Head Out on the Highway
Bruce Moody’s other car is a bus, but that wasn’t always the case.
“I grew up in California, where you didn’t ride the bus,” said Moody during an interview at his office in downtown Salem’s Equitable Center. He described the bus service he experienced many years ago in San Diego and Los Angeles as subpar.
Moody, a trim man wearing a teal shirt and a navy-blue sport coat, became a dedicated bus rider about 15 years ago. The friendly atmosphere on Salem buses and the service’s dependability came as a pleasant surprise, he said.
Each workday, Moody, a management analyst for the Federal Highway Administration, climbs aboard the Route 1X bus to make the commute from his home in Wilsonville. The former Californian, however, has never lost interest in cars or driving. He has owned 17 cars over his lifetime, including a Porsche 911.
“I am kind of a gear head,” Moody said. He sold the Porsche when one of his three children became old enough to drive and insurance rates for the sports car skyrocketed. He currently drives a Mini Cooper.
Why he rides
Moody’s ride, Route 1X, is jointly operated by two transit agencies: Cherriots, a special district; and SMART, a transit service operated by the city of Wilsonville.
After a job transfer to Salem, Moody found himself among the many Portland area motorists negotiating rush-hour traffic on Interstate 5. He found the trek to be boring and sometimes stressful. As a car enthusiast, he also instinctively knew that putting mileage on his vehicle increased its repair costs and depreciation.
Route 1X soon became Moody’s preferred ride to work. He estimates a $5,000 to $6,000 a year savings by taking the bus instead of driving himself to work.
Thanks to the bike racks on the Route 1X buses, Moody starts his day with a cardio workout. He rides his bike from his Wilsonville home to reach the transit center in Wilsonville, where he boards a bus heading south.
Once in Salem, Moody takes his second bike ride. Instead of choosing a bus stop near his downtown Salem office stop, Moody gets off at the Market @ Hawthorne bus stop. He pedals down D Street NE to reach his destination.
By 8 a.m. each workday, Moody has ridden about six miles on his bicycle
The best strategy is to simply relax and enjoy the ride, Moody said. Once commuters become accustomed to riding public transit, the benefits of riding the bus become obvious, he said.
Moody views the ride on Route 1X as productive time. He decompresses, catches up on his reading and chats with his fellow passengers.
“Sometimes, my hour commute isn’t long enough for me,” Moody said.
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