Feb 6, 2014 at 4:16pm
Neal McCarthy lives in Walnut Creek and commutes daily to his job in Pleasanton. He participates in Alameda County’s Guaranteed Ride Home Program – which supports his goal to not commute as a solo driver. Read more.....
Neal is committed to taking different modes of transportation to get to work between his home in Walnut Creek, and Pleasanton - including bike riding, taking BART, carpooling and riding the bus.
“When you commute like this, you give up some level of control by not having a car. What’s great about the Guaranteed Ride Home Program is that if I have an emergency, I know I can get home from work promptly. I haven’t had to use it,” he said. “But it’s comforting to know I have options, especially with kids at home.
“I absolutely LOVE my commute. Riding my bike in the morning is wonderful. It’s just far enough to work up a light sweat and then I get on the bus where I am able to relax and read my book. I hadn’t read books for fun in a long time. I don’t worry about the traffic and there have been many times that I’ve looked up from my book surprised that we’re already at my stop. I get to work refreshed and relaxed - I’m probably one of few who absolutely loves his commute. In the evenings, I either ride to BART, or if I’m just not in the mood or it’s too dark, I can put my bike on the rack of four different local bus routes to get home from BART.”
Neal notices that with the increase of bike riders, there is need for increased capacity on bus bike-racks, especially on regional bus lines. “When riders get to the point they can’t rely on getting on their bus because it only has the capacity for two (bike) riders, then folks will start reconsidering this commute option.”
It is easy to sign up for the Guaranteed Ride Home Program online. The program is available to anyone who works in Alameda County and is signed up, whenever they do not drive alone to work.