Beth Parker, who works in The Center for Service Learning, is Western’s September Smart Trips winner. She is a regular bus rider and chooses to ride the bus whenever she has the opportunity. However, riding the bus is not something she has always done. Beth grew up in an area where bus riding was not an option. She says, “Once I was out on my own as an adult, without a car, the bus was the way to go”. She began riding the bus and has never looked back!
Beth rides the bus to work from Happy Valley, and enjoys experiencing the rhythm of the year, seeing student ridership rise and fall during the school year and summer. “It’s a nice slice of student life,” Beth says. She also enjoys the opportunity to read a book instead of worrying about traffic. Riding the bus also lets Beth leave her big van at home and save money on gas!
Aside from the personal savings on gas, and the relaxing experience of letting someone else do the driving, Beth also rides the bus as an environmental choice. She believes in choosing an environmentally friendly option whenever possible.
For those who are new to public transit, Beth has a couple of tips: "Don’t be intimidated to ask the driver for help. They’re nice!” Also, she recommends trying a simple trip and branching out from there. "Go downtown to the bus station or downtown for dinner!” For those who are going to become regular bus riders, Beth points out that a bus pass is a good deal…way cheaper than gas!
There are many reasons to log Smart Trips including: prize drawings, discounts at local businesses, and emergency rides home. Beth says she logs her Smart Trips at www.whatcomsmarttrips.org , “so I can win cool prizes… Mallards ice cream, a t-shirt…schwag!”
Contact The Sustainable Transportation Office to learn more about your commuting options. Also, log your smart trips at www.whatcomsmarttrips.org to become eligible for cash prizes, discounts and other rewards.