Bikes, buses and babies – California Couple Credits Public Transit for New Life on Whidbey

Janet Young and her wife Laura Bergman, both 35 years old, have never owned a car. They’ve always ridden the bus, bicycled or walked. Public transit played a big role in helping them achieve their dream of moving to Whidbey Island. Today, it’s still a big part of their new life.

“We loved San Francisco, but Whidbey Island is the place we wanted to be,” says Young. In 2016, the California couple needed a change. They both quit big jobs, moved to Whidbey and started a family.

Young says taking public transit helped them achieve their dream. “Instead of spending $30,000 on a car when I was 21, I put money in the stock market and watched it grow. For 10 years, I was able to save even more by avoiding car insurance, gas and maintenance costs.”

People spend about $8,000 a year to operate a car. “Eventually, that money became a sum we could live on,” says Young. “Cars are not part of our cost of living. It’s saved us a lot. In fact, it’s changed our entire lifestyle.”

The couple also uses the bike racks on the bus to combine biking with busing. “Biking expands your reach by five miles, so with the routes run by Island Transit, it means you can go anywhere on the island without using a car. We’ve been completely astonished at how much we can do on the island by bus,” she says.

“Before the state’s stay home order, we took the bus a lot for everyday things like groceries, doctor appointments, visiting friends, and going out. I even took the bus to the hospital to give birth,” says Young who adds that using the bus reduces her carbon footprint. “Some day when our kids grow up and they face a world that experiences wild fires every summer, when they turn to me and say ‘Mom why didn’t you fix this and combat climate change before it was too late?’. I want to tell them that we did everything we could. We absolutely did.”

Young and Bergman will raise their children to take the bus. “It’s a really safe place. I send my 81-year-old Grandma on the bus alone. She’s from Taiwan and doesn’t speak English. The drivers remember her stop and remind her where to get off. So, if Grandma can do it, anyone can.”

Island Transit, established in 1987, is a free public transit system serving Island County with routes that cover most of Whidbey and Camano islands. The system currently runs 14 routes with 26 vehicles and 68 operators. For more information on Island Transit, go to www.islandtransit.org.

More in Marketplace

Walk-in wellness 7 days a week — close to home!

New walk-in clinic is well-equipped for safe, convenient care

Bikes, buses and babies – California Couple Credits Public Transit for New Life on Whidbey

Janet Young and her wife Laura Bergman, both 35 years old, have… Continue reading

Got weeds? The easy, eco-friendly solution to invasive plants and underbrush

Mulching makes short work of unwanted material and improves soil for what’s planned next

A new look for your home begins with A Clean Streak

Beyond looking good, a deep clean has practical benefits, too

Slow to Start, Local Man Finds Big Trade Off in Riding Bus

Stinger Anderson absolutely would not get on a bus. He owned a… Continue reading

The team at Cook Wealth Management: advisors Darin (left) and London Cook and administrative assistant Chelsea Ceasar, are ready to help you achieve your financial goals. You can find them right in Oak Harbor.
Money matters. Your Money Matters More: Creating personalized portfolios in Oak Harbor

Work with the financial professionals you know at Cook Wealth Management on Whidbey Island

Innovative, evidence-based behavioral health treatment

Sunrise Services Community Behavioral Health is more than meets the eye. As… Continue reading

Sandra Oldemeyer, executive director of Welcome Home Oak Harbour seniors’ care residence, says she loves the diverse population and the inviting setting.
Welcome Home: Sharing a passion for care and community

Sandra Oldemeyer is passionate about welcoming residents home to Welcome Home. “There’s… Continue reading

Bryan and Carrie Stucky invite the community to celebrate occasions of all kinds at the new full-service Whidbey Events Center, conveniently located off State Route 20 in Oak Harbor.
There’s a new celebration hub in Oak Harbor

Rooms of all sizes, food/beverage services and more available for your Whidbey Island gathering

Your Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce team (from left): Miranda Hoppock, Hailey Beecher, Cathleen Snow, Vicki Graham (standing behind) and Autumn Parks.
Oak Harbor Chamber team cheers community, eyes BIG 2020 year!

Next up: New Year’s Eve fireworks show

Kick off the holiday season in Oak Harbor with these festive fundraisers

Festival of Trees gala weekend important for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Island County

The Hive Salon is a-buzz – find out why!

The Hive Salon team has been busy for the past few years,… Continue reading