Why I Ride: Writer Bill R.

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Why I Ride - Bill R

Where I live:

In North Portland.

Why I ride:

My daughter and I ride the bus every morning—we board in North Portland and hop out in NW Portland to bring her to school. Once she’s in class, I walk back to the MAX and take that to work in SW.

This daily ritual not only offers a convenient, cost-effective alternative to driving, it gives us a more enjoyable commute together—we’ve been doing this for four years and have created numerous “spotting” games (numbers, letters, colors, words) that have been both learning opportunities and great fun.

I then take the bus or MAX home at the end of my work day. I enjoy talking with neighbors and fellow commuters, interactions that simply would not be available if I were confined to a car.

What modes I use:

Buses mostly, MAX regularly, the Streetcar sometimes. Because I work downtown and have a pass, I appreciate all of the options that are available.

My favorite things to do while riding:

Talking with fellow passengers, eavesdropping and playing games with my daughter.

My insight:

I work with people who have opinions about the bus despite not having ridden regularly—or at all. I’ve been riding every day for years and the biggest challenge I have encountered is an occasional boring story. If you ride to your neighborhood, you meet more people in your area, which feels like a big positive for community building. (Plus, I know most of the people at my local dog park from my daily bus rides.)

“If you ride to your neighborhood, you meet more people in your area, which feels like a big positive for community building.”

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

I love the small bits of creativity that appear all over town—funny “lost” signs on telephone poles, tiny little “lending library” cabinets on residential streets, pickle bucket drummers and on and on. The city can seem like a giant art project sometimes and that inspires and amuses me to no end.

What I’d like to share about myself:

I’m a writer, so I look for inspiration everywhere—and I find a lot of it on TriMet.