Category Archives: Why I Ride

Why I Ride: Bill C.

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Why I Ride - Bill C

Where I live:

Aloha

Why I ride:

TriMet has made it possible for me to hike in areas all around the Metro area, including all the trails in Forest Park. This has greatly helped me regain my physical and mental health.

What modes I use:

MAX, Bus, Streetcar, Rental Car

“This has greatly helped me regain my physical and mental health.”

My favorite things to do while riding:

Go hiking

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

The great flexibility in activities, even if you are elderly and/or disabled.

My story:

I am 66 years old and my health had deteriorated to the point where I could not even walk two city blocks without bending over to rest my hands on my knees to relieve back pain. Since beginning a walking routine, I have walked as much as 21 miles in a single day.

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Find your connection to nature in the city

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Jennette Zarko

Jennette Zarko

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Communications Coordinator. I help develop and maintain TriMet's web and social media content. My family uses a combination of carpooling, Portland Streetcar, biking and riding Line 38 to get to work and school. It’s just how I like it - a little different every day! You can also occasionally catch me performing around Portland with various improv groups.

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Why I Ride: Mike B.

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Why I Ride - Mike B

Where I live:

In Portland.

Why I ride:

About a year ago, I decided to live a car-free life. TriMet gets me where I’m going, and I never have to search or pay for parking.

“The best thing about living in Portland is the awesome array of craft beer.”

What modes I use:

I ride the Red Line MAX train from Parkrose/Sumner in East Portland to Old Town/China Town nearly every day. I also ride my bike, and it is often with me on the train.

My insight for non-riders:

I have been surprised by how little I miss owning a car.

My favorite things to do while riding:

I like to keep tabs on my social media friends during my rides into and out of downtown. Once in Old Town, I often walk the last 30 minutes to my job in Northwest. I take pictures with my phone along the way and post them to Instagram, Flickr and Facebook. It gives my friends and family a chance to experience what I see every morning. It’s a creative way to stay connected.

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

I think the best thing about living in Portland is the awesome array of craft beer. So many pints, so little time…

 

 

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Jennette Zarko

Jennette Zarko

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Communications Coordinator. I help develop and maintain TriMet's web and social media content. My family uses a combination of carpooling, Portland Streetcar, biking and riding Line 38 to get to work and school. It’s just how I like it - a little different every day! You can also occasionally catch me performing around Portland with various improv groups.

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Why I Ride: Writer Bill R.

Want to be featured in our rider profile series? We’d love to hear from you. Submit your story for consideration through our handy questionnaire at trimet.org/stories.

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.

Why I Ride: Laura B.

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Why I Ride - Laura B

Where I live:

In NE Portland.

Why I ride:

I ride TriMet everywhere! That is what I love about it. I can get out to school in Tigard, downtown or even IKEA if i’m feeling brave enough to juggle boxes of furniture! Since moving here from London last August, using TriMet every day has helped me learn my way around the city pretty quickly. I use the bus, MAX and Streetcar. I reckon TriMet could give Transport for London a run for it’s money! All that’s needed is a lick of red paint…

My favorite things to do while riding:

People-watching! I usually bring a book but more often than not get distracted by the interesting things going on around me.

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

The people.

“The thing I like best about living in Portland? The people.”

My advice:

Approach your journey with an open mind! You never know the people you could meet or the weird and wonderful things you may see. (I’ve found it helps to turn off my music and take the number 15 bus— it’s the friendliest around!)

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Why I Ride: Raymond B.

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Why I Ride - Raymond B

Why I ride:

I ride TriMet to avoid the problems and costs of a car.

I am a recovered car addict. I live in the Pearl District, and I use buses, MAX, and Portland Streetcar to get around.

My insight for non-riders:

People have no idea of how much they are spending on cars. Most people spend 10-15 percent of their income on cars, and that doesn’t count the hassles of car ownership—vandalism, finding and paying for parking, dings, getting it in for repairs.

My favorite things to do while riding:

Reading and checking email.

“Most people spend 10-15 percent of their income on cars.”

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

Public transportation.

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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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Why I Ride: Diana G.

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Why I Ride - Diana G

About me:

I am a dental hygienist who loves to get out and enjoy the city life. I live in Beaverton. I used to twirl baton competitively and now perform or judge contests. I recently won a medal as the costume contest winner at the “Run Like Hell!” Half Marathon for my MAX Blue Line costume.

“I feel the best thing about Portland is that people are who they are and most people accept you for you!”

I have been doing this race for four years now and have won a costume prize at three out of the four. Last year, I dressed up as Lady Gaga and recreated her meat dress from felt. That was the first time I did not have my costume recognized. I realized most people were unaware of Lady Gaga and her meat dress from a few years back. Therefore, I decided I needed to come up with an idea this year that was Portland and something the community could relate to and identify.

I began throwing ideas around in my mind. I mentioned the idea to dress up as MAX Blue Line to friends of mine. Some wished me luck, and others told me I should be a maple-and-bacon doughnut from VooDoo Doughnut. Although being a doughnut was a great idea, someone had already used that idea.

Here are some photos of Diana—in and out of costume:

I do my best to think of new ideas and have a unique costume—and it most certainly will be homemade. I am not a seamstress at all, but I do what I can with the skills I have.

Why I ride:

It is a safe, inexpensive and convenient way to travel downtown, especially during high traffic hours. I love how you do not have to stress in traffic and actually feel you are getting somewhere other than sitting on Highway 26.

Other forms of transportation I use:

I occasionally use the trolley and tram when I hike the 4T trail, but mostly I just use the MAX to get to and from downtown. It’s really nice for sporting events! I’ve been using my car to get to work, because I was only five minutes from work, but I just switched jobs and feel I will be utilizing the MAX much more.

My favorite things to do while riding:

I enjoy listening to music, reading articles, and sometimes the mere pleasure of people watching … Portland has quite a diverse community.

My advice to other riders:

Use the TriMet Trip Planner when figuring out your schedule. It is very helpful for creating realistic times in your travel.

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