H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Mar 30, 2012 10:13 PM by Ariel Wesler

Cal Poly Professor cuts car from commute

With no relief in sight from high gas prices, more people are relying on public transportation to get around. One Cal Poly professor says he's seeing the benefits firsthand. He has saved hundreds of dollars by cutting the car from his commute.

About four years ago, Professor Dan Eller had a tree fall on his car in Cambria. His family went from two cars, down to one. He's since replaced driving a car with riding a bus, a move he says is making him happier, healthier, and greener.

Eller commutes daily from Cambria to Cal Poly to teach public relations. He says getting out of the driver's seat was the best move he's made.

"Our insurance rates were cut in half, our vehicle maintenance costs were cut in half, so I didn't buy another car," said Eller said.

As he watches gas prices flirt with record highs, he's taking a pass.

"My bus pass has not changed. It's $35 today. It was $35 six months ago."

Eller says becoming a passenger saves him about $200 a month on just gas.

"I don't even know how many hundreds of dollars we've saved by having our family using one car and eliminating one car thanks to the bus," Eller said.

And there's a social side as well. That is when he's not soaking up the scenery.

"There may be a dozen, dozen and a half professors, staff administrators, students people, going to the government center, people from all walks of life doing different things," he said.

Or he can get down to business.

"I have time before I get to work to get things done and I'm comfortable," Eller said.

If you're worried about being stranded, Eller says the buses run on time, but you may have to plan your schedule around theirs.

"I've been in this county for 21 years and I think why didn't I start riding the bus sooner than later."

Eller says going green is now a family affair. His wife and children either ride the bus, a bike, walk, or carpool.

He calls the bus his VIP Limo and says everyone should at least give it a try.

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