Success Story: Rafael Juarez-Yuen
Rafael Juarez-Yuen—records assistant in the Registrar’s office—has become acquired with the ins and outs of riding The Rapid to work. Since starting his position with Grand Valley 4 years ago, Rafael has always wanted to take advantage of the bus system; however, driving to work was always a more convenient option. A few months ago, a medical event in Rafael’s life restricted his ability to drive, causing him to begin riding the bus every day.
Prior to his medical event, Rafael tried to utilize the bus whenever he could, especially during the school year. He doesn’t live far from campus, but he says the bus is a more sustainable option that helps to keep the environment cleaner, and is more cost efficient in terms of gas, car repair, and more. Rafael finds riding the bus to be more relaxing, too, and says, “On the way in, you can catch a few more minutes of rest in the morning. On the way home, you are able to release and not worry about traffic.”
Since he was riding the bus every day, Rafael decided to get involved in Active Commute Week
(ACW) this past June. ACW encourages people to try active commuting through friendly competition within the community. “I liked that it was a challenge,” he said, which involved many of his fellow faculty and staff at the university. ACW doesn’t solely involve the bus system, so it’s a great way for everyone to get involved. Rafael says he was also intrigued about the prizes and other incentives ACW offered, which resulted in him winning a brand-new bike. Rafael grew up riding bikes recreationally, and is excited to be able to begin riding with his wife and daughter, who recently learned how to ride a two-wheel bike.
“Don’t be intimidated by a huge bus system—the bus drivers are very friendly. You just jump on the bus! From there, all you have to do is sit, know where the bus stops are, and how often they come.”
For fellow faculty and staff that may be looking to use the bus system, Rafael says, “People don’t realize that riding the bus is easier than you think. You just have to figure it out with your own schedule.” He recommends using myStop Mobile and Transit to keep track of the bus routes, both of which can be found on the GVSU Transportation Services website
. It doesn’t add much time to Rafael’s commute and he says, “It saves me time not having to find a parking spot on campus!”
As the new school year is approaching, he is looking forward to having more students, faculty and staff on the buses, and is excited for the new Laker Line
! Although Rafael’s health conditions are what ultimately pushed him to use the bus system, he plans to continue riding the bus—even after he’s able to drive again.
For those interested in Active Commute Week, they have year-round challenges and events happening in the Grand Rapids area! Visit the ACW Grand Rapids website
for more information. You can also participate in ACW through West Michigan Rideshare—
a service offered by The Rapid to help you find other individuals who are looking to carpool to similar areas as yourself. Find additional commuting resources for our other regional centers and campuses here: Traverse City
, and Muskegon