Every month, the Office of Sustainability meets with a WashU staff or faculty member that has adopted alternative forms of transportation to commute to and from work. The goal behind these stories is to highlight the diversity of patterns and to demonstrate the value that transportation can have on one’s everyday life. With the construction on the east-end of the Danforth Campus leading to a decrease in available parking spots, options such as biking, Metro Transit, and the Bearly Drivers Carpool Program are resources that can benefit the commuter and the environment. We hope that these stories will inspire you!
Physics Librarian Alison Verbeck has been using Metro Transit for the past 10 years, as she has found it a way to interact with people in the community that she wouldn’t have met otherwise. Meris Seric, student associate at the Office of Sustainability, spoke with Alison about her commuting experience.
How did you make the transition to start using public transportation?
It was hard at first because I have children, so I had to wait until they were older to really start taking advantage of the Metro. Since I live 30 miles away from the campus, I have to travel nine miles to get to the nearest bus stop, take the bus to the Brentwood Metro Station, then take the MetroLink from there. Even though the commute adds an hour to my daily schedule, I believe that public transportation has relieved many of my stresses.
How has taking public transportation created a positive impact in your life?
I travel with the same group of people daily which has allowed me to form close relationships while commuting. Taking the bus became kind of like a happy hour social setting. Sometimes, a group of us will get off the bus and have dinner together. Also, by using the service I have started walking more which is a positive benefit for my health.
How have your experiences been using other forms of transportation?
I use occasional parking passes a few times a year for appointments. Prior to using Metro, I actually had to refill my car with gas every four days. Now, I only refill once every two and a half weeks and that saves me about $100 a month! I’ve also signed up to use Enterprise CarShare, but I have never needed to use it. I remain registered just in case an emergency occurs.
How can using public transportation change your mind-set about the environment?
I believe that many people that do choose to use public transportation do have sustainability in mind. But not only are they doing good things for the community, they are also saving money as they do so.
For more information about the Metro Transit services offered through WashU, click here. We are seeking happy alternative transportation commuters to share their story. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a future profile and inspire others to rethink their own commute!