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Rider's Almanac Blog

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.