Business Center

Commuter Highlight: Taking Transit to Work with Eric Richardson

By: Sydney Lund, Transportation Demand Management Intern

August 29, 2019

Here at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), we are working to enhance the quality of life and the environment of the citizens of Colorado by creating an integrated transportation system that focuses on safely moving people and goods by offering convenient linkages among modal choices. Many CDOT employees are serving as role models for their commitment to commuting to work by walking, biking, taking transit, or carpooling.

This week's commuter highlight is Eric Richardson!

Eric is a Local Government Liaison who works at CDOT’s Headquarters in Denver. Eric takes public transit to work most days and also carpools. Read below for an interview with Eric where he talks about his transit commute and provides some tips on how to perfect your own transit commute.

Eric is getting ready to board the 15L bus line, which he takes during his commute.

How do you commute to work?

Generally two to three days a week, I take the 15L bus line with my wife, who works at the Colorado Judicial Branch, right off of Broadway. I take the 15L straight to work since the stop is right next to CDOT. On days where I have to either come into work very early for work-related travel or I get back late from travel, I tend to drive. I'll drive with my wife and drop her off along the way. If I have meetings downtown or at the Capitol, I'll always take the bus from CDOT.

Why do you commute to work by transit instead of by car?

I'm originally from New York, and I lived in New York City for a number of years. I enjoyed taking the subway in New York because it gave me the opportunity to read during my commute. Also, taking the bus is convenient for me. Even though sometimes it takes a little bit longer, it is easier than driving. Plus, I want to help the environment and our community, and taking transit is good for my peace of mind. Lastly, taking transit is just as easy as driving. I walk five blocks to the bus, and it drops me off at CDOT at the end of my ride. Since I have the free EcoPass from CDOT, I want to take advantage of that benefit.

How long does your commute usually take you?

In the morning, it takes me about 40 minutes on the bus. In the evenings, it tends to take about an hour or so, because the bus goes downtown, and traffic is pretty congested by then. In the mornings, if I drove it would take me about 30 minutes and in the evenings it takes me between 30 and 40 minutes. The bus takes a little bit longer. But, whenever I have the availability, I really enjoy taking the bus because then I can relax and not have to worry about driving. Taking the bus is a little bit longer in the evenings, but in the morning the time is virtually the same as driving.

When it is raining or snowing, do you commute a different way to work?

I would prefer bussing if it’s raining or snowing. There were a bunch of huge snowstorms this past year. During the storms, I almost always took the bus because I did not want to worry about driving. When the weather gets bad, there are some bad drivers out there on the roads, and I feel safer being on the bus.

What tips do you have to other staff regarding commuting to work by bus?

Even if you can't take the bus every day, being able to commute to work by bus, even once a week, lowers the number of emissions and car trips in the area. Taking the bus once a week is beneficial for everybody else around you. Even if the bus takes a little bit longer, riding the bus once a week is helpful. Also, the bus, in general, is just much more relaxing than driving.

What are some obstacles that you face when commuting to work by transit and how have you overcome those obstacles?

There is no physical obstacle to transit. However, I would say the main obstacle is time. The bus takes a few minutes longer compared to driving. Knowing what the bus schedule is in advance is very helpful. I know the different times that my bus leaves every morning. Knowing when my bus will leave allows me to plan my day and to know what time I will arrive at work. Another obstacle would be if you do not have an EcoPass.

On the weekend do you utilize the bus system?

When I go downtown on the weekend, I will either take the bus or the light rail. The A-Line comes close to where I live and the park-n-ride near the light rail is free. I will usually drive five minutes from my house to the park-n-ride and then take the light rail into downtown. That way, we do not have to worry about parking or driving downtown.

If you could be any mode of transportation, which would you be?

I would be a train because it is regimented and organized.

Interested in commuting to work by walking, biking, or taking transit? Check out these biking and transit resources designed to help you commute to work.

Check out our past commuter highlight interviews here.

Do you commute to work by means other than driving alone? If so, we would like to highlight you! Send an email to Sydney Lund to be highlighted as a part of our commuter highlights series.