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Meet Niels Widger, bus commuter from Dover!

February 27 2017

niels on bus   Niels participated in the recent Conquer the Cold Challenge and talked to us about why he is a regular bus commuter.

What do you enjoy most about riding COAST?

I buy a monthly pass for $52 to get to my job in downtown Portsmouth every day.  Without COAST, my wife and I would need to buy a second car. The $52 I spend per month riding the bus is a pittance compared to the price of a car payment, registration/inspection fees, gas, wear and tear on the car, tolls and paying for parking.  I also don’t have to pay the mental cost of sitting in traffic.

Riding the bus smooths out much of the unpredictability of my commute (e.g. accidents, construction or winter storms).  Regardless of what’s happening on the road I just keep reading my book.

What are some of your favorite things to do while riding the bus?

I generally read, listen to podcasts or nap while riding the bus.

What advice would you give others about riding COAST?

Riding COAST and taking public transportation in general means accepting that your commute is going to take longer than if you drove. I have found that it’s best to accept that fact and use it to your advantage.

I have read dozens of books which I would never have taken the time to read if I didn’t have the hour or two on the bus every day. After a busy day, I look forward to getting on the bus and using it as time to relax and unwind.

It can be confusing to figure out how to use COAST to get to where you need to if you’re not familiar with the routes.  If you select Transit, Google Maps will plan out the COAST buses you need to use and the stops you should get on and off at.

The drivers are nice and will answer any questions you have.  It’s best to tell the driver about any connections you need when you get on and check with them before you get off that the next bus is on its way.  Most drivers will try their best to get you where you need to go.

In the winter, wear more layers than if you were driving.  The buses can be late and there’s nothing worse than standing at a bus stop wishing you wore a warmer shirt!  Similarly, pack a rain jacket in the spring if you don’t want to get on the bus drenched to the bone.  In the summer, pack a long-sleeve shirt even if it’s 90 out.  Some buses have the AC cranked and without it you will be freezing after a few minutes on the bus.

Is there anything you’d like to share about yourself?

I am a software developer working in downtown Portsmouth.  I enjoy running and baking.