Marcin Miechowski rides his bicycle to the Norwich bus depot, loads his bike on the front rack of SEAT bus number 1 and takes the 8 a.m. bound for New London.
Some of his fellow commuters, many of them casino workers, say they are struggling with their finances. But for Miechowski, other people's losses are his gain.
The 25-year-old from Norwich and his cousin run Coit LLC, a company that buys repossessed or foreclosed homes, puts as much as $50,000 worth of repairs and upgrades into them and sells or rents them out for a profit.
"The way the economy is right now, for my kind of work, it's better," he says. "When all the real estate starts to go up again, that's when we're going to hurt. There won't be as many foreclosures and as many repossessions. Some people capitalize on it, some people hurt from it."
While business is good, Miechowski takes the bus to save money, about $100 a week, he estimates. On this day, he gets off the bus near Route 163 in Montville and pedals toward a nearby scrap metal yard where he hopes to find some materials for the house he is working on in New London.
"We hope things stay the way they are," he says, "but you can't say that for everybody."