Get the 4-1-1 on the ins and outs of Xpress commuting from a new Perimeter rider.
This month, we sat down for a conversation with Cindy, a Perimeter commuter working at Northside Hospital. Cindy has been commuting from Towne Lake, near Woodstock, for more than seven years, and she just switched from driving to riding the new Xpress route into work. We asked Cindy about her commute experience.
PC: What was your old commute like?
C: In the morning it averaged an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. In the afternoon it was at least an hour and a half to two hours.
PC: What was your first commute on Xpress like?
C: When I got on the bus I felt very productive, organized, and relaxed – all at the same time. I answered emails, caught up on social media – and talked with another passenger on the bus (we are now friends). I hadn’t realized how stressed out I was driving in my car all these years. You know how you have that urge at times to check in on what’s happening online while at work…well, I had already gotten that out of the way on the bus!
PC: Do you think you’ll keep riding Xpress? What is the best part of your new commute?
C: Yes, I’ll keep riding. It saves me money on gas and wear and tear on my car. My Xpress commute has reduced close to 80% of the stress in my life – the other 20% is having a teenage driver in the house! In the afternoons, the bus is quiet, and it’s so nice. All you hear are air conditioners blowing from the windows.
We asked Cindy if she had any tips for riders new to Xpress. She had so much great advice, we almost needed a new column!
Pro Tips from Cindy:
-Buy a Breeze card in advance and load your trips ahead of time – make sure you have some cash stored on there as well.
-Put the myXpress app on your phone – it’ very helpful with routes and bus times – and it’s very close on predicting bus arrivals.
-Talk to the bus drivers. If they’re running late due to rain delays or accidents on the road, remember that they just want to get us to our destinations in a safe and timely manner. I’ve had the best experience with the drivers I’ve had so far. They’ll adjust the temperature on the bus, and show you where to find the amenities like power outlets & USB ports. The buses also have free Wi-Fi.
-In the morning, pay as you board; in the afternoon, pay as you exit.
-Buses hold two bicycles, and have an abundance of storage space beneath them. If I’m going out of town on a Friday after work, I’ll take a suitcase with me to work and the driver opens and closes the storage compartments for me.
-Always take a jacket, as the bus can be cool in the afternoon. Keep the weather in mind, too. I always bring an umbrella.