Wednesday, November 18, 2015

• RTA Rider Appreciation Event

As part of the local T-NOW group (which meets monthly to discuss the RTA in our area), I attended a Rider Appreciation event at the Outlet Mall in Lake Elsinore. It was from 4:00am to 7:00am on November 18th.
A look at the first pick up and another at the last one of the event.
Wolfee Donuts provided coffee and donuts for the riders on this chilly morning as several RTA Board Members engaged in conversation with the commuters that take public transit into, and back from, LA or OC everyday.
A panoramic look at the bus stop (the lights in the center of the pic) as the Sun was coming up... about 90 mins into the event.
I learned that the top reasons these people chose the bus/train over their own automobiles varied a bit, but none listed saving gas money as a top reason.

Top reasons for taking public transit included:
  • Avoiding traffic
  • Less stress
  • Saving wear and tear on their cars
  • Camaraderie among the regular riders
Most people that I asked about their top reasons for taking public transit mentioned how avoiding the stress of driving was top of their list. 

One man, that makes the commute to UCI, mentioned how he uses the ride home to unwind from his day at work. He views driving to still be working, and he prefers to be done working once he's off the clock. He either watches movies, listens to books on tape, etc and when he gets home he's ready for family time. 
12 year commuter CeCe and Bridgette Moore before the 4:26am pick up.
Another of the many hats that Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore wears is being a Board Member of RTA. In the picture above, she poses with daily rider CeCe who was been taking public transit to work in OC for the last 12 years.

As for me, I only commute one day a week these days, and it's over Ortega Highway where there is no public transit, but if I worked in LA or OC I can see the advantages of taking this route to work if you have a regular five day a week job and you're not a fan of the 91.

On my driving day I no longer can just leave at 6:00am and be there at 7:00am. What used to be an hour commute has morphed into at least 90 mins (on a good day) if I leave at 6:00am. So, to avoid the mess, I have to leave at 4:45am and then since I'm way to early to start work, I end up parked for an hour.
The coffee and donut station as supplied by Wolfee Donuts.
Based on the stories I heard from the various riders this morning, their commutes aren't much longer than driving, and it's relatively stress free compared to being behind the wheel. Something to consider if you're fed up with the Corona Crawl that only seems to be getting worse with time.
A look at the intrepid group that was set to greet the riders as seen through a selfie of Murrieta Mayor Randon Lane.
From L-R: Randon Lane (Murrieta), Joseph Morabito (WR), Nichole Daily (LE), Brad Weaver (RTA), Deni Horne (Field rep for Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez), Bridgette Moore (W'mar), Wolfee rep, John Zaitz (Canyon Lake), Amy and Daryl Hickman (LE).
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“Fresh popcorn is near impossible to resist, second only to fresh doughnuts.” ― Shannon Wiersbitzky

Tip of the day from Wildomar Rap: When your hands are cold before the sun has risen, discard the paper cup sleeve on your coffee and let it heat up your hands...if you're wearing gloves that is.

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