Name: Abby Sidener
Works at: Kansas City Public Library
Lives in: Kansas City, Mo.
Commute mode: Bus
Her story: When Abby Sidener signed up to take RideShare's Green Commute Challenge, she had no idea the benefits would also extend to her work. Sidener, a library associate for the Kansas City Public Library, works primarily at the Southeast branch but fills in regularly at the city's other branches.
While most people faced with a job that requires travel to various locations might choose to do these trips by car, Sidener makes a different choice. Instead, she catches The Metro from her home in Midtown to the Southeast branch and wherever else she has to work, which often entails riding several of the city's bus routes every day.
Why she rides the bus: Sidener talks about her bus trips with great enthusiasm. She remarks how humbling it is to see people making the most out of what they have, the kindness of strangers helping others by offering a spare quarter or assistance getting a stroller on the bus. And she has time to people watch, listen to music or work a crossword puzzle — rather than having to drive.
"My commute to work is happier than most people's," she said.
When the call went out to employees to join the library's Green Commute Challenge team, it was a no-brainer for Sidener to sign up. Soon after, the library's outreach manager had the idea to take advantage of these extra bus trips by having employees distribute children's books on the bus in support of a library outreach initiative called "Books to Go." Sidener gladly agreed to do it. Now, she always has her bright green "Books to Go" bag with her so she can offer a book to any children who happen to be riding the bus when she is.
"It's been amazing," she said. Some parents have promptly read the books to their children on the bus, giving Sidener the chance to see the result of her outreach. "I've never had a bad experience handing out books."
For those contemplating a switch from a car commute to a bus commute, Sidener advises locating nearby bus stops first and trying the bus on a day that's not jam-packed with commitments. One of the changes she's noticed in herself is a willingness to walk distances that might have seemed too daunting a couple of years ago.
Best thing about alternative commuting: "You see so many different things than what you see in a car or even on a bus," Sidener said.
- Abby Sidener – bus
- Terri Barlow – carpool
- Bob Billings – bicycle
- Mary Burns – carpool
- Lizz Conley – walk
- Jim Davis – carpool
- James Dermody, Casey Wallace and Dwight Vogt – carpool
- Calep Howard – bicycle, bus, carpool
- Debbie Long – bicycle
- Sharon Lundy, Amy Hamilton and Neetra Williams – bus
- Bob Miller – bus
- Nick Morris – bus/bicycle
- Steve Oakes and Wendy Parrett – bicycle/bus
- Charlie Peitsch – carpool
- Jason Pennington – carpool
- Rick Rouse, Annie Quick and Clint Brungardt – carpool
- Dennis Shaffer – bus/bicycle
- Shari Standiferd – carpool
- Chris Stanfield – carpool
- Melvina Young and Carol Nellis Stanfield – carpool