Why I Ride: Jan M.

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Why I Ride - Jan M

About me:

I’m a vendor at Saturday Market. I sell hand-bound non-adhesive blank books in 13 different sizes, with paper, cloth and leather covers. I make linoleum block designs which I use to create the prints on the paper covers, and I sell prints of those designs too. (My niche is “kick it across a soccer field” books.) I have two Maine Coon cats, and I’m proud to call Portland home.

The only part of the TriMet system that I haven’t used is the WES. To be honest, I have become a terrible car rider; they are too low to the ground and don’t have a signal to pull when I feel the need to get out!

Why I ride:

I retired from my position of Radioman First Class (RM1) in the Navy in 1993. I decided when I retired that if I was going to go into debt, it would be for an education, not a car or a house. I am so fortunate to have gone to school—I graduated from the Oregon College of Art and Craft—in a city with the TriMet system.

This is the only city that I have ever lived in that will allow you to work at a temp agency and not have a car. That is because TriMet can put you within blocks of any job. I know, because during the summers, I would temp at jobs all over the city, and I always arrived on time.

Last year I did a temp job in the industrial section of Beaverton and once again arrived on time by bus and MAX!

“To be honest, I have become a terrible car rider; they are too low to the ground and don’t have a signal to pull when I feel the need to get out!”

My favorite things to do while riding:

Read a book, catch up on my journal, and watch for changes that have happened in the city.

My story:

When I first started riding I would hear people saying “thank you” whenever they got off the bus. I had never heard that before on any other system in the states or overseas.
Over time, I began saying “thank you.” “Thank you for doing this job, for calling out streets and letting me know where to get off, for keeping your temper when cars and bikes get crazy, for continuing to drive in heat, cold and crazy rain, for delivering and picking me up 365 days a year! Thank you!”

The thing I like best about living in the Portland area:

Being able to live without the car payments, license costs, gas prices and car maintenance and still do everything I want to do and haul everything I need (although I won’t buy drywall again and bring it home on the bus again, I promise).

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