Where do you work and what is your role in the company?
I work for Tacoma Water. I am an Assistant Water Division Manager and am responsible for serving our field staff that operate and maintain our water system.
How do you usually get to work? How long have you been using this commute option?
I ride my bike into work. Been doing this since 2007.
How far is your commute? How long does it take you each way?
~3.5 Miles. Takes between 15 and 20 minutes depending on traffic lights and how fast I pedal.
What made you decide to commute this way?
Great for some exercise every day. I have a desk job, and this helps me maintain a base level of fitness. I also enjoy not having to buy gas or sit in traffic.
What do you enjoy about your commute?
It is a great chance to decompress at the end of the day. If I am feeling frustrated, I love pedaling hard up a hill. Additionally, I enjoy the fresh air.
Do you have any interesting stories from your commute?
I have amassed a small collection of knives, crescent wrenches, sockets, screw drivers and other miscellaneous items I have found on the side of the road while commuting.
Do you think you save money by commuting this way?
Probably, since I do save on buying gas. Some savings are offset by the need to buy tubes, brake pads, and tires. Additionally, I have to buy new rain gear, gloves, biking clothes and fenders (since they seem to break) every 3 years or so. Bike lights are good for 5 years or so. But you could argue the exercise is priceless.
How does your company help accommodate your commute option?
TPU provides some covered bike racks and they have a bike repair stand available for use. Showers and lockers are available as well.
Is there anything your company could do better to accommodate your commute option?
Would be nice to get some gift cards to a bike shop a couple times a year for tires/brake pads/etc.
What would you say to your fellow employees to inspire them to try using a commute option other than driving alone in their car?
With a little planning ahead of time, you can ride your bike to work. There are a lot of resources and support to help make this possible, including biking maps from Pierce County. Once you get over the two-week hump, it is pretty easy to keep the rhythm going. Additionally, the exercise will begin to add up! I would also argue that biking usually gives you the best parking spots and if you live within 3 or 4 miles of work, riding in is not that much of time difference versus driving.