Three decades of riding Island Transit … and counting!

Doug started riding Island Transit in 1989, 33 years ago. He lived in Clinton then and caught the bus from the ferry to his job in Coupeville.

Years later he moved to Langley and caught the small bus transferring to the Route 1 at the Bayview Park and Ride. It took a little more time, but it was still better than driving all that way.

Today he lives near Greenbank so his commute is shorter. He used to be able to catch the bus from his house, but when the bus routes changed, he started driving to downtown Greenbank, parking by the Progressive Hall, and catching the bus across from the store.

“You have to be flexible when routes change,” he says.

He’s adapted well to all these changes through the years and remains a consistent bus rider. I asked him why. “It’s a good alternative to paying for gas. I hate the oil companies!”

After three decades of taking a fare-free bus, he’s saved a lot of gas, money and reduced his carbon footprint considerably.

Doug began taking a bus when he was in college at the UW and took it all around King County. When he moved to Whidbey and began working for Island County, he continued his transit habit.

“I’ve always had good experiences on Island Transit. I’m almost always on time and hardly ever late.” He remembers other bus commuters who have retired or moved on, but he’s not one who normally socializes on the bus. A voracious reader, Doug carries a shoulder bag that pops open as soon as he takes his seat and out comes a book. As the bus approaches his stop, the book goes into the bag. Doug zips it shut, swings it over his shoulder and is ready to step off as the bus comes to a stop.

Over 33 years Doug has seen a lot of changes with Island Transit, like the new hybrid buses. He sees changes in bus riders, too, and realizes that there are those in our community who cannot drive. He has empathy for the homeless, low income and those with mental health issues or disabilities who ride the bus.

Recently, he saw someone suffer an epileptic attack on the bus. The driver had to pull over and call for assistance to help the person. He’s seen people spill a whole cup of coffee, make other messes or the bus may have a mechanical problem that required a switch in buses at the next opportunity. Still, he is content with his commute, saving gas, money, the planet, and a few of his fellow community members all at once. And he cannot begin to count the number of books he’s enjoyed en route.

Learn more and plan your Island Transit travels at islandtransit.org

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