Commute Interview #004 – Tony Arranaga

Car free commuter, light rail riding, multi-media journalist extraordinaire Tony Arranaga is Friday’s commuting interview interviewee.  I met Tony via the ole’ Internet’s inter-tubes by reading his blog, Light Rail Blogger, and was glued.  I had covered a bit of the opening day ceremony of Phoenix’s light rail opening, of course, I was here in the light rail running Portland.  After reading Tony’s blog though, I was reassured to know that at least somebody in Phoenix was going to help kick start that city’s life again.  Make sure to give a read to Tony’s blog to keep up with how the City of Phoenix is doing with its new Valley Metro Light Rail.  His latest entry covers his recent weekend using the light rail in his kickin’ media style.

Below is one of  Tony’s videos that is definitely a great production.  I dug it and I’m betting you might too, give it a watch, then read up on Tony’s Interview.

…and now for the interview goodness.

1. What is your occupation?  What exactly does the occupation entail?

I’m a multi-media journalist, researching, reporting, and presenting breaking news stories for television and the web

2. How long have you been in the occupation?

Almost 15 years.

3. What city & state do you live in?

Phoenix, Arizona

…and now for Tony’s media rich commuting nitty gritty…

1. What mode (car, bike, foot, boat, airplane, train, airship, etc) of transport do you use for getting to and from work?

I use our new light rail system to commute to work.  I’m experimenting with car-free lifestyle, but sometimes I run late to work so unfortunately I fall under the category "car-lite".  Either way, my car spends most of the time sitting in the garage collecting dust.  I’m trying to decided whether to give up my vehicle altogether.

2. How long does each leg of your commute take?  If you don’t commute, how much time do you spend getting to and from your desk or place of work?

Depending on what time of day/day of week, my commute can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 50 minutes one way.  Same average for the return trip.

3. How do you pass the time while commuting or traveling?  Read, write, compute, chat, other?

This is where my ADD kicks in.  I’ll multi task between email, text, and twitter.  Sometimes I’ll moblog.

4. If you had your choice, what mode would you take?

Light rail.  I LOVE IT!!  I don’t like driving now that I’ve experienced mass transit on a consistent basis.

5. If there was one thing you could change about your commute, what would it be?

Free Wi-Fi on the train!  And longer hours of operation.  (11pm = trains start heading back to the yard.)

6. If gas went up to $5.00 a gallon, how would that change your commute?

The price probably wouldn’t change my commute, but would help me decide what to do with my car.

So Tony, when you read this, I have a few follow up questions for ya.  Feel free to leave a comment, or just post the answers via a blog entry on your Light Rail Blogger Blog.

  1. What exactly is “mobloging”?
  2. Do you travel clean from one end to the other of the light rail system, it seems a long time 40-50 minutes each way?
  3. On your blog, you’ve busted your bus commuting cherry, how does riding the bus compare to the light rail?  Ride quality, work usable, timeliness, schedule frequency, etc…?
  4. So when I get down to Phoenix in October“ish” time frame where are we gonna eat?  Sound’s like Portland’s is a good place.  🙂

Thanks again for answering all of my questions!  Keep up the blogging, I’m digging it.  Now for the regular interview stats.

Commuting Interview Statistics

  • Occupations: Software Developer, Software Architect, QA Analyst/Graphic Design/Swiss Army Knife/Rock Star, Multimedia Journalist
  • Prospective Mode Trip Count:
    • Walk: 1
    • Bike: 1
    • Bus: 2
    • Streetcar: 1
    • Automobile: 1
    • Light Rail: 1  (Phoenix Valley Metro x1)
  • Cities:  Portland (OR) x2, Vancouver (WA), Phoenix (AZ)
  • Commute Activities:
    • Podcasts: 2
    • RSS Feeds: 1
    • Blackberry: 1
    • Music: 1
    • E-mail, Txt, Twitter, Moblog: 1
  • Commute Times:
    • Total For Everyone:  245 minutes door to door.
    • Average Commute:  61.25 minutes door to door.
  • Commute Changes:
    • Make it shorter: 1
    • Nothing: 1
    • Wifi on Light Rail: 1
  • $5.00 Commute Changes:
    • Nothing:  2
    • Bus Pass Would Increase: 1
    • Would help decide about what to do with the car:  1  (by getting rid of it)
  • Total Interviews Published: 4

One Comment

  1. First, thank you so much for the post and the kind words! It feels good to hear my hard work here in the Valley of the Sun is paying off. 🙂
    Mobloging is blogging on the go. Using the internet connection on my iPhone, I can post to my blog in a train, walking down the street, etc., etc. Sometimes I will moblog from the train if I see something happening or if I hear of some news on the way home that I want to pass on quickly. I can do so on the go instead of waiting until I get home.
    If by travel "clean" you mean without a car, yes. When I’m not on the train, I’m hoofin’ it from home to station to train to work. The station by my condo is only a couple blocks away, but the stop near by my work is about 1/2 mile. Total trip is about 50 minutes (ride/walking) but the actual commute by train is maybe 40 minutes.
    And, yes, I’ve lived a sheltered life. I’m a bus virgin. Until recently. Growing up in SoCal, I never had a need to take the bus, and quite frankly it was looked down upon where I grew up. Through my blog, I’m trying to show people that transit is not that bad.
    Having said that, my bus experiences have been eye opening, and only because you get to see another part of your community you many not normally come into contact with, and that’s NOT a bad thing! Like any city, I’m sure, there’s a different segment of the population riding the bus depending on the part of town you’re in. I live right in the heart of Phoenix (Midtown Phoenix) – I hear the Scottsdale routes are very nice. I’ll have to take a trip out there and let you know. The Valley Metro schedules are very flexible and well timed with the light rail schedule. I think the longest I ever waited between train and bus was 10 minutes.
    I’ve never used the bus to go to work. I believe about 70 percent of Valley Metro passengers rely on the bus as their only means of transportation! While some people love the bus, others say it doesn’t help their commute. My friend works on the outskirts of town (bankers hours), and bus service is NOT convenient for him because there’s more of a focus to bring people INTO town during am rush hour.
    I’m ready to roll out the red carpet when you come to Phoenix. Yes, Portland’s is good, but we’ll have to hit up a couple of places when you come here! I have my list of Phoenix favs ready to go!


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