Commute kindness

Photo of electric Marguerite bus
Photo credit: Steve Castillo

In the spirit of the holidays, Stanford Parking & Transportation Services asked Commute Club members to share with them acts of kindness that they encountered during their commute to and from Stanford and received 190 submissions. Here are just some of the stories they received and want to share in the hope they provide a glimpse into the “community of caring” that is the Commute Club. As some commuters noted, these are connections and experiences they wouldn’t have had if they were driving alone. One commuter even met her best friend while riding Caltrain!


“I was biking home the day after daylight savings time and forgot to bring lights for my bike.

“A bike rider who saw that I was not visible and was having trouble seeing the road offered to let me ride behind them to take advantage of their light. Their kindness on the road enabled me to get home safely.

“I was touched!” – CAROLYN HELLER, Stanford Biodesign



“During my typical daily commute back to Redwood City I walk from the train past Sequoia High School and toward my apartment.

“One day, while walking and listening to my daily podcasts, I noticed a little girl standing with her parents and grandparents near the corner of Broadway and El Camino Real.

“They must have just finished a meal and the grandparents were embracing the parents saying goodbye. During the embrace, the little toddler-age girl went unnoticed and started to run in a playful manner, hoping the parents or grandparents would chase her.

“She began running in the direction of the crosswalk and I quickly noticed a car coming!

“Being just 15 feet away, I sprinted to scoop her up before she went into the street.

“Her parents and grandparents broke into tears and thanked me but they didn’t need to. Anyone who would have seen the situation happening would have done the same exact thing; I was just lucky enough to be in a position to help at the right time.” – WESLEY HOWELL, Stanford Athletics



“One day, I witnessed a woman frantically looking for her bus pass. She couldn’t seem to find it and didn’t have the $2 cash for the bus fare.

“I gave her $2 to ride the bus and she was overjoyed.

“She asked if I was going to be on that same bus the next day to repay me. I kindly declined needing repayment.

“I simply asked that she pay it forward and do a random act of kindness for someone else.” – MYLES COULTER, Residential & Dining Student Housing



“My carpool buddy, Johanna MacDonald, and I started carpooling in July and it has been a wonderful partnership full of flexibility, good company, shared love for dogs and all things Stanford.

“I shared with her our weekly workplace tradition of ‘Oatmeal Thursdays,’ where we make oatmeal and offer (along with toppings) every Thursday to share with our colleagues in Littlefield Center.

“She surprised me one day with a lovely jar of her specially made oatmeal with apples.

“I thought it was an act of kindness worth sharing with the Commute Club. Thanks for encouraging us to think outside solo driving and gaining a buddy through carpooling!” – IMEE DUBOSE, Knight-Hennessy Scholars


To read more acts of kindness, check out commute kindness stories on the Parking & Transportation Services’ website.