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Meet Kate

Name: Kate
Occupation: Field Director
Employer: Transportation Choices Coalition
Gets around by: Walk, bike, bus, train, Tacoma Link, Zipcar

Where do you live and where do you work? I live in Hilltop and my work takes me all over the state, but I primarily work out of Tacoma and Seattle.

How do you get there? I walk to my bus stop to get on the 590 to head to Seattle, but if I’m attending meetings in Tacoma, I usually get there by bike. If I’m going somewhere that isn’t served by transit, I grab a Zipcar.

How does it all add up? How much money or time do you save?  I obviously save a ton of money not owning a car, but like everyone, my time is really important. When I take the train or bus to and from Seattle, I have time to read, work, listen to music, or just relax. On average I walk or bike three to four miles per day. Maybe it’s not always faster to bike or take transit, but my workout is built into my day, and that’s time and money I don’t have to spend at the gym.

What’s in it for you? The better question is: what isn’t in it for me? More money in my pocket, more free time and less stress. I love the independence and pride that comes from learning to fix and maintain my bike and the sense of accomplishment I feel at the end of each day. But most of all, every time I walk out my door, I have an adventure in my own city. I wouldn’t trade the sights, sounds, and even smells of Tacoma for anything.

Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this mode for the first time? Take it slow. Tacoma is hilly! Get the app “One Bus Away” if you have a smartphone and if you have to bail midway up the hill, you have a backup plan. A good pair of comfortable boots paired with wool socks is a better investment than any amount of spandex you could possibly purchase. Watch out for potholes, they’ll sneak up on you. And finally, have a sense of humor. It’s not a missed bus; it’s an opportunity for an urban hike!

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