Edie Gerardo has always ridden the bus. And she doesn’t mind it one bit.
“I love it,” admits the 48-year old mom. “It’s interesting, learning the different streets and getting to know your way around the different cities. You really get to know your community and see all the changes that are happening.”
As a long time passenger, Edie finds that there is a special camaraderie that grows among regular riders.
“On the bus you get familiar with a lot of people. After a while, you know each other’s stops. You ask how each other is doing, where you’re headed that day. It’s very friendly. I remember there was one man who used to always ride the Route 80 from Holt to 4th and Vineyard. One day he fell asleep. I pushed the button and when we pulled over, the bus driver checked to see why I wasn’t getting off. I pointed to the man and explained that this was his stop, but that he had fallen asleep. She nodded, and the two of us woke him up. He was very happy we were looking out for him,” Edie smiles. “Sometimes a new person gets on who’s nervous and doesn’t know the routes, and we all help them get where they need to go. That’s what we do. We take care of each other.”
Edie never learned to drive, so all seven of her children have grown up riding Omnitrans. In fact her youngest, now twelve, loves hopping on the bus with his dad and exploring the city with no particular destination in mind.
Her oldest son commutes from Fontana to Upland on the bus every day. Although it takes a bit longer than it would by car, he uses the down time to de-stress and unwind from his day. When he arrives home, he is relaxed and ready to enjoy some family time with his two boys.
For Edie and her family, it all boils down to independence, financial savings and a sense of connecting with their community. “The bus is always there for us,” said Edie simply.
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