LaShondra White makes people beautiful for a living, and she’d love to tell you about it. She owns and operates a beautician business, works as a cosmetics consultant at Kohl’s, and even recently launched her own line of lip gloss! Needless to say, LaShondra is always on the move, and surprisingly enough, she commutes exclusively by bus.
LaShondra has developed a fruitful career in cosmetics without…[a] personal automobile
LaShondra rides both DDOT and SMART routes, depending on where she needs to go. Originally from eastside Detroit, LaShondra takes the 8 Mile bus to her job at Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights. She is out at the stop waiting, 7:30am every morning. A few years ago, LaShondra was working and attending school full-time, while also being an attentive mother to six. “I was doing all that while being on the bus”, she explains. Pushing through late buses and long commutes has been challenging, but LaShondra still prefers catching the bus to driving.
“Insurance was killing me! The cost of a car is more than double the cost of a DART pass, which I love”, LaShondra beams. Since 2012, LaShondra has developed a fruitful career in cosmetics without commuting by personal automobile. She only catches rides for trips to the grocery store, or when she misses her evening SMART bus.
Despite being generally content with DDOT/SMART, LaShondra does have a few words for improvement. She believes providers need to increase the frequency of their night routes and better accommodate evening riders.
“If I miss my night bus, there is a 51-minute wait for the next one. It is ridiculous! Luckily, Kohls has been pretty good about it, they adjusted my schedule accordingly.” Unfortunately, most employers are not so understanding.
“When the world is crazy, I put my headphones in, and use the time to chill out, get my head together.”
In general though, LaShondra is pleased with the bus, and finds mindfulness on her route. “Overall, I’d say it’s good. I really like the DART app, it’s so useful,” LaShondra says. “In a crazy way, riding is almost therapeutic. When the world is crazy, I put my headphones in, and use the time to chill out, get my head together.”
LaShondra’s story is one of hard work and personal dedication. Through intense beautician training and long work hours, the bus got LaShondra reliably to her next destination. Navigating a new career path without a car illustrates the true utility of Detroit transit, a community resource worth investing in.