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Posts in Category: How We Roll

How We Roll

How We Roll: Molly Ellis 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Monday, November 11, 2019 2:48:00 PM

“How We Roll​” celebrates Metro Transit employees who commute and travel to many other destinations using transit or by biking, walking or carpooling. 

Molly Ellis, Senior Project Coordinator, Engineering & Facilities

How do you get to work?

My habits change throughout the year, depending on the weather and whatever's quickest. In the winter, I mainly take the bus. I live just south of downtown and catch the 11, then transfer to routes 5, 22 or the C Line to get to Heywood. 

Other times of the year, I walk, take the bus or use a scooter. When they're available, I'll rent a shared scooter to get to the bus stop or complete my trip home or to the office. Recently, I also got a personal scooter. I live in a single-car household and am only a few miles from the office so all these other modes are easier and more convenient than driving.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

I enjoy feeling the sun and walking through downtown as a part of my commute. It's a good time to listen to a favorite podcast or just have some quiet time before I get to work.

How do you get around outside of your commute? 

Outside of my commute, I usually travel by car or use my personal scooter.

How We Roll

How We Roll: Michael Mechtenberg 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, September 27, 2019 10:50:00 AM

Michael Mechtenberg commutes on Route 134 and other routes that run between downtown Minneapolis and the Heywood Garage, including the METRO C Line.

“How We Roll​” celebrates Metro Transit employees who commute and travel to many other destinations using transit or by biking, walking or carpooling. 

Michael Mechtenberg, Program Manager-Speed & Reliability

How do you get to work?

With two kids in daycare, my wife and I need to coordinate our commutes, which include a mix of driving, walking, busing and light rail. 

In the morning, I take Route 134 to downtown Minneapolis and another bus to Heywood. My wife takes the kids to daycare, leaves the car in their parking lot and walks to the Green Line's Westgate Station. She takes the train from there to her job in downtown Minneapolis. In the afternoon, the process is reversed – I take light rail, walk to daycare to pick the kids up, then drive home in the car while she takes Route 134. 

It sounds complicated but it's not. We've managed this for four years and counting. 

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

My 20- to 30-minute commute on transit is my time to decompress. I catch up on the news, read I SPY, or just look out the window. My commutes can also be productive. I inevitably take note of ways we can improve our rider experience and bring those ideas back to the office.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

I'm lucky to live in a very walkable neighborhood and get around on foot as much as possible. We take family trips to the local brewery on Route 63 and to the YWCA on Route 21. That said, a certain amount of driving is unavoidable as the transportation system seems to be designed to make driving the default option. 

How We Roll

How We Roll: Kelci Stones 

Posted by John Komarek | Monday, September 09, 2019 10:51:00 AM

“How We Roll​” celebrates Metro Transit employees who commute and travel to many other destinations using transit or by biking, walking or carpooling. 

Kelci Stones, Senior Market Development Specialist

How do you get to work?

I’ve taken the Blue Line since it opened in 2004. When my family lived in south Minneapolis, I could drop my son at daycare in the building next to the Fort Snelling Station and ride in from there. We’ve since moved to Eagan, but Fort Snelling is still just a quick bike ride or drive from home. I walk between Target Field Station and the Heywood Office.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

It’s 100 percent “me time.” I can read, listen to music or podcasts, do crossword puzzles or catch up on e-mails. I also keep an eye out for things like damaged signs on platforms and inside vehicles, outdated ads that need to be removed, graffiti and anything else that needs to be addressed so we can keep our system looking its best. If I see anything, I’ll report it so we can follow up. 

How do you get around outside of your commute?

My family uses a little bit of everything – we walk, ride bikes, drive and take transit. When we’re not road-tripping out west, our family vacations revolve around public transit. This summer, we went to Europe and relied entirely on public transportation. Thankfully, my kids have had plenty of practice walking city streets with suitcases and backpacks to transit stations.

How We Roll

How We Roll: Mary Capistrant 

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, August 09, 2019 9:27:00 AM

Many Metro Transit employees are committed to sustainable transportation, riding the bus or train, biking or walking to work and other destinations across the region.

These “How We Roll” profiles illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Mary Capistrant, Supervisor-Revenue Operations

How do you get to work?

I usually take Route 375 to and from the Guardian Angels Park & Ride, which is a ten-minute drive of my home in Woodbury. My commute is mostly to Minneapolis, but if I’m going to St. Paul, I get a bus at the Sun Ray Transit Center. For other work purposes, I’ll sometimes take light rail or routes 355, 94, 5, 19 or 22.

What led you to start taking transit?

For the first 17 years I worked at Metro Transit, I only took transit a few times a month. There are many reasons people justify not taking transit, like the perception that it takes too long or having to follow a schedule. I used some of the same reasons to justify my driving.

Motivated by knowing that parking was going to be limited and a cataracts surgery, I committed to commuting every day by bus and light rail. After years of mostly driving, I was surprised how easy and stress-free it was to take transit. Now I wished I had started much earlier.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

In addition to being cost effective I found many more benefits than I expected. Since I generally take an express bus I enjoy the 20 minutes of quiet time both ways. Instead of paying attention to the road I can take that time back to do what I want. In the morning, this helps me prepare for my work day. On the way home, I’m able to set work aside so I can be fully present with my family.

Taking transit is helping me become healthier. Most days I choose to take an earlier bus and get off at Government Center, then walk through downtown. The extra movement checks that fitness box before my day even begins. 

How We Roll

How We Roll: Clayton Watercott 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:05:00 PM

Associate Planner Clayton Watercott boards the Northstar Commuter Rail Line at Target Field Station in Minneapolis.

Many Metro Transit employees are committed to sustainable transportation, riding the bus or train, biking or walking to work and other destinations across the region.

These “How We Roll” profiles illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Clayton Watercott, Associate Planner, Transit Oriented Development

How do you get to work?

I walk about a half-mile from my apartment to the Anoka Station, where I board the Northstar Commuter Rail Line. It’s normally about a half-hour ride to Target Field Station, then a short walk to the Heywood Office. I’ve tried driving before and, even with dry roads, it takes about twice the time it takes on the train.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?  

Taking the train gives me time to meet new people and chat with friends that also work in the downtown area and beyond. As someone who used to drive a lot for work, I appreciate the relaxed but consistent commute time. Regardless of the weather, the train provides a smoother, safer, and faster commute than driving ever could. 

In warmer weather, I also like to bring my bike along for part or all of the commute home. Bringing a bike on Northstar is convenient, and if the weather gets rough, I can always catch the next bus or train going north. Having those options makes the commute fun and changeable, never boring.

Why is it important to you to ride transit?

Transit is much better for the environment than driving alone. When I was a student at the University of Minnesota, I calculated and quantified the difference in energy usage between Northstar and a rather efficient compact car. Even if the train only runs half-full, it still beats the efficiency of a compact car by a huge margin. This makes transit one of the critical elements in combating climate change. Even in 2019, there is no more efficient mode of travel than steel wheels on steel rails.

Secondly, but equally important, I ride transit because it’s good for my physical and mental health. Rather than sequestering myself in a single occupancy vehicle in stressful traffic, I get a measure of peace from my walk to and from the train station each day. On the train, I can create relationships and have conversations that would never happen if I drove. In a world where hypertension is a leading cause of death, I think the connection between personal health and public transit use is under-appreciated. I feel fortunate to have accessible transit where I live and work.

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