It’s been almost 30 years since Leslie moved to Vancouver with her son, Chris. It’s been 12 years since Chris started using C-TRAN to get to work in downtown Portland.

Chris, who lives with Down syndrome, rides independently and makes his own way. Leslie, who also works in Portland, rides a different bus. Rick, her husband, often drops them both off at the 99th Street Transit Center.

“I like the fact that there’s some continuity in drivers,” Leslie says. “I rode (Chris’) bus one day. He doesn’t work on Tuesdays and Fridays. One of those days I was on the bus that he typically takes, and I asked the driver if Chris was usually on his bus, and I thanked him for what he did to keep Chris safe and get him downtown.”

Leslie chose Vancouver largely because of the school system. She’s also found plenty of support as the parent of a child with disabilities.

“It’s been extremely rewarding. It is at times scary. We’re 33 years into this, and there are days when I think I’m too old to be parenting. But I feel very blessed. I’m very grateful that we live in this community that’s a little smaller. He probably knows more people in this town than we do.

“It’s been a really good experience. It’s opened my eyes to a world that I knew nothing about, and I’m grateful for that.”