I started out my entre into the Green Community with a previous employer.  At first, I took the train from Canyon Country where I then had to take a bus to the office.  Although I loved the savings on gas, I didn’t like the unpredictability of the train schedule or the 30 minute bus ride.  So I decided to become a Vanpool driver and successfully rode/drove a vanpool for the last 3 months I was with that employer.  When I made the switch to UCLA, the vanpools did not coincide with my work hours, so I decided to “look into” taking the bus.  I very tentatively paid for a TAP pass up by my house to try 5 round trips in the month of December to see how I would like it.  SOLD!

I found I could sleep on the bus going in, and sleep on the bus going home (I do use earplugs to drown out the few people who feel compelled to share their phone calls and life stories with the entire bus)!  It virtually never takes longer than 45 minutes as opposed to the 90 – 105 minutes it took for me to drive one way and then park at UCLA.  Most evenings I make it back to my car in 25 minutes!  I have saved a ton on gas money, I pay a discounted rate on parking when I have to drive, and since I have the quarterly fee deducted from my monthly pay, I get pretax savings, as well!  Win!  Win!

I have gotten great tips from the emergency room employees when I take the last bus home, and have made friends in line in the morning since I started really riding in January.  The bus is generally a much quieter commute than the train, which I like since I do like to sleep and let someone else do the driving!  Also, since I have to walk about ¼ to ½ mile from the bus stop to the office each way, I am walking a lot more and that has helped contribute to the 14 pounds I have gotten rid of since starting to work here.  As I already said – Win!  Win!

So the Moral of the Story is (paraphrasing Thomas H. Palmer and Frederick Maryat): “If at first you don’t succeed (in finding your green match), try, try, again (until you do)!”

-Karen