I bet you didn’t know yesterday was International Bus Driver Appreciation Day. Who knows why they scheduled it for a Sunday but if you missed the occasion make sure you say “Thanks” to your favorite transit operator today instead.
Personally I’m very thankful for the friendly staff at TriMet, my local public transit agency. Every now and then I’ll get on a bus driven by an operator who’s a bit grumpy but the remaining 98% of the time the TriMet operators I interact with are pleasant, professional, and helpful.
There are a lot gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian transportation network where I live so public transit is a vital piece of my active transportation puzzel.
I’m sure you can understand why I’ve spent a lot of time riding TriMet with a bicycle so to celebrate Bus Driver Appreciation Day I thought I’d share some (or…”a ton of”) pictures I’ve taken while traveling on TriMet over the past few years.
To start things off, the best type of bicycle to bring with you on TriMet and other public transit, by far, is a folding bike.
Combining public transit and bicycling is virtually stress free when your bike folds up as small as carry-on luggage. You’ll never be stranded if a bike rack is full and in most cases you can bring the bike, folded up, onto vehicles that don’t allow full size bikes.
Just because yesterday was “Bus Driver Appreciation Day” doesn’t mean I’m going to forget about how great it is to have a rail system in the city. Train operators and conductors deserve just as much praise as bus drivers. Because of them you and your bicycle can travel on one of the quickest and most reliable forms of public transportation.
My personal favorite rail-based transportation is TriMet’s WES. The WES runs through the western suburbs of the Metro area and provides commuters with a way to get all the from Wilsonville to Beaverton, connecting destinations along the way with the MAX at the Beaverton Transit Center.
Based on my experience the WES also has the most reliably available bike parking. There are a few hanging spaces but most of the parking is flat, open space that can accomodate bikes of all sizes.
TriMet has also been a source of inspiration for some of my “artsy” photography.
And on rainy days TriMet gives shelter to people and their bicycles.
TriMet can even helped you get to places part way around the world.
So take a few minutes and thank a public transit employee who you see today. They make help make life better for people who want to get around on foot or by bike.