Twenty-two year old Susanne Bishop has been an Omnitrans rider for the past four years. She’s an online student at the University of Phoenix, where she’s studying business administration. “Being an online student takes a lot of discipline,” says Susanne. “But I’m pretty good at planning my time and staying on track. My goal is to one day open a health facility that works with special needs kids.”
Susanne is recently married, and she and her husband are expecting a new baby in September. Because her husband’s job is half an hour away in El Monte, he uses the family car to make the commute while Susanne uses the bus to get around town and run errands or go to her doctor appointments. She’s very much an on-the-go type person, and enjoys taking shopping trips, visiting family or grabbing a bite to eat with friends. “Inland Center Mall is one of my favorite shopping destinations. For hair appointments, I like the Savvy Salon on Route 66. They have a great atmosphere, are always friendly and get you in and out quickly. They’re such good people.”
Susanne is very comfortable riding the bus and is happy with the money she is able to save. “I’m so familiar with the different routes that it’s easy for me to get where I need to go,” she explains. “And it would be really expensive for us to have a second car. Right now it costs us about $80 a week in gas just for my husband to drive back and forth to work.”
For some of Susanne’s friends, the thought of riding the bus makes them apprehensive. “They think it will take forever to get somewhere. And they worry about it being dangerous. I tell them it’s not like that at all. And most of the drivers are very nice and helpful and go out of their way to make sure you feel safe and looked after.”
To show them what she means, Susanne will invite friends to take the bus with her and go out for food. “They are always surprised at how fast it is,” she laughs. “The whole experience is nothing like what they expect. I tell them it’s really easy once you know the routes, and you can always just go online and look them up. Now my friends are riding more and more.”
–Juno Kughler Carlson
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