Rider Profile: David Franke

Capital Metro rider David Franke rides #460 Downtown Rail Connector.

Meet David Franke.

His commute used to take 45-55 minutes or longer by car. He now rides every workday on Capital Metro’s MetroRail and connector buses and his commute now takes 1 hour and 10 minutes. Why does David Franke do this? The longer trip is more useful.

“I gain time, because I can work 45 minutes on my computer during the trip,” David said. He uses Sprint 3G for internet instead of relying on the built WiFi on the train. His commute now is a drive from his house to the Lakeline Station, MetroRail to the Downtown station, where he catches the 460 Downtown Station/Capitol MetroRail Connector.

Fighting traffic on 183 was what he did previously. His new commute “is a good deal in terms of cost, its lower frustration, with no road rage.”

David is a rider that Capital Metro did pull off of the highways and roads of Austin and put into our train and bus. With his new found time and lowered frustration he “was surprised that more people aren’t riding the train.”

His advice to new riders is to “have something to do and find out which bus connector goes to where you work.”

A New Way To Work…

New MetroRail and Car2Go rider Traci

Brian Tracy said it best, “You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Thursday, a friend of mine decided to put Brian Tracy to the test and try MetroRail for the first time.  Here is what Traci J. had to say about trying a new trek to work.

[ck]  What made you decide to try MetroRail?

[Traci]  Several things really.  I am so tired of fighting traffic in the morning from Round Rock; but, it’s even worse trying to get home in the afternoon.  I don’t have air conditioning in my car at the moment.  We all know how summer in Texas can be.  I also wanted to minimize the wear and tear on my car so I don’t have to buy a new vehicle right away.  I thought making this change would help me save money on gas and save money on the tollway.  When I drive, it’s amazing how often I end up on the tollway to skirt around a traffic delay.  If I were to take the tollway every day, it would cost me eighty dollars a month (and it has).

Continue reading “A New Way To Work…”

Bus Paintings

Kathleen McElwaine rides the bus to work everyday from Leander. She also happens to be an artist and has found a way to make her time on the bus each day uber productive: she paints watercolors during her commute.

But not only that, she markets her bus paintings as green art! She maintains a blog and was featured in a TV news story not too long ago about her creative approach to commuting. (Obligatory comment: Those express buses must be one s-m-o-o-t-h ride if you can paint while onboard.) She sells her bus paintings through an Etsy storefront–check it out.

AND. She is one of 28 finalists in a contest to be named a Jerry’s Artarama Art Star. Her video is posted online, and the Art Star will be chosen based on the number of people who view the video–go view it!

Kathleen is just one of thousands of interesting riders onboard Capital Metro everyday. What do you do while riding the bus?


Today’s National Dump the Pump Day, and we’re sponsoring a photo contest. Send us a photo of yourself riding Capital Metro today, and we’ll put your name in a drawing to win one of 20 Capital Metro eco-friendly windbreakers, and one grand prize–a $200 gift certificate to EcoShoppe. Full rules/details here.

I thought I’d share some of the cool photos we’ve received today. Note: these aren’t winners of the contest (yet)–we’ll do a random drawing of all the photos tomorrow. Send yours in!

See some more behind the cut.

Are You Too Sexy for the Bus?

Local entrepreneur and Capital Metro rider Vicki Flaugher wrote an interesting article about the social stigma that sometimes accompanies riding mass transit. She had been in a car accident that totaled her vehicle, and had decided to ride Capital Metro so she could save up for a Prius. Here’s an excerpt, behind the cut.

Little did I know, though, how much other people seemed to have negative ideas about riding the bus. My friends, even my new-age, modern-minded, vegetarian, recycling friends, all looked at me with pity in their eyes when I told them I was riding the bus.

For the first few weeks, they would offer me rides or tell me about some great deal of a car one of their neighbors had for sale, but after awhile that stopped. I felt a real disconnect from the socially conscious, energy efficient nirvana they talked about pursuing and how they acted about the actuality of it when a friend of theirs was living it.

Complete strangers were happy to fill the pity gap, though, as they saw me waiting at a bus stop. They would stop and offer me a ride because they just felt bad that a “nice woman” like me would be waiting for the bus. What’s that about? Do normal, cleanly dressed, law abiding, working people not ride the bus? The prejudice was obvious.

Flaugher goes on to challenge readers to examine their own prejudices when it comes to public transportation, just as she had to face her own. Some of the questions she raises: “Are you too sexy for the bus?” “In your mind, do I have to own a car to fit in?” “Do you think poorly of the people riding the bus?” “Are people who afford and use cars somehow held in higher esteem?”

The full article, including an audio version, can be found here.