Posts Tagged ‘MTA’

Those Seats on the Bus With Extra Leg Room Aren’t First Class!

November 29, 2011

Nash and I have been heading in to Manhattan quite a bit these days. Living in Queens, we have discovered that the easiest not the fastest way to get there is via the Express Bus. For those of you who have only taken the regular bus around New York City, let me tell ya a little about the express bus. They are quite a bit smaller than the regular bus. The aisles are quite narrow very similar to the aisles on an airplane. That being the case, Nash cannot sit i nthe aisle, as no one would be able to get past him and on and off the bus. Now on the express bus there are about three or four rows for people with disabilities. These rows have a little bit more leg room. That way if someone in a wheel chair gets on the bus, the bus driver can collapse the row in front of it, and the wheel chair rider can fit on the bus. Now if someone with a guide dog gets on the express bus, they and their guide dog can fit in one of these aisles. The regular seats a person traveling with a guide dog cannot fit in as there isn’t enough room for a guide dog to squeeze in, and I have already established the problem of having your guide dog sit in the aisle.

The day before Thanksgiving, Nash and I headed in to Manhattan, we got on the express bus which is never filled to capacity. However, this day, all of the aisles that Nash found, as he has gotten excellent at seeking out the rows he can fit in were taken this day. I politely asked, “would someone in one of the rows with extra leg room mind moving?” Of course no one said anything. So again, I tried politely asking if someone would move. Of course nothing. I got a little frustrated, as there were plenty of rows for people without guide dogs to sit in. And yes, the people sitting in the extra legroom aisles spoke English, as when I get to one, I ask is anyone in here, and yes, people acknowledged me. You would think if someone wasn’t going to move for me, they would see the cutie Nash and at least move for him, but nope today the day before Thanksgiving, no one was in a giving mood. Finally after standing there, I let loose with, “You know you people sitting in the rows with extra leg room, that isn’t first class seating they’re seats for people with disabilities!” Still nothing. Unreal, the day before Thanksgiving. I thought people were suppose to get nicer around the holidays. Needless to say Nash and I made it in to the city ok, we just had to keep moving every time someone wanted to get off the bus, and we really slowed that bus down, as we were in almost everyone’s way wanting to get off the bus. We have to take the express bus again today, will be interesting to see what happens this time.

Down Goes Frazier, I Mean Down Goes Fischler!

November 19, 2011

Yesterday Nash and I headed to downtown Manhattan. And when I say downtown, I mean all the way downtown, Fulton street which as you can imagine is quite a hike from the middle of nowhere Queens. We were making great time, as we had to take the Q46 bus from home to just get to the subway, than we took the E Train all the way to West 4th street to the A train, and what is funny when I lived in midtown West I would never do even one transfer, as I would find another way to get where I was going, now I am doing two transfers. At this point, I would like to mention the NYC MTA. I think it is great that they now make announcements that if you see something, say something. Of course, not sure how that applies to a blind dude. I also think it is great that the buses announce, “Please use the back door to exit” but really, can the buses please at least announce what stop you are arriving at? No one even listens to the announcement to use the back exit, so it obviously isn’t helping anyone. If you announce what stop the bus is arriving at, you are at least helping the blind, and probably the non New Yorkers. Also MTA, on the subway if you could add an advisory to have all your riders shower regularly, it would make taking the subway more pleasant. WOW, have I smelled some funky people on the subway recently. I guess my sense of smell as a blind dude is starting to heighten more. Oh boy, that is coming in so useful on the subway and smelling the stink of people.

Anyway, we made pretty good time down to Fulton Street. We got off the train, and actually went out the right exit. Nash and I were pretty happy as it wasn’t raining, and it was a really nice day out, we were moving pretty quickly down Fulton Street, and then WHACK! OUCH, and a lot of expletives as I hit the ground!Nash walked me face first in to a pole. I felt like George Foreman had punched me in the face. I must have hit if pretty hard, as my face began throbbing immediately. Immediately, people rushed over to me. Fortunately, one guy had some napkins and handed them to me as the blood was flowing from my nose. I thought I had lost my front two teeth. Fortunately, my mouth was just throbbing so much, and was cut, as than I thought they were loose. I was really stunned, as I had never walked in to anything like this before. So glad that there is a first time for everything. I laid on the ground for a couple of minutes, and then some people helped me to my feet. I was dazed, as I asked them what that was, and it ends up it was a pipe of some kind sticking all the way out in to the middle of the side walk from a building. Yes, Nash did get yelled out a little, but not to much. I knew it wasn’t his fault, as the pipe had to be out of his sight line, but it is only human nature to be really angry and upset. Of course later, I felt really bad about yelling at Nash, as he did nothing wrong. It’s not his fault that he isn’t six feet tall, so he could see everything in my sight line. I would love to hear from any guide dog raisers, trainers, or handlers, what they think I should do about something like this in the future? Is there no way for a blind guy to avoid something like this? I am luncky that I didn’t break anything, lose an eye, or any teeth.

Of course, I had a throbbing headache for the rest of the evening, and today, my nose is twice the size it normally is, and my mouth is cut. I can’t afford anything to happen to my Brad Pitt looks. And today I probably look like Brad Pitt from Fight Club. HA.

I also wanted to give a shout out to all the puppy raisers from Guiding Eyes For the Blind that I saw last night. Always great to chat with you guys, and I am always so thankful for the hard dedicated work that you guys do. I am blown away by your youngest puppy raisers ever. WOW. You guys are the most dedicated people I have ever met, and without your services I would still be stuck with a cane!