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blogWe recently had the opportunity to sit down with Justin Harter, one of our riders, to chat about why he rides the bus on an almost daily basis.  Here’s our interview:

Where do you live?

I live on the southeast side near Southeastern and Emerson, on IndyGo Route 14.

Why do you ride IndyGo?

There was a time in life when I was very “normal,” living in Fishers and commuting Downtown daily to my office job. I had a new car and spent at least 60 minutes commuting each way, often more.

Then I decided to leave my job and begin my own creative agency. I started working from my home south of Irvington. Suddenly the new car, along with its payment, insurance and upkeep, were largely parked in the garage. Knowing this was impractical, I traded down to an older car. The guy at the BMV was very confused by this.

But it came to pass I never drove that one much, either.  So I sold it and on December 28, 2011, I went car-free. I had a bicycle from Indy Cycle that I loved and found it worked great for short trips to Irvington and Beech Grove.

In these last four years I’ve biked thousands of miles and ridden just as many on IndyGo. Now I work Downtown again, and use my bike or IndyGo (sometimes both), to get there and to client meetings across the city. My commute is half the time as my old drive from Fishers.

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

If you consider the average person has a 30 minute commute each way, and spends (or wants to spend) an hour at the gym, that’s two hours a day. My bike gets me to work in 30 minutes each way, but I free up an hour of my day by not needing to go to the gym. That’s an extra 10 days worth of time each year I get to do something else instead of driving. Put another way, I burn about 12,000 calories a month instead of $500.

For long distances, getting to client meetings, or to avoid dangerous weather, IndyGo gets me where I need to go. And if it doesn’t get all the way to the door, biking takes care of the “last mile.”

What are your favorite things to do while riding IndyGo?

The first thing any office worker does in the morning is check email. But I can be more productive by checking and responding to emails from my iPhone or iPad before I even get to my desk.

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

Indianapolis is still, in a lot of ways, a blank slate. While a lot of cities have moved ahead of Indy in a lot of interesting ways, Indianapolis is methodical and uniquely Hoosier. We may not be the first to do something, or the best at something else, but that just means we can learn from everyone else’s screw-ups. When we do something we usually do it with the right buy-in and purpose. It’s what makes Indianapolis the most affordable big city in the US.

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

I am the founder of Indianapolis-based SuperPixel, a creative design agency working to make great design affordable for everyone. That same desire to make affordable design available to everyone also extends into transit and policy.

You can follow Justin on Twitter @jlharter and learn more about SuperPixel at www.superpixel.co.

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