Brandon Mora-Morales, a Hillsborough resident, recently learned how to ride the bus to his volunteer position at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset with help from RideWise. Learning how to navigate the transit system has given Brandon the freedom and independence to travel throughout Somerset County. Linda Rapacki, marketing manager and travel trainer for RideWise, recently sat down with Brandon to discuss his travel training experience and how much it has helped him.
Linda Rapacki: How does using the bus help you live an independent life?
Brandon: It teaches me to be more independent by myself and not have to rely on my parents.
L: What is your favorite thing about the bus?
B: I like how I’m able to get to many different destinations and how the drivers are nice. And I can be out in the community. The buses are clean and the drivers and staff at Somerset County Transportation are nice. Sometimes I can use the time during the ride to check my messages, and check information about the sports teams I am on – Rider Unified Sports and Montgomery United.
L: What is your job as a Robert Wood Johnson Volunteer?
B: My job at the hospital is to clean the windows and the beds after a patient leaves the Physical Therapy area. I also help with paperwork and any other jobs requested of me.
L: What is your favorite part of being a Robert Wood Johnson volunteer?
B: My favorite part of being a Robert Wood Johnson volunteer is the connection I have with patients and staff. I would highly recommend others volunteer at RWJ because it is an awesome experience and a happy place, and there are many opportunities – not just being a doctor.
L: What would you do if you did not have the bus to get to work?
B: If I did not have the bus to get to work, I would have to pay more money for a taxi or not be able to go to work. That is unacceptable!
L: How has participating in the RideWise TransitConnect travel training helped you prepare for using the bus?
B: TransitConnect has helped me because I learned how to pull up bus schedules on my phone or how to call if the bus doesn’t come. Before you [Linda] taught me how to ride the bus, I was a little nervous and scared of riding the bus. TransitConnect helped me become more confident and independent.
L: What did you learn while participating in the TransitConnect travel training?
B: I learned how to be more responsible and take better care of my safety by crossing carefully at crosswalks. I press the button, wait for the walk signal, check to make sure the cars are stopped both ways and then walk across the street.
L: Would you recommend the RideWise TransitConnect travel training program to others?
B: I would recommend other people learn how to use the bus so they can be independent and get to where they need to go and get to their jobs.
Would you or someone you know like to learn how to ride the bus and use Somerset County transit? Call (908) 704-1011 x 18 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about TransitConnect, visit our TransitConnect page.