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Sioux Falls man chooses riding the bus, commute expenses cut in half

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Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 10:56 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Higher prices to fill up the tank could make a local alternative more appealing; riding the Sioux Area Metro.

It was a combination of reasons that Mitchell CopperStad looked into changing how he got to work. One of them was the cost. Trying something new can be uncomfortable at first. He describes his biggest concern about taking the bus.

“Really just getting lost. I mean, it’s daunting, taking something new, going out of your comfort zone and really putting your trust in other people’s hands that they’re going to get you to where you need to be,” said CooperStad.

Sioux Area Metro or SAM drivers understand and can provide guidance.

“Riding the bus, if you’ve never ridden before, can be kind of intimidating,” says SAM Operations Manager Glenn Wright.

Schedules are posted along the way, the SAM website has details. CooperStad says google maps works best for him.

“You just type in your location and your destination and you click the little bus icon on Google Maps. That will tell you right there when the bus comes, what time you need to leave and it’s a really great resource,” said CooperStad.

The change was made for several reasons.

“Reducing the carbon footprint, to taking care of myself because I’m walking in the mornings to and from work, to get in just saving money on my bank account,” said CooperStad.

His commute expense was nearly cut in half.

“The cost of taking a bus is $1.50 per ride. Now you can save a little bit of extra money by buying the 10 ride pass for $10.50. Now if you want to equate that for gas, you know to and back from work for me right now is about $2.20,” said CooperStad.

Wright says the SAM bus schedules are dependable and safe. On-time performance is at 99 percent.

“Our people are very friendly and they’ll help you every step of the way,” said Wright.

The commute from the doorstep of his house to arriving at work is about 15 minutes longer, but that is outweighed by feeling good about the choice.

“Sioux Area Metro has come through time and time again and you know, I can’t recommend it enough,” said CooperStad.

One of the challenges he’s yet to navigate is the rain. He hopes for more bus stops with shelters in the future, along with a designated crosswalk on West Avenue for not only bus riders, but students from nearby schools crossing the street.

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