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Posts in Category: How We Roll

How We Roll

How We Roll: Shaun Morrell  

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, January 18, 2019 4:40:00 PM

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!

Shaun Morrell, Manager of Scheduling and Systems Support

How do you get to work?

My family and I bike, take Route 21 or the Blue Line or drive together, depending on the weather and our plans for that day. When the weather's nice, my wife Noelle and I like to start the day riding our bikes together along the Midtown Greenway. We pull our 3-year-old son, Simon, in a trailer. We split off at the Sabo Bridge. Noelle takes Simon to daycare in the morning and leaves the trailer there during the day. Then I pick him up in the afternoon.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

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.

Why is it important to you to ride transit?

I worry a lot about the damage humans are doing to the air, water, wilderness and climate. I believe transit is one way we can use resources more wisely and reduce our impact on the environment. That keeps me motivated, both as a transit employee and as a rider.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

As much as we can, we like to bike or walk to places in our neighborhood (Longfellow) for shopping, eating out, socializing, and recreation. We use our car for bigger shopping trips and longer distances.

How We Roll

How We Roll: Michaela Ahern 

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, December 14, 2018 1:15:00 PM

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. “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!

Michaela Ahern, Data Management Analyst, Service Development

How do you get to work?

I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood with a lot of great transit options within walking distance from my house. In the morning, I’ll take either the 46, 74, or the A Line to the Blue Line. If it’s raining or I’m feeling lazy, I’ll take the 134 because there are a few trips that stop just steps from my front door. Going home, I always take the Blue Line and transfer at the 46th Street Station to whichever bus is leaving first for Highland Park.

During the summer and fall, I’ll ride my bike to work or combine a bus or train ride with a bike ride. Last year I joined a bike team and found that bike commuting was a good way to get training time in instead of trying to juggle family time and workouts in the evening. I bought a fat bike this year, so maybe I’ll try winter bike commuting occasionally.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

Not having to drive! Usually I read or do crosswords on my phone – I’m 20 years late but am finally reading the Harry Potter series. I appreciate leaving the annoyances of traffic to the bus and train operators, who handle bad drivers and crummy weather with more skill and grace than I ever would. I’ve also been able to get to know other employees through conversations on the bus or train or on the walk to Heywood from Target Field.

Riding transit and making transfers also helps inform my work in Service Development. I can see how important accurate running and recovery time is to operators trying to maintain a schedule, and I can also empathize with customers when they’re trying to make a connection work.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

I walk or bike to a lot of places in my neighborhood and now both of my boys (5 and 7) can ride their own bikes so we’ll bike up to the library or playground together. Weekends are when we usually do car errands or when we use our truck to go camping in the summer. My husband likes driving, so even when I’m not commuting I still don’t have to drive very often.

My kids love riding the bus. Their favorite seats are the ones in the very back because they don’t have to be buckled into a seatbelt and they can take turns pulling the cord. My 7-year-old now insists on putting his fare in by himself and hanging onto the transfer, which works out most of the time. We take the 74 when we go to the Science Museum in downtown St. Paul, the 23 to the Riverview and the Blue Line to the airport.

How We Roll

How We Roll: Steve Baisden 

Posted by John Komarek | Sunday, November 18, 2018 1:15:00 PM

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!

Steve Baisden, Transit Planner, Service Development

How do you get to and from work?

I take transit every day to work. I live in Woodbury, so I take Route 355 from the Woodbury Theatre Park & Ride to downtown Minneapolis, then walk to the Heywood Offices.  The great thing about transit is that I have options, so I can also ride Route 94, Route 351 or the METRO Green Line to meetings in downtown St. Paul. 

For eight years and counting, I have been riding transit almost daily. I started my transit life in Milwaukee and happily continue my ridership in Minnesota.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

My commute is my time to relax, be more mindful and either charge up or wind down for the day. Walking to and from stops helps burn a few calories, too.  It’s great to not deal with the stress of driving in rush hour traffic.  It also saves me money.  Gas and car maintenance can average about $1,500 a year!

Instead of spending more money, not getting exercise, and stressing out, I spend my time reading, listening to podcasts or guided meditation sessions to support overall wellness. 

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

Why is it important to you to ride transit?

Riding the bus provides a tangible reminder how my job impacts operators and riders.  It gives me time to experience the system and to think about how we can improve the pedestrian infrastructure or on-time performance of a route to adjusting schedule times that improve transfer connections. 

My planning area includes many bus routes from East Metro Garage, so my commute has allowed me to introduce myself to operators and build healthy relationships.  Now we recognize each other at meetings, on other bus routes or at movie theaters!

How do you get around outside of your commute?

I spent most of my teenage years exploring the east side of St. Paul and often rode Routes 63 and 64.  I still use transit during my free time and especially when visiting other cities. 

Currently, I live near two commercial shopping centers and either walk or bike to stores and restaurants.  There’s a sense of freedom having the ability to walk to certain destinations and not be tethered to a vehicle. 

How We Roll

How We Roll: Karyssa Jackson 

Posted by John Komarek | Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:10:00 PM

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!

Karyssa Jackson, Community Outreach Coordinator

Why do you choose Metro Transit?

I don’t have a driver’s license. Never have. Growing up, I always lived in a highly transit accessible area so I never really saw the value in owning a car. And because I don’t have to pay for gas, upkeep or insurance, I save a lot of money. The cost and convenience of transit have helped me prioritize living within a couple blocks of a Metro Transit station.

How do you get to work?

Every day, I take the Green Line from the Raymond Avenue Station in Saint Paul to Target Field in Minneapolis. Then it’s just a short walk to Metro Transit’s Heywood Office. It’s an easy commute and one that gets me on my feet and moving, ready to take on the day as I head into the office.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

I find that 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.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

I use public transit every day. I live right between downtown Saint Paul and Minneapolis so most things are just a one-seat ride away.

How We Roll

How We Roll: Jeremy Hop 

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, September 14, 2018 1:13:00 PM

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!

Jeremy Hop, Customer Relations Specialist

How long have you been riding transit?

I've been a casual rider since I was a teenager so Metro Transit wasn’t new to me. My first bus route was the 10, since it was a couple blocks from home. Later in life, when I was ready to buy my first house, I searched for a house near the Blue Line and ended up buying a home within ten minutes of the 38th Street Station.

I had an older truck that didn’t run well, so instead of trying to use it for my daily commutes, I chose to bike and use transit. During a period when I did delivery work, I purchased a van to replace the truck and found that the payments were too expensive. That was when we started to investigate becoming car-free. It was a great decision. To date, I’ve been car-free for 5 years.

How do you get to work?

During fair weather, I commute via bicycle. I take my youngest daughter to daycare in a bike trailer. leave her trailer parked at daycare and continue my trip to work. On days when it’s too cold or rainy, I ride the bus and train between home, daycare and work.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

I enjoy the variety of modes I can take depending on the weather and how I feel. I don’t have to feel boxed into a single mode and getting bored. 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. The consistently friendly faces during our winter commute on our regular bus routes creates a sense of community.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

Now that we’ve moved to Northeast Minneapolis, most of my daily needs are within walking and transit distance. We walk, bike, take transit and occasionally use rideshare and carshare programs for trips out of town. Since we’re only a couple miles from downtown Minneapolis, we can get pretty much everywhere in well under an hour.

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