In January, we asked you to share your personal commuter story with us. We received many interesting, funny and sometimes moving stories. Today, we’ll share with you the story of Patrick Julian. Patrick is a FAO Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator at the David Geffen School of Medicine.PJulian

Patrick, how did you get to be a green commuter?

I came to ride public transportation by accident.  Literally.  In October of 2006, shortly after I began working at UCLA, my car was rear-ended at the intersection of Sunset and Beverly Glen, and subsequently totaled. At the time I lived only a block above Sunset in Hollywood, and so I began commuting via the 302 bus while I worked on getting a new car.

How did you feel about public transportation at that time?

I’d ridden public transportation occasionally in various cities, and was not looking forward to the increase in commute time, the hassle, the loss of freedom that this change of transportation would entail.  Each day I looked at the date on the bus display panel and told myself, “At this time next month, I’ll be driving again.”

We know you’re still taking the bus today. What changed?

A month went by, and two, and three, and I began to discover something – I LIKED public transportation.  I was saving money by not paying for gas, insurance, parking, and parking tickets. By walking more, I lost weight and began getting in shape.  I was reading the books I’d always meant to during my uninterrupted quiet time in the morning and afternoon.

That sounds great. Do you have an idea of how much money you’re saving each month?

I'd say I've probably saved around $300 to $400 per month.

What’s the best aspect about taking the bus?

I find myself less stressed at the end of each day. I hadn’t spent two of my waking hours swearing at all the other fools on the road. Now, 7 years later, I own a car and still happily take the 720 bus each day to work. I imagine that I always will…