Occupation: Urban Forestry Specialists
How do you usually get to work? Why did you decide to commute this way?
Jesse: Carpool. We decided because we live near each other and the city’s incentives along with increased parking cost.
Drew: I normally drive with Ian and Jesse sometimes Nick joins us, too. Otherwise, I’ve biked a couple of times with Ian. I hope to bike more in the future but am a fair-weather biker and don’t ride much in the dark and rain at this point in my life. Carpooling is great because it saves gas (or electricity), takes fewer parking spaces in the City Hall area, and it’s great to chat going to and coming home from work with my friendly coworkers.
How long have you been using this commute option?
Jesse: 2 months
Drew: Since I started my new job, in November 2023.
How far is your commute? How long does it take you each way?
Jesse: Approx 5 miles one way and about 10 minutes each way.
Drew: It’s about 6.5 miles from my house to work – a little less than 15 minutes by car directly or 40 minutes by bike. We meet at Ian/Nick’s house because they live closest to the I-5 bridge on the Portland side where we’re coming from.
What is your favorite thing about your commute?
Jesse: Getting to know coworkers better outside of work.
Drew: Catching up with my friends.
What is a challenge of your commute? How have you overcome that challenge?
Jesse: If something happens, the others have to find an alternate route home.
Drew: Coordinating when we’re all available, but we often just check in by text to see who’s in that day.
Tell us a favorite or interesting commute story.
Jesse: [Drew said it best.]
Drew: Once when I was driving, we got to the car and found that my tire had gone flat during the workday. It’s a relatively new car and I didn’t have a spare, so had to have the car towed to a garage. Ian and Jesse took an Uber home and fortunately the garage was just a few blocks from where Ian lives, so I walked to his place, and he drove me home from there. Never a dull moment….
How does your commute help you save time and/or money?
Jesse: Doesn’t necessarily save us time, but saves on gas as well as the city incentives.
Drew: I’m not sure it saves time (maybe adds a few minutes, actually), but it saves money because we rotate who’s driving and that splits the cost of fuel (gas and electricity).
How does your employer help accommodate your commute option?
Jesse: City of Vancouver program is very supportive of alternative ways to work.
Drew: The incentives are great, honestly. $5/day + $75 a month because we carpool at least more than 50% of the time adds up. In fact, it subsidized my health care such that I barely have to pay anything for good coverage for my wife and myself.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to use a climate-friendly commute option?
Jesse: I would recommend carpooling, especially if you have coworkers or friends to do it with.
Drew: It’s a great way to pitch in and do our part to fight climate change (and we get paid to do it by The City)!