Saturday, October 22

The state (lack thereof) of public transportation around here

We're not a well-to-do community by any means. Not everyone (gasp!) can afford a car. The trouble is, around here, there's little to no access to any alternate means of transportation.

When I first moved here almost 10 years ago, I was shocked to learn that there's absolutely no taxi service. I'd moved from Long Island where there seems to be hundreds of cabbies going anywhere you needed them to go. I asked why no cabs would come to our town and I got two answers. One was because there are some areas with high drug usage (yeah? I bet there's lots of places like that in New York too! What, New York cabbies are braver or something?) and the other was because this is a poor area. Ahem. Not a lot of money to be made here. It seems unreasonable and outrageous to me. My son and I have both been approached by people we barely know, asking for a ride here there or home because there was no other way to get there. We both gave rides to those elderly or frail women but come on! They deserve better than to have to beg rides!

Having a cab available sure would have been helpful for us today. TB was having his tooth pulled at 8 and Kristin needed to be in her class 40 minutes away by 9. That was okay but ... how would TB get home? The class would go until 11:30. Bill was available to bring TB home if it could be done by 9:45. Then Bill would have to go to work. Heidi was already at work. Luckily, TB's tooth pulled without complications and so Bill was able to bring him home. If it had gone the other way, TB would have had a long uncomfortable wait. Either that, or I would have had to go in and pull Kristin from her class. Meanwhile, if we had taxi service, then all TB need do is call a cab if his appointment ran late. Good thing it didn't!

And the buses! They run once every two hours if you're lucky and then you have to have transportation to the bus stop. If we had no car, first we'd have to walk a mile for the little bus that runs around town and take it to the grocery store where Kristin works, hoping the arrival time will more or less coincide with the big bus that runs up the main drag. The schedule usually doesn't match and so you end up having to wait somewhere for a couple of hours coming or going.

To save gas and wear and tear on her old car, Heidi drives to the bus stop and then catches the big bus to the grocery store where she works. If she works from 8 to 3, she has to catch the 7 a.m. bus (which is fine) but then there's no bus in the afternoon until almost 5.

Kristin is one of the few kids around who has no car (can't afford one and we can't afford to get one for her) and can't drive (can't afford the insurance and neither can we) so I take her to her ASL class at the campus located 20 or 25 miles from home. With the cost of gas, there's no way I'd drop her off and go home like I do when she has classes at the local campus.

I called the bus company which was a total waste of time. I called the township and wasted more of my time. That kind of response is just one of the reasons I am so mad and fed up.

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