Sean Vincent: The Triathlete Commuter

By Karly Siroky
Commute Options Specialist, Pierce Transit

As he packs his bag, Sean Vincent completes a quick checklist: rain pants, umbrella, change of shoes, laptop, headphones…

“You have to be a little bit of a Boy Scout," he says. "You’re always prepared.”

Sean then starts his multimodal triathlon of a commute:

  • First leg: 0.7-mile walk from campus to the bus stop at 6th Ave. and Lawrence St.
  • Second leg: A quick bus ride down the hill on Pierce Transit  Route #1 and baton hand-off to Route #603, the Olympia Express. The  Express completes the longest leg of the race, depositing Sean at the  Martin Way Park and Ride in Olympia.
  • Third leg: From the park and ride, Sean completes the final 10-minute sprint home in his car.  

Sean rides the bus to work almost every day, which means he must be  prepared for any kind of weather. He recalls one particularly soggy day:
 “As I’m waiting at the bus stop I’m watching this big cloud  bearing down on me, wondering ‘Am I going to get soaked here?’ and it  started hailing on me just as the bus crested the hill. I was barely wet at all, but that wouldn’t have been the case if the bus hadn’t arrived at just the right time.”

Once safely onboard, Sean cracks his laptop and tends to e-mail or  work projects. “Obviously you can do that when you’re sitting on a bus,  but they kind of frown on it if you do it on the freeway when you’re  driving.”

As one of Puget Sound’s Bus bLoggers, Sean received a free ORCA card  ($90/month value) in exchange for blogging about his commute. Sean  estimates that he saves approximately $130/month commuting by bus. “I  hate to say it, but without the pass, I’m not sure there’s enough  savings to justify the added time required to commute by bus.”

His hope is that the university will find a way to continue funding  the program. Currently it is funded through a grant awarded to Puget  Sound to help reduce traffic congestion and pollution. The same funds  were also used to develop Puget Sound’s new transportation website, Loggers Commute, and put on various campaigns, such as Bus bLoggers, Love to Ride, and the 500 Miles Commuter Showdown.

Sean’s advice to his fellow co-workers/commuters is to “give it a try at the very least, and probably for more than just one day. Try it for a  week, or try it for five different days within a month,” he says.

Oh and by the way, Sean recently competed in his first triathlon. He got a flat tire five miles into the biking leg, but said it won’t stop him from trying again.

For more information about commuting by bus, please visit our Loggers Commute bus page.