SolTrans Rider, Dennis Robinson, “Cheaper by the Mile”
Having your car break down can be a hassle. The convenience and freedom of being able to jump into your car and go is lost. So is the cost and problems that cars can create. Cars need fuel, oil, tires, brakes and many other items that need repair and replacement over time. You also have to register and insure them. It is a lot, financially and time-wise, to keep up with. We recently talked with one of our riders, Dennis Robinson, on why he made the switch to public transit and it is those very costs that caused him to make the change.
Dennis grew up in Vallejo in the late 50’s, in what many would describe as the golden age of the automobile in the United States. An Air Force brat, he moved to Vallejo when he was 8 with his family. He loved having his own car and the freedom it provided. When faced with the increasing cost of his vehicles upkeep, he decided to give the bus a try. Four years later he is glad about his decision. There is a trade-off of “cost for convenience” with taking public transit but Dennis says that it has been worth it. The bus stop near his home is only a block away, so it is only a short walk. He loves the SolTrans’ MyRide app for his phone. It allows him, and the rest of the SolTrans riders, to know how far away the bus is. Knowing when the bus will arrive at his stops saves him time by allowing him to leave at just the right time to be able to meet his bus and not have to waste a moment standing at the bus stop.
He also enjoys the drivers. “They are always so friendly to me,” Dennis reports, “and when you ride regularly it’s great to see the same drivers and have them remember you…that is important to me.” When asked what he enjoys the most, he cites: “the convenience and the cleanliness of the buses”. Dennis also served in the Air Force and he is a disabled veteran, which means that money is also a big factor. He notes that he is retired now and operating on a fixed income and that cost savings of taking public transportation is significant.
Dennis tells us; “I am able to get around all over Vallejo with the bus. I just check on the app to see when the next one is coming by and then I walk on down to the stop when I see that it is getting close. I take it to get to my doctor’s appointment, to go out and get something to eat, I take it to get out to do my shopping and do other things around town. I have even used it to connect to BART too. It gets me to where I need to go when I need to be there and it saves me money.”
That is what we strive to do for our riders. We want to get them where they need to go when they need to be there and we want it to be convenient, clean and cost-effective. We know that it may be easier to take your own car often times but we want our future riders to know what current riders already do. “The convenience of a car comes with a cost and often times public transportation is not only less expensive but just as convenient as driving yourself.” The entire team at SolTrans looks forward to getting you to where you need to go.
To see a PDF version of this story click here: 20180905 SolTrans Sun Rider
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