Take the Bus

Back home from Lion Country! Nittany Lions, that is. We are Penn State! and all that. I rate the overall trip as a success. I made a few contacts and got some ideas.

The more I heard about what the kids were doing the more I thought we need a similar program for adults. How to use an ATM, do laundry, cook, use a long cane, technology…!

Just found an article on ATM use. Will write that up soon.

This morning I got the courtesy shuttle to the bus station. The bus trip was uneventful. Do I like riding the bus? No, but one of these days it may be necessary and I should have the experience.

The woman I was speaking with at the Summer Academy  (Virgil’s Mom! Did I mention I fell in love with Virgil?) said she has had mixed experiences with bus riding. The driver was nice but she was treated shabbily in the station at her destination. She may not even have light perception so her challenges are greater than the average person with AMD, whoever that might be.

Just the same, sometimes people can be royal pains. Make sure you have a few numbers to call in a crisis.

I did not ride with Greyhound but VisionAware did a piece on traveling on Greyhound (and other providers) a bit ago. They provided a number: 1-800-752-4841. This is the hotline for Greyhound. They like you to call 48 hours in advance of your trip.  If you have special needs, they prefer to know in advance. Reasonable, I think. I don’t like last minute complications either.

Remember you also need to be reasonable in your requests. Things like help finding a seat or the bathroom are within the realm of acceptable. If you are not getting even that modicum of consideration, I would expect that number also takes complaints.

Would I take a bus again? Yes, if it were my only option.  I would have to chose carefully to avoid the ‘milk run’ and hitting every village and crossroads along the way. I am just not that patient. This combination of public transportation and ‘Hubby Trailways’ transportation system worked out well.

The times I have been in England we were either driving (God bless us!), in a tour bus or on the trains. However, Britain does have a bus system. In British city transportation systems, stops are announced over the public address system, after which my first reaction was always to turn to a native and say “Excuse me. What did he say?”  Inelegant, but it got the job done.

Britain is not only supposed to be in the process of introducing free bus passes to those over 60 and those with disabilities (most of us on both points I would suspect) but they are also introducing a talking sign system. This is among several, other changes meant to make public transportation more accessible in Britain. See Jonathan Webb’s Bus Travel and the Blind or Visually Impaired for more info.

And FYI for you dog lovers, the Beastie Baby is now two days post when the vet expected her to live. Knock wood, cross fingers, cross toes, cross eyes. She still has not gotten the memo about her impending demise and we are not telling her!

Enjoy your evening!

written July 29th, 2017

Next: Centers for Independent Living

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