“How We Roll” celebrates Metro Transit employees who commute and travel to many other destinations using transit or by biking, walking or carpooling.
Brian Walsh, Train Operator, Blue Line
How do you get to and from work?
I live in the Summit-University neighborhood, so a lot of the time I take Route 21 to downtown St. Paul, go for a walk, get lunch and then catch Route 67, which takes me right to the Blue Line’s Operations & Maintenance Facility, the building I work out of. I get done a little after midnight and have exactly 12 minutes from the time I pull in to catch the Route 2 on Franklin Avenue. If I catch that bus, I’ll ride to the University of Minnesota and take a Route 3 or the Green Line the rest of the way home. If I miss the bus, I’ll walk to the West Bank Station and take the Green Line from there.
What led you to start taking transit?
When I worked in Detroit, I took transit to and from work quite a bit. When I moved to Minnesota, I had a 50-mile round-trip commute and really didn’t enjoy it, especially in the winter. When I became a bus operator at Nicollet Garage, I started commuting on the 21. After a while, I realized I could take transit all the time. So when the lease for my car was up last fall, I decided to go car free.
What do you enjoy most about your commute?
Taking the bus gets me outside and walking, which has helped me lose some weight. It’s more relaxing, especially at night when the buses are quiet. And because I can ride for free, I’m saving between $400 and $500 a month that I can instead put toward retirement. I also enjoy seeing a lot of the drivers I used to work with.
How do you get around outside of your commute?
I take transit every single day to get to the store, go out with friends, run errands. I’ve even taken the Red Line as far as Apple Valley to see friends.