Opening Doors: Why I Ride


Some people ride Cherriots out of necessity, others people ride the bus because it saves them money and is good for the environment. Whether they’re commuting, going to high school, heading to work or going downtown to shop, all our riders have one thing in common: they’ve chosen Cherriots to get them where they want to go.

Listen to real life stories from riders of all walks of life, including riding Cherriots with a vision impairment, memory loss, a physical disability or developmental disability; and riding Cherriots as an older adult, student and commuter.


Riding Cherriots with a Vision Impairment

Melanie Lindquist was born with a vision impairment, but that hasn’t curbed her independence. She has a busy schedule and a passion for teaching living skills. “All over Salem I have these things that I am committed to doing and it would be virtually impossible to make those commitments effective to me, time wise, if I couldn’t do Cherriots,” said Lindquist. “It’s very vital for the life I currently live.”


Riding Cherriots as a Student

Joshua Dye uses Cherriots to get to school at the Micah Program. “Your kids are going to have to learn sometime how to get around town; they’re not always going to have you to rely on,” said Dye. “Give them a chance to impress you, to earn your trust, that they can get from point A to point B and back.”

Casey French is a high school student who cycles or takes the bus to go to school or hang out with friends. He likes using Cherriots because it means he doesn’t have to rely on his parents to drive him around. It also saves him money. For French, the bus is a no brainer. “Once you ride a couple times you’ll start to understand inbound and outbound and what time it’s going to be there at that stop – yeah it’s pretty simple.”


Riding Cherriots with a Physical Disability

Cynthia Jewitt has used a wheelchair to get around since she took a fall at work and injured her knees. Forced to retire early, initially she didn’t know how to get out and continue her independent lifestyle – until she signed up for Cherriots’ free travel training. “Once you get that freedom and you’re on your bus and you’ve got that training, you don’t have to be held back from anything!”


Riding Cherriots as an Older Adult

Jan Smith moved to Salem to retire and be with her youngest son. She chose to let her driver’s license laps because she didn’t have to drive in Salem. Instead she uses Cherriots. She buys monthly passes at the discounted rate for seniors, and she lives within walking distance of three different bus routes. “A lot of seniors don’t walk. They’re in front of their TV sets, and walking is good for you. I find if I have to walk five or six blocks, that’s great.”


Riding Cherriots with a Developmental Disability

Matthew Duckwall works for Shangri-La Cherry City Woodshop, and he uses the bus to get to and from work. “Cherriots is number one and they will be the rest of our lives because they’re there for us,” said Duckwall. “And for the customers who aren’t disabled, they’re there for them too.”

Robbie Iverson lives in a group home with other people who have developmental disabilities. He takes the bus to do his daily activities. He appreciates the reopened Customer Service lobby and the new TV monitors. “Someone who’s nervous to take the bus, they need to figure out that it’s okay to be nervous. There’s nobody can’t ride a bus!”


Riding Cherriots as a Commuter

Marc Nisenfeld works as a development engineer at Portland State University. He commutes via the 1X to Wilsonville, and transfers to TriMet. On the bus he reads, sleeps and even makes conference calls. He calculates that if he includes the cost of parking in downtown Portland, he saves $400 a month by commuting via Cherriots and TriMet. “Most people who don’t ride the bus just don’t want to be inconvenienced. But it’s not an inconvenience. You fall into a routine and you feel good, number one about the money you’re saving and number two about the environment.”


Riding Cherriots with Memory Loss

Reva Hopkins-Evans has lived in Salem for more than 40 years. Tragically, as a young woman she was attacked and knocked into the street while walking her dogs, and suffered a brain injury that has given her challenges to this day. Using Cherriots has simplified her life. “The Cherriots has been a major piece of what I’ve always wanted to model for my family. No matter what life hands you in the way of difficult situations, you can remain positive.”