This last Tuesday, the City Council participated in Ride the Bus to Work Day and we followed-up with the members of the city council to thank them for their efforts and get reaction to the experience. All the councilmembers who responded indicated a positive experience riding Metro.

Councilmember Pete Festersen wrote in an e-mail:

My experience was great. Convenient, clean, affordable, and fun. In my case, it’s an easy walk to the Express Route 2 at UNO. And it only takes about 20 minutes to get downtown. Longer than a drive for sure, but it allowed for some additional newspaper and/or email time on the commute.

I was also really encouraged by the number of folks riding and their friendliness. They had already figured out mass transit can be the transportation of choice and several folks who ride regularly to work meet each morning on the bus and have become good friends.

On the phone, Councilmember Mulligan, President of the Council, indicated that he had had to take the bus regularly while recovering from shoulder surgery, and was already familiar with the benefits and opportunities of the bus. “I had a good experience,” he said. “The buses are certainly in good shape and clean; my ride was right on time.” He told us that he used the Westroads park-and-ride and found the location easy convenient.

Sponsor of the Ride the Bus to Work Day resolution, Councilmember Jerram, said in an e-mail:

Thanks for ModeShift’s support and partnering on this event. The day went off without a hitch (both directions). I must say, it may be been easiest for me. I walked downhill two blocks to Center St., waited about 5 minutes and was down town in about 10-15. Returning, caught a bus at about 5:30 at 19th & Farnam.

Same experience.

Clean bus. Friendly driver.

Councilmember Jerram closed with a challenge to the community, “Let’s get a corporate challenge going!”

We were pleased to see all the Councilmembers who participated by riding the bus to work this last Tuesday. We hope to make this a more regular event in the city and with the support of Metro Transit and the city leadership, we can share the transit experience that the Councilmembers had with more choice riders.

2 Replies to “High Marks from Council for Metro”

  1. Aaron D. says:

    This was certainly a nice PR event to promote more use of alternative transportation, and I thank the Council and Modeshift Omaha for putting it together!

    However, I look forward to the day when these kinds of “stunts” are not necessary; the day when enough decision-makers, business leaders, and elected officials already use the bus, walk, and bike to get where they’re going, and therefore, understand the unique characteristics and demands of those modes.

    It speaks volumes that all the council-members seemed to have the same reaction: the bus was clean and on-time and the drivers and passengers were friendly.

    What were they expecting?

    Though aspects of Metro’s system are improving at a steady, if slow, pace, there is still much room for improvement.

    I would be interested in some sort of follow-up or monthly “check-in” with council members and other city leaders to see in what ways they are incorporating transportation alternatives into their lifestyles as true leaders.

    Let’s make sure this isn’t a once-a-year stunt with lip-service to public transit and transportation alternatives.

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