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Brenda Havens standing by the "NDY" sign off of Mass AveWe recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brenda Havens, one of our riders, to chat about why she rides the bus on an almost daily basis.  Here’s our interview:

Where do you live?

I live on the near north side in a transit-rich area, served by IndyGo routes 19, 17 and 38. I specifically chose the location for this reason almost 26 years ago!

Why do you ride IndyGo?

I am a life-long non-driver due to poor eyesight. I do not have depth perception, so I can’t tell how far away things are from me. While many people drive with diminished depth perception, mine comes paired with a tendency to shy away from things that are coming at me from the side. This is not a good combination when driving behind the wheel of a car. Obviously, when I was looking for a place to live, access to IndyGo routes was crucial.

What types of transportation do you use? – and why?

I’m multi-modal.  My feet are an excellent form of transportation and I’ve been known to walk the four miles to downtown on a nice day.  I am also an avid cyclist. I do all of my errands by bike in good weather. And I take the bus. Often I combine bike and bus, especially if there is significant distance involved or my destination is an appreciable distance off a bus route. Optionally, I might bus to a meeting or client site and then bike back. Late at night, when the bus is no longer an option (yet!), I use one of the ride sharing options we have here in Indy.

What are your favorite things to do while riding IndyGo?

IndyGo buses are a wonderful way to travel. It’s so nice to leave the concerns of driving and traffic to someone else while I sit back and read. If I’m not reading for pleasure, I’m getting work done using my phone. I’ll be checking my schedule, following up on emails, doing research and sometimes just observing what’s happening in our city outside the windows.

What do you think is the best thing about living in the Indianapolis area?

My mother has lived in Seattle for the last 35 years. She turns 80 next year and has decided she wants to live closer to family. We’ve had some extensive discussions about what living here is like. Indianapolis is an easy city to live in. Our cost of living is low, we don’t have overcrowding and we have a diverse mix of cultures that give us a wide variety of entertainment opportunities. Our “sprawl” works both for and against us.  We don’t live on top of each other, allowing for yards and gardens, but at the same time we aren’t as walkable as other, more dense, cities. The great thing about Indy is there are people working on improving our city. Good people, with great ideas and terrific goals and it’s easy to connect with them to help make a difference.

We also have a promising younger generation who are forming a culture of their own, and spending hours driving in traffic isn’t on their agenda. My mother will be moving to Indianapolis within the year. An educator all her life, she’s an excellent activist and advocate. I can’t wait to see her joining the efforts for urban progress.

Is there anything you’d like to share about yourself?

I am co-founder of Walk Urban Indy, a not-for-profit encouraging people to walk in their neighborhoods as a health initiative (and so much more!). Walking is the simplest and least expensive way to improve your life. When you walk in your neighborhood, that’s when the magic happens! We invite you to “Come find your feet” in an Indianapolis Neighborhood.

You can find out what we’re doing by joining our Meetup and by following us on Twitter: @walkurbanindy and on Facebook.

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