Skip to main content

Rider's Almanac Blog

How We Roll

How We Roll: Jonathan Ahn, BRT Operations Project Manager

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, July 7, 2022 5:18:00 AM


Has transit always been a part of your life?  

Growing up in Seoul, South Korea, I primarily got around by subway or bus. You could almost say transit has always been a part of my DNA. When I graduated and started working, I had a reverse commute from Minneapolis to Eagan. It was a 90-minute trip with two connections and infrequent service, which was challenging, even for me. When my wife and I moved from Seattle back to the Twin Cities last year, our goal was to find a place where we could access frequent transit service and to use transit as much as possible.  

How do you get around now? 

My wife and I live in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis, where we can walk to the I-35W and 46th Street Station and get on the Orange Line or to Nicollet Avenue to catch Route 18. Those were my two main routes until Route 4 recently moved to Lyndale Avenue, bringing it closer to my house. We have a vehicle that we use to visit friends outside the city and for some errands, but transit is the default way of traveling for us when we go to the library, the gym, or any neighborhood destinations. I also walk a lot, take my bike, or use Nice Ride. It’s nice to have a lot of different options.  

What do you enjoy most about using transit? 

I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself when I’m on transit, like I literally have a seat on the network of people, commerce and connections to be made. And there’s a certain sense of belonging and community you can only find on transit. I feel very fortunate to be part of something bigger in my everyday life. I also like catching up on the news, listening to music, texting, and generally avoiding the stress of driving. Even if it's a slightly longer or comparable travel time, I love that I can use the time productively or to simply relax.  

How does using transit influence your work?  

When I’m on transit, I mostly look outside and pay attention to traffic, bus stop and street conditions, how our operators are interacting with passengers and, of course, how on-time the bus or train is. There’s a lot of data you can get on your computer, but it’s different than waiting for a bus in inclement weather or trying to make difficult or close transfer connections in real life. Those lived experiences are a big influence in my work to make our existing and future BRT lines the best they can be.  

How We Roll celebrates Metro Transit employees who regularly ride transit and other forms of sustainable transportation. Read more How We Roll Q&As here