Accessing Island Transit has vastly improved Ioum Martin’s ability to get to work and school, and helped him budget his money and time.

Accessing Island Transit has vastly improved Ioum Martin’s ability to get to work and school, and helped him budget his money and time.

Public transit offers hope to immigrant from Uganda and so many others

It doesn’t cost much to take the bus in Uganda. About 25 cents. But if you don’t have the money, you walk. That’s what Ioum Martin did in his home country. He walked everywhere. So, when he came to America chasing the dream of a better life, he continued to walk. Until he found Island Transit.

“Life would have been miserable for me without the Island Transit bus,” says Martin who was working a construction job in Everett when he first moved to Whidbey Island. Four days a week, he would walk over nine miles from Freeland to Clinton to catch the ferry. It was a slow and painful walk too. His ankle was broken at the time.

“One day I sat down by the roadside in Bayview,” Martin says, adding he was exhausted and feeling defeated. “A lady asked me if I knew about Island Transit. I told her I don’t have money for the bus. She told me how it worked – that it was free.”

Martin says discovering Island Transit brought him hope. “I don’t think I would have been able to get to work, go to school, or get around without the bus,” says Martin.

Not only does public transit give Martin a way to get around, it also helps him budget his money and time. He is currently working towards earning his high school diploma by taking classes at Skagit Valley College. A father of 10, he spends a lot of time talking by phone with his family back in Uganda and hopes some of them will be able to join him one day.

Established in 1987 as a fare-free bus system, Island Transit provides an essential service to the community. “Safe, reliable and affordable public transportation enables people to meet their day-to-day needs,” says Todd Morrow, Island Transit Executive Director. “It makes our community more inclusive by increasing mobility and opportunity. It literally and figuratively picks people up.” As such, “Public transit is a powerful tool to help advance equity and social justice.”

Morrow also believes providing fair and just transportation is the role of a community. “It’s an essential public service like our public schools, police and fire departments,” he says. “A strong public transit network benefits us all. It supports our local economy and environment, as well as those who rely on it to get around.”

Martin doesn’t have to walk long distances in the cold weather any more. He’s saving money, and time, to do things that make his life better. When asked what other benefits Martin has found with riding the bus, he humorously says, “I’m always on time!”

To read more stories from people who ride public transit, go to www.islandtransit.org/WhyIRide

More in Marketplace

Island Transit’s Paratransit Services were essential to Ric Shallow as the Camano Island man worked through his recovery from serious injuries sustained in a car crash.
Camano man’s road to recovery began with a bus ride

It has been five years since Ric Shallow woke up in the… Continue reading

Close-up Of Person's Hand Marking On Checklist With Pen
Resolve to Get Your Finances in Order

January is a good time to take stock and get your financial… Continue reading

Whether you’re new to medical or recreational cannabis, or are looking to expand your knowledge, the Island Herb team is here to help.
Cannabis questions? Medical or recreational, this Island team is here to help

While Island Herb has its roots as a licensed medical marijuana dispensary,… Continue reading

Best CBD oil for dogs
Best CBD Products for Dogs – Buyer’s Guide [2020]

Like humans, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) — which is tasked… Continue reading

Meticore Supplement
Meticore Reviews – Fake Results or False Scam Complaints?

Obesity is an epidemic faced by a large chunk of the population.… Continue reading

Accessing Island Transit has vastly improved Ioum Martin’s ability to get to work and school, and helped him budget his money and time.
Public transit offers hope to immigrant from Uganda and so many others

It doesn’t cost much to take the bus in Uganda. About 25… Continue reading

Best CBD gummies
Best CBD Gummies for Pain in 2020

CBD gummies are an excellent natural painkiller. They’re a popular option among… Continue reading

Shop, eat and stay local this holiday season. With the pandemic reducing tourism and keeping us all close to home, local small businesses really need your support.
This Year, Make a Big Difference to Our Small Businesses

Keeping your holiday dollars local will make a difference today, and tomorrow

Hip or knee pain can make something as easy as standing or climbing a flight of stairs a challenge. WhidbeyHealth is here to help.
Local treatment for hip or knee pain is possible

Joint replacement surgery available to Island residents at WhidbeyHealth

Best CBD oil
Best CBD Oil: Top 3 CBD Products for Sale Online

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of the primary active ingredients in… Continue reading

Image of Earth Sanctuary retreat by Michael Stadler.
An art-full outdoor experience awaits on Whidbey and Camano Islands

Outdoor exhibits offer enthusiasts a unique way to experience art and nature