Name: Casey Marquis

Route: 150 bus from University Towne Center to downtown San Diego. Connect to 11 bus at First and A, stop at First and Ivy in Bankers Hill.

Time: 1 hour, 3 minutes

Even a few drops of rain falling didn’t dampen Casey Marquis’ commuting joie de vivre as we waited for the bus at UTC a few minutes after 4:00 this afternoon. Using public transit is just one cog in a lifestyle makeover he began about a year ago, and Marquis is full of reasons — a perfect storm, he said — why the switch from car-on-freeway to busing or biking home has changed his life, including decompressing from a stressful work day.

“It’s a good way to not have to think for an hour after work,” he said. “I used to tell my wife, ‘Just give me an hour,’ and now I have that on the bus. … I think it makes me a little more focused during the day.”

Marquis works at a national financial services company about 20 minutes’ walk from UTC.

“I’m generally the only guy on the bus in a tie,” he said.

In the morning, he carpools with his wife, who works in Kearny Mesa. He rides his bike home three or four days a week now, and buses home the others. It’s usually about 10 or 15 minutes shorter to cycle home than to take the bus, and that option helps Marquis get in a 25-mile ride for exercise — another piece of his lifestyle makeover.

Environmental concerns add another item to the why-transit list. Marquis estimates the carpooling has cut down their gas intake by 30 percent. Seeing “An Inconvenient Truth” added fuel to his growing environmentalist bent last year.

“I started to, to use that expression, ‘think globally but act locally,’” he said. “I thought it’s about time I started doing something, not just thinking it’s a good idea.”

Marquis sees his action as speaking louder than words among his 1,200-some co-workers, all of whom but three or four drive their cars to work.

“I don’t have to say anything,” he said. “I think it says everything itself that I’m doing it.”

There are some bad days on the bus, to be sure, Marquis said. But he added he’s usually to blame for those drawbacks — such as forgetting an umbrella and having to walk in a downpour, or missing the bus, twice, because he was talking to his wife on the phone.

But it all boils down to a decision he’s made that he said changed his life.

“A year or two ago, I wasn’t very optimistic,” he said. “Now I’m doing things that help me live a better life. It’s not overwhelming.”


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