Occupation: Planner Analyst
Employer: Pierce Transit
Gets around by: Bicycle and Transit
Where do you live and where do you work?
I live near the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and work in Lakewood.
How do you get there?
I bike to 10th and Commerce St in downtown Tacoma, lock-up, and catch the Pierce Transit Route 48 the rest of the way to work.
How does it all add up? How much money and time do you save?
Using the IRS business rate of $0.575 per mile, driving 4,200 miles to and from work each year would cost me about $2,400. My employer provides me with a free transit pass and I spend less than a hundred dollars per year on bike maintenance. Other externalities of operating private automobiles in our environment (quality of life, watershed impacts, local and global air pollutant emissions) are harder to quantify in terms of money. So conservative a conservative estimate of my savings is $2,000 dollars per year.
What’s in it for you?
I love the simplicity and efficiency of riding a bicycle. It’s an awesome tool for solving the last-mile problem that plagues many transit trips. The hills I encounter on my daily commute give just the right amount of exercise, largely obviating the need for gym visits. The transit leg of my journey give me time to relax, check the news, and catch up on emails.
Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this mode for the first time?
For biking, the best way to interact with motorized vehicles is to ride predictably—no darting in and out of the parking lane, and avoid sidewalks unless the circumstances demand it. You are traffic and have just as much right and obligation to road space as cars. As for transit, get an ORCA card. It makes boardings much easier—no need for exact change, just wave your card in the proximity of the reader. It doesn’t even need to leave your wallet. Best, it gives you a two-hour window to make a transfer to almost any other transit vehicle in the region.