Public Transportation

One aspect of my new job that will be a big change for me is that I am going to ride the city bus to and from work.  Driving has become a challenge for me.  For the last few weeks, I have felt unsafe when I was behind the wheel.  I hate the thought of giving up the independence of driving, but I know it is the right thing to do.

On Monday, my mobility trainer is going to meet me at the bus stop and ride the bus to work with me.  He is going to give me some tips on how a person with low vision can safely navigate the city bus system.  My first question is how I am going to be able to know if I am getting on the correct bus when I can’t read the bus number.  Luckily for me, it seems like all the buses that go past the stop nearest to my house end up at the same place, Main and Clinton, which is where I want to go.

While I worked at Nazareth, my commute was in heavy traffic – sometimes even bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic that stretched a ten minute expressway trip to half an hour.  Annoying even for people with good eyesight.  I am really glad that I will not have to navigate that traffic any longer.  Now that the days are getting shorter, I was going to have to make some arrangements regarding my work hours, since I can not drive at all in the dark.  Shortened daylight hours were going to mean shortened work hours if I did not make alternate travel arrangements.  Also, I couldn’t help but think about the environmental impact of my daily commute, driving alone in my car.

Now, all of those issues are resolved.  My new job is four miles from my house.  It will take a single bus ride followed by a short walk to get from my house to ABVI.  My sons, who take the city bus every day, warn me that the buses are sometimes crowded and I won’t always get a seat.  They say the buses are cold and uncomfortable and loud.  They look at the “short walk” from where the bus lets off to the ABVI building and tell me I am going to freeze, walking that in the winter.  I accept all of these warning and know that public transportation is not perfect.  But all I can think is that it will be safe.  I no longer have to worry that I am going to cause an accident or hurt someone.  I am willing to put up with a lot of inconvenience to keep myself and others safe.

Monday is a new beginning for me in so many ways.  On Monday, I will join the ranks of those who use public transportation.  This is one of the biggest changes brought about by my new job, one of the best changes.  Like everything else about starting my new job, I feel nervous about this change, but very optimistic and very excited.  Not having to worry about driving is one reason that I know that I am making the right move.


6 thoughts on “Public Transportation

  1. I wish you lots and lots of good things with your new “venture” ( for lack of a better word) Aren’t you lucky you do have a bus system…here it would be impossible but then again life is such that we could have a driver….although with my experience with drivers in these parts I would rather take the bus! Good luck to you and keep us posted!

    • Hi Ron. I am so, so lucky that I can take the bus = one bus from my house to my work without having to wait for a transfer or anything. Plus, the bus runs about every 10 minutes, so if I miss one, I can catch the next one. Thanks for the good wishes.

  2. What’s your visual acuity? I I’m 28 and gave up driving several years ago, before I was even legally blind. It’s not that I felt unsafe, but I felt like I was endangering others, especially those walking or riding a bike on the side of the road. I’ve never taken a bus, but I’ve been through mobility training and I learned you ask the driver what intersection they’re stopping at so they give you an answer besides yes or no or a nod of the head, like hey might if you asked, “Is this bus going to Wal-Mart?” or whatever. Also, all buses have (or are supposed o have) seats for disabled, and only disabled people are to sit in them, and the driver can kick hem out of the seat if you ask them to. Four miles isn’t far at all; the nearest stop from my house is over 5 miles away. Anyway, sorry if I bored you with stuff you already know, but good luck 🙂

    • Thanks so much for commenting. i’m not sure what my vision is now, but I am not legally blind. I know I will feel a lot better after I run through the bus route the first time tomorrow. I feel 100 percent sure that switching from driving to bus is the right thing to do.

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