Hop on Board with Providence St. Patrick Hospital’s Beth Schenk

I’m on board because Mountain Line helps protect the natural world and human health.

— Beth Schenk, facilitator, Providence St. Patrick Hospital

From a health perspective, any time you arrive at your job by some means other than driving alone in your car, your body benefits. That’s true no matter if you walk, ride your bike or ride the bus. The reason is, you will burn extra calories and likely begin your workday with a little less stress. On average, people who use public transit spend roughly 19 minutes daily walking to and from transit stops.

I take advantage of the extra health boost I get by using sustainable transportation. In the summer, I ride my bike. Most winter days, I take the bus. And here’s a little secret: It’s actually faster for me to ride the bus than to drive my car to work. Even though I walk from my house a few blocks to the bus stop, ride the bus downtown, and walk to my job at Providence St. Patrick Hospital, I don’t have to waste time hunting around for a parking space.

I’ve been a registered nurse for 27 years, and I always have been interested in the natural world and its relationship to human health. Starting about 20 years ago, I became involved in helping the hospital use fewer resources, become more energy efficient and recycle whenever possible. As part of this effort, I encourage our employees to take advantage of Mountain Line, to benefit their own health but also everyone’s health – since our public bus service helps improve Missoula’s air quality.

Like many Missoula employers, St. Pat’s helps our employees ride Mountain Line by sharing the cost for monthly passes and single-ride punch cards. It’s all part of our Commuter Club – currently 300 members strong. It’s just one more way we work toward protecting the health of our employees and everyone in Missoula, too.

Mountain Line’s convenient, affordable community transit system and the people who operate it make a better quality of life for everyone – protecting the natural world and health. That’s why I’m on board!