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Posts in Category: How We Roll

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 I also keep an eye out for things like damaged signs on platforms and inside vehicles, outdated ads that need to be removed, graffiti and anything else that needs to be addressed so we can keep our system looking its best.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.

How We Roll

Why we chose to Get on Board 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Wednesday, April 24, 2019 12:04:00 PM

Taking transit provides some obvious benefits, like saving thousands of dollars a year on gas, repairs and car insurance and having the freedom to safely use the phone that’s become an extension of your right hand. But as many Metro Transit employees can tell you, there are many other reasons to Get on Board.

To celebrate the American Public Transportation Association's National Get on Board Day, we’re highlighting some of the unique reasons our employees chose to take the bus or train.

Tell us why you ride for a chance to win a $50 Go-To Card. E-mail ridersalmanac@metrotransit.org or share your reason on Twitter using the hashtag #getonboard. We’ll chose three responses at random.

Moments of Zen

My commute acts like a daily meditation. Not having to drive gives me the time and freedom to de-stress by just listening to music in my headphones. This is especially important to me to help me mentally prepare for each day during my morning commute.

Karyssa Jackson, Green Line

Spend some quality time with Harry

Usually I read or do crosswords on my phone – I’m 20 years late but am finally reading the Harry Potter series. 

Michaela Ahern, Routes 46 or 74, A Line, Blue Line

Make a BFF

You never know who you’ll meet on board. Recently, I became reacquainted with a friend from college who rides the bus. Now we catch up often.

Steve Baisden, Route 355

Appreciate random acts of kindness

I like how my daughters and I have had random positive encounters with perfect strangers. A lady on Route 10 once gave my youngest daughter a fresh flower from her bouquet.

Jeremy Hop, Blue Line, bike

Togetherness

Every once in a while there are moments with a real sense of shared community. I’ve seen people immediately surround and care for someone who fainted and I’ve laughed along with everyone else when a little kid said something funny. It’s a good reminder that we’re all in this world together.

Glenn Gilbert, Route 61, A Line

Get a breath of fresh air

My commute is sometimes the most relaxing part of the day. It feels good to come into the office after a little physical activity and fresh air, or to catch up on the news or a podcast while riding the train.

Shaun Morrell, Blue Line, Route 21, bike

Earn bragging rights

The benefits for me are immense. I get regular exercise from walking – frequently taking more than 10,000 steps a day. 

Jovita Oghumah, Route 768

More room in the garage

My wife and I bought a house near the Blue Line’s 46th Street Station about 11 years ago because we wanted walkable and green areas nearby and wanted to live near light rail. Thanks to the convenience of the Blue Line, about four years ago we started sharing just one car. 

Charles Carlson, Blue Line

Find your good luck charm

I had a woman tell me twins are good luck in her culture and asked if she could sit next to us. Another time, my kids were crabby and an older gentleman started singing Sinatra to them. People really identify with children and when they see them on transit they want to say hello.

Christina Morrison, A Line, Blue Line

Catch some zzzzs

It’s a smoother commute both ways with few surprises. Going home, I traded the stress of fighting the traffic for fighting to stay awake, so I didn’t miss my stop. I’ll take that trade. 

Mike Conlon, Northstar

Enjoy some "me time”

Riding transit is 100 percent “me time.” I can read, play Candy Crush, catch up on e-mails, or listen to podcasts.

Kecli Stones, Blue Line

How We Roll

How We Roll: Senior Planner Scott Thompson 

Posted by John Komarek | Tuesday, April 23, 2019 10:00:00 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!

Scott Thompson, Senior Planner

How do you get to work?

I commute almost exclusively on transit. My commute usually begins and ends at SouthWest Transit's SouthWest Station in Eden Prairie. Depending on the weather, I either walk or transfer to another bus to get to the Heywood Office where I work. Sometimes I'll park at the Blue Line's 28th Avenue Station Park & Ride and take light rail. 

Service Development has a friendly competition and a traveling trophy for whomever takes transit, bikes or walks every month. Last year, I took 752 transit trips. That might sound like a lot, but I have co-workers who have taken even more trips! 

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

I enjoy avoiding the headache of driving and dealing with traffic. Considering all the transit advantages we have now -- including MnPASS and shoulder lanes, and Marq2 in downtown Minneapolis -- I’m always surprised at the number people who continue to sit in traffic in their cars as my bus goes past. 

How does taking transit impact your work?

I try to use transit as much as possible during the work day. I plan service in St. Paul and surrounding communities so I often find myself taking the Green Line to get to meetings in the East Metro. We have terrific tools that help planners make better decisions about our service, but there's no substitute for personally experiencing what our customers experience.

Are there any other transportation services you find invaluable?

Transit has been important to my entire family. About 8 years ago, my mother quit driving and started using Metro Mobility, the Council's transportation service for individuals who can't use regular route transit. Without Metro Mobility, our family would have become responsible for all her transportation needs or she would have needed to live in an assisted living facility much earlier than she did. Instead, she was able to continue living independently at her home in Richfield. She couldn’t say enough good things about how kind all the drivers were to her and how deeply she appreciated the service. My family and I will always be grateful.

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