Commuter Spotlight: Lori Zooms Past I-20 Traffic On the Bus
She also finds thousands of dollars of savings, newfound time to relax and good friends along the way!
Lori (right) and her Friday bus buddy Lisa (left) ride the Xpress bus to and from work
Lori Brennan is an Office Manager and Executive Assistant at Vertafore. When her company relocated from Conyers to Midtown three years ago, she first assumed she would continue to commute by car from Covington.
“My boss and I had discussed buses,” said Lori. “But I thought I really wasn’t a bus girl.”
But after her car started having mechanical issues, Lori decided to finally try out the Xpress bus.
“I was a Conyers girl trying to figure out how to make this Atlanta commute work. It was really great. I told my coworkers I had a new bus commute and they were all so surprised,” said Lori. “Before long, I bought a Breeze Card and now I ride the bus in every day, along with several of my coworkers I might add.”
The morning ride ritual
Each morning, Lori drives to the West Conyers Park and Ride where she catches Xpress bus 423.
First, Lori picks out the perfect seat—ideally on the right of the bus, so she can get a good view of the traffic while her bus is in the HOV lane. She enjoys the comfort of the seats, the fact that they can lean back, and the general cleanliness of the bus.
Once she takes a seat, Lori will do her morning devotional prayer though her First 5 app. “I’m a believer—I like to start my day in the right direction,” she said.
On most days, she will log onto her work email, spend a few minutes flagging and forwarding emails, then pull out a book—right now she’s reading one about historic Georgia architecture—or spend some time texting friends or checking social media.
Lori also often spends the ride counting cars that her bus passes.
“I find myself counting them two by two. We just zoom by them sitting in traffic. Even if the traffic is moving, they’re going at a snail’s pace,” said Lori, who saves a significant amount of time in her commute due to the fact that her bus rides in the HOV lane.
“We passed 300 cars this morning on I-20,” she said. “Can you tell I’m a goal oriented person?”
On other days, Lori will sit back and close her eyes for a morning snooze, knowing that she doesn’t have to deal with the traffic.
An easy and comfortable commute
Lori appreciates the comforts that come with being a regular bus rider. She said she knows her regular bus drivers and has made friends with other riders.
“Lisa is one friend who I’ve made on the bus. We sit together almost every Friday,” said Lori.
“It’s nice to have that comradery,” added Lori, who finds that in general riding the Xpress bus saves her a lot of time and stress.
Savings for the wallet, car, and environment
Lori’s been taking transit for over three years, and tracking her commute online at Georgia Commute Options for 2 and a half years. In that time, she reports, she has saved over 46,000 miles on her vehicle, 18 tons of pollution, and over $25,000 in cost.
“I love tracking my commute online. It makes the savings more real,” she said.
For those looking to switch up their commute but aren’t sure about the bus?
“Try it for a little while and see,” said Lori. “I would not still be at this job if I did not ride that bus every day.”