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Meet the Staff: Laura

Name: Laura Svancarek
Occupation: CTR & Advocacy Coordinator
Employer: Downtown On the Go
Gets around by: Bus or Bike

Where do you live and where do you work?
I live in the Lincoln District near the Tacoma Mall, and work downtown on S. 11th and Pacific.

How do you get there?
I take the Route 48 bus to and from downtown. It is a 5 minute walk from my house to the bus stop. When the weather is nice, I ride my ebike.

How does it all add up? How much money and time do you save?
My ORCA Card is provided through my work, so taking the bus is a good way to cut down costs. Not only do I not pay for gas, but I don’t have to pay for parking. It saves me a couple of dollars every time I work downtown, which quickly adds up! It takes a little bit longer to take the bus, but is a much more relaxed experience for me. It’s also a quick ride to work on my ebike using almost entirely side streets and bike facilities, and the electric assist helps me to conquer the hills without feeling tired or sweaty when I get to work.

What’s in it for you?
I’ve always loved taking the bus. It forces me to wake up on time and get out the door when I need to, and walking 5 minutes to the stop helps to get my brain working in the mornings. I love talking with new people that I would otherwise never meet, and see strangers interacting with and helping each other.

My partner and I downsized to owning only one car, so we save a lot of money on gas, insurance, and maintenance. We both work downtown, and to increase our commuting flexibility we each have an ebike so we can bike to work without worrying about the hill out of downtown.

Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this mode for the first time?
Look at your options. If the times don’t work, or if you don’t want to walk across a busy street, there might be other route options nearby. Have your fare ready to go in your pocket. When I’m taking a new route for the first time, I’ll usually have maps open on my phone so I can track how close I am to my stop.

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