business matters
Yvonne Zentz has been taking Butler Transit Authority's commuter bus to her job in Pittsburgh for two years. She says riding the bus saves money, is convenient and enjoyable.

Bus ride removes anxiety of having to drive to work

Her blood pressure went up enough that she had to start medication.

Yvonne Zentz so dreaded navigating traffic from her Butler home to her new job on Pittsburgh's North Shore that she almost turned down the promotion that took her there.

That was two years ago, before she discovered she finds riding Butler Transit Authority's commuter bus route not only cost-saving and convenient, but also enjoyable.

“I stopped taking the blood pressure medication,” said Zentz, who initially worked for T.W. Phillips in Butler.

She was promoted to the customer relations job in Pittsburgh after the company was acquired by Peoples Gas.

Zentz boards the bus near Kmart in Pullman Plaza at 5:20 a.m. and doesn't return until 6:30 p.m. That might seem like a long day. But Zentz, who has permission to work four, 10-hour shifts, said that suits her.

“That commute was horrible. It affected my whole life. I was really worried about the traffic and just when I started, some people died in an accident on Route 28,” Zentz said. “Also, I lease my car and I was worried about putting on that many miles.”When she started her new job, a monthly lease cost $140 in the area of her Pittsburgh office. It has since increased to $160 a month, or $8 a day without a lease.

To ride the bus, she buys 15 fares for $60. She also has the option to buy 31 fares for $120 or buy a single fare at $5.

“That would be the same as the cost of parking alone and wouldn't count gas, and wear and tear on my vehicle,” Zentz said.

And it doesn't account for saved anxiety. Zentz said she listens to music on her bus commute.

“It's really peaceful,” she said. “The Butler busses are newer. They're clean and have free WiFi and phone charging ports. The bus drivers are really nice, too. It's a nice ride. It's comfortable.”

Zentz said her husband takes her to the bus stop in the morning on his way to work. But on the other end, there's no stop on the North Shore. So once she gets off the bus in downtown Pittsburgh, she walks to a T station and from there to her office.

Zentz said there's usually more than a dozen other passengers on her routes, “But I think I'm the only one who rides who goes to the North Shore. I'm hoping if more people read this and learn how great it is, we can get enough riders for a stop over there again.”