In this “People Behind the Policies” blog, we hear from a commuter who talks about her experience discovering her daily bus line while learning how it relates to our goal to Double Transit Ridership in Maryland by the end of 2020.
By Kue’ McIntyre
It has been over a year and a half since I became a commuter bus rider. I was new to Columbia and wasn’t familiar with anything other than the Mall. My dilemma came when the engine on my car died. Not having any family or friends in the area, I had to find a way to get to work.
I started by checking the Howard Transit website for bus lines, stops and times. I found it would take me over 2 hours to get to downtown Baltimore. My day would start at 5:00am, and did I mention I am not a morning person? I would have to leave my house no later than 6:00am to be at work by 9:00am, not to mention the long commute. WOW. Can you say burned out? I wasn’t excited about the bus ride at all, so I kept searching.
After talking with several people, someone mentioned the Commuter Bus provided through the Maryland Transit Administration. I checked the MTA website. It provided a location off Snowden River Parkway and Route 175. As a newbie to the area, I Googled the bus stop location. It was only about a 15 minute walk from my home. The first bus leaves at 6:50 am and the last bus leaves at 8:12 am. I made a decision to ride the last bus. I can sleep a little longer, get dressed around 7:00am, and leave my house at 7:40 am. I was excited to find this bus service. It has cut my 2 hour commute to 35-45 minutes.
My first day, I waited patiently at the Park & Ride for the bus. I stood with unfamiliar faces. As I approached the bus door I was greeted by the driver who was a childhood friend and classmate. He explained to me where to pick up the bus after work so I could get back home. One great thing I like is I can take a nap, read a book, or listen to music while sitting in traffic. Plus, I save money on gas and parking. And if you are like me, I love the fact that someone else is driving. I know it sounds perfect but we do sometimes run a little late due to accidents, traffic jams and unforeseen events. But that’s ok when you’re relaxing on the quiet bus after a long day of work not being the driver in major traffic grid lock.
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