When I was 9 years old, my mother decided to go back to school full time to finish her college degree. We moved from Ashland, OR to Hilo, HI. Part of the move was selling our car and for the duration of our time living on the Big Island, we did not have a vehicle.

After we moved, I wanted to continue taking gymnastics classes and needed a way to get from my elementary school to the armory building downtown where lessons were held. To go to my lessons, I got out of school early, caught the bus, rode it for about three miles and then walked the rest of the way to the armory.

On the bus ride home, I was usually the last person and got off at the last stop, so the driver changed his route to drop me closer to the apartment complex where I lived at the time. Learning how to navigate public transportation while living in Hawaii was important because my family continued to rely on buses to get around after we returned to the mainland. And later, when I went away to college, I was comfortable riding public transportation around the SF Bay Area.

A few years ago, I supported my daughter's desire to learn how to take the bus and light rail from her high school to her American Sign Language classes at Sacramento City College because I knew it would be a helpful skill and a step toward independence.

Brandy shares her active transportation story on KFBK radio’s The Travel Guys show. Listen in at 34:25.