Occupation: Artist & Executive Assistant
Employer: Self-employed & Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region’s corporate office, the Milgard Work Opportunity Center
Gets around by: Bike, bus
Where do you live and where do you work?
I live in the North End, near the University of Puget Sound and work at Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region’s corporate office, the Milgard Work Opportunity Center. Additionally I am an artist, and my studio is on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.
How do you get there?
For the past year and a half I have biked to work and/or my studio almost everyday. But, it is also very convenient for me to use Pierce Transit buses to get to and from work or take Sound transit to downtown Seattle. I am also a Zipcar member which comes in handy for longer trips and grocery shopping.
How does it all add up?
Though biking and riding the bus does take longer than driving I enjoy saving money on parking, gas and insurance. That savings frees up my spending for other things like paint and art supplies–which I can’t get enough of! Also, if I didn’t bike regularly to get around I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to make sure I get enough exercise. So I like that aspect of physical fitness that goes along with my routine. When taking the bus I tend to do much more walking and that is a plus, too.
What’s in it for you?
When I moved to Tacoma two years ago without a car, I initially didn’t like biking very much. Though, at my office people recognize me because I bike and I have learned to take pride in that. It took a lot of getting used to Tacoma’s hills which are still killer. But, I was grateful to be much more in shape as a result of biking, especially when I did my first mural for Spaceworks Tacoma which required me to carry a 12 foot ladder up to the site each day. l guess you could say its a green mural. About 85-90 percent of the materials used were transported either on foot, by bike or the Tacoma Link Light Rail.
Do you have any tips for people who may be trying this mode for the first time?
I would highly recommend biking in Tacoma with the aide of Pierce transit buses. The combination of these two modes of transportation is ideal, especially for those new to biking. My other advice would be to download the One Bus Away app. Once I had the app and learned to mount my bike on the bus, I got to see much more of the city and became more confident about getting from place to place on my own. I would advise anyone who is discouraged by the thought of using public transportation to have a more open mind. There are so many ways to make our city greener and more livable. Biking and riding the bus are simple, cost effective and healthy alternatives that can help achieve those goals.