas required to go to and from work.

    How long have you been commuting that way? I commuted by bus until four years ago when I was fortunate enough to inherit enough money that I was able to purchase a home in downtown Tucson. The commute on the bus took 45 minutes to an hour each way. I figured that there were other ways I could spend that time more productively. I also knew that I would have at least 10 years before I could take a full state retirement pension. A personal friend who is a licensed realtor was engaged to help with the business end of things once I decided that I wanted to move. There were two requirements for a property to be considered (cost wasn’t one of them). The property had to be within walking distance of the Superior Court building OR within walking distance of a SunLink streetcar stop. I actually managed to locate a townhouse within five blocks of the courthouse.

    What’s the best thing about … (bussing, walking, etc.)? The best things about living so close to the court is that I do not have to drive! I have a 10-minute walk each way and have access to SunLink. I still maintain my employee transit pass so that I can use the streetcar without having to think about having money for the fare. I get more exercise, can go home for lunch and have virtually no need to use my truck during the week as we now have a downtown market and I can walk to my YMCA to work out.

    Name: Dave Burnham

    Department: Communications and Graphic Services/Print Shop
    How do you commute to work (bus, carpool, trolley, bike, walk)?  Bike
    How long have you been commuting that way? 30 years
    Why do you choose that mode of transportation? Tucson is an easy town to navigate by bicycle, especially midtown. There are bike lanes, bike routes and bicycle boulevards everywhere. I save money on gasoline, parking and insurance. I get a hefty car insurance discount for commuting by bike. My wife and I share one car and save all the associated costs of owning a second Dave Burnhamvehicle.
    What’s the best thing about … (bussing, walking, etc.)?  Everywhere you go on a bicycle is both an adventure and a workout! I like experiencing the wind and the weather first hand. I like traveling through the back streets and really seeing how people live. I like the freedom of movement and the independence. The health benefits are what you would expect from regular daily exercise.
    What’s the craziest/funniest thing that has happened on your commute?  In three decades of riding around town I have accumulated many crazy stories, often involving wildlife. The most recent one was an early morning encounter with a pack of javelinas in midtown. They were initially confused by my headlight, but wandered off into someone’s back yard. I didn’t have time to get a picture.
    Anything else to share?  It’s never as hard or as dangerous as non-cyclists think it is! You can avoid arterial streets easily and it only takes a half-hour to cover five miles. A good (commuter) bike, good lights and good bags are the most important things to have. A lock and a helmet are essential, of course.

    Give it a try

    Are you ready to save money, reduce traffic congestion, and help the planet by reducing carbon emissions? Take the Department of Environmental Quality’s Healthy Air Is In Our Hands Drive Less pledge for a chance to WIN a $100 gift card!

    You can can learn more about the County's subsidized bus pass program on the Transit Resources page.

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