Being a person with special needs, I’ve had to deal with inconveniences for most of my life. One of them regards transportation. Now, anyone who knows me on this campus knows I’ve had the reputation, or as I see it, the stereotype of being a reckless driver who doesn’t watch where he is going and that I go too fast in my wheelchair. There is some validity to that statement; I sometimes don’t watch where I’m going.
I’ve had to deal with other people’s opinions about my driving. Recently, I went to Subway for lunch, using the city bus to get there. I usually drive my wheelchair down Washington Street and turn onto Betz Road to go to Subway. On this particular day, however, it was bucketing rain and I thought it would be more practical to take the Route 66 bus rather than drive there myself.
It only took about 10 minutes for the bus to get there, and I just assumed that I would only have to wait 15 or 30 minutes for another bus to come and take me back to the PUB. I waited at two different bus stops for about an hour before I gave up and drove back up Sixth Street past Rockwood and back onto campus.
En route, I was thinking about the people who don’t have as efficient wheelchairs as I do and how they have to wait for an unreasonable amount of time just for a bus to come. When I waited at the first bus stop, I was contemplating that it no longer stopped here. If that was the case, the city of Cheney should have torn it down almost immediately.
Something needs to be done. I’m not looking for sympathy or understanding. Also, to be clear, I am not criticizing the bus drivers or the Spokane Transit Authority. I am criticizing the way the routes and the times for departures and arrivals are structured. I do not have solutions. I do not even have ideas. I just feel that it is unacceptable for people with special needs to suffer or change their lives and/or schedules dramatically just so they can catch a bus back to school or home.