A car breaking down is never fun. As a matter of fact, it can be quite stressful. Requesting quotes, selecting the most reliable mechanic and paying for repairs are all a burden to our busy lives. Omnitrans rider Gladys of Corona knows this all too well. Her car broke down a few years ago; little did she know this was a blessing in disguise that would lead to a real lifestyle change.
Without a functioning vehicle, Gladys was pressed to rely on the bus to get to work throughout the Inland Empire region, as she works as a dental assistant at offices in Montclair, San Bernardino and Yucaipa. As a new transit rider, Gladys quickly learned the value that riding the bus added to her life, and she has not looked back since.
“Instead of wondering ‘why me?’ you always should view things that seem negative in the short term as a learning experience,” says Gladys. “Omnitrans became my primary transportation and has remained such even after my car was repaired. Riding the bus is the more economic choice for me. Time against money is how I see it, and riding the bus is more affordable.”
Each day, Gladys takes a local bus from Corona to downtown Riverside, then hops on Omnitrans Freeway Express Route 215, where she connects to whatever her destination is for the day. “Overall, it can take up to two buses to complete my trip, but it’s totally worth it,” she reveals. “I always feel safe. The passengers are respectful or minding their own business listening to music, reading, or using their phones.”
Although Gladys realizes that personal cars can be more convenient, especially as a person needing to report to various worksites, she appreciates the extra money in her pocket each month due to savings on car insurance, gas, maintenance, and reduction of wear-and-tear on her personal car, which she uses only for emergencies and shopping trips.
“I highly recommend riding the bus to people, even if for one or two days per week,” she says. “Drivers can be crazy on the road, and riding the bus is more relaxing. I wear my headphones, am able catch up on emails, and when I get home, my hands are not tense from navigation through Southern California traffic.”
To make the transition and adopt transit into your life, Gladys advises adjusting your time management skills. There is some pre-trip planning required, and you must also leave the house a bit earlier to catch the bus, but after the first few times, she assures you that it gets easier.
While riding the bus is intimidating at first, it can be the start of something good! Now, Gladys looks forward to continuing to commute to work by bus and will enroll with IECommuter to log her bus rides and earn rewards and other prizes for helping to reduce car congestion and air pollution in our region.