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.