Something I’ve been really passionate about lately is disability transportation. I am not able to drive normally, and when i tried to with hand controls it was too much for my ehlers-danlos hands. I cannot afford electronic hand controls nor do i have access to them. I have people that could drive me, but i don’t have a vehicle. Why are accessible vans so expensive? They start at around $40,000 and top out at around $65,000. Most people are not able to afford this or get financing/grants to obtain one.
Some people live in cities and are able to use public transportation. But most cities, even NYC don’t have accessible public transit. para-transit is also an option, but in most places its inconvient, late, and not well managed.
This all adds up to disabled people not being able to work, go to school, or even just LIVE because they don’t have a way to get there. We need to reduce the prices and barriers to accessible vehicles, WAV and increase funding for paratransit and public transportation
There is a girl in my class. I knew that I recognized her, but I couldn’t place her. True, I had seen her at a table in the library, sitting with a group of other disabled students. I vaguely remember wondering if there was a club, and if I could join. But that wasn’t how I knew her. There was an interaction, easing its way into my brain.
As I sat next to her on the bus, I remembered.
She stood for me once, on the bus. It had been stuffed full, and I had my cane. I squeezed my way onto the bus, near the entrance. “Federal law requires these seats be made available to individuals with disabilities,” read the sign. The bus began to move, and I lost my balance. I didn’t fall, the bus was too crowded. But I was bounced between riders like a ball in a game of keep-away.
And she stood. She had a visible palsy, and it restricted the use of one of her hands, but she grasped the handlebar and said, “you can have my seat”.
I thanked her and sat, unsure of what else to do. She got off a few stops later.
“Hi,” I said haltingly, “I’m in your class. And, uh, you stood up for me on the bus, once. So thanks for that.”
“Well,” she said simply, “no one ever stands for me.”
No one cares for our needs but us. So it’s very much in our best interest to look out for one another. Thanks again, Ashna. Thanks for understanding.
Erfurt Fussgängerzone. Erfurt is the capital of the state of Thüringen in Eastern Germany. It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages, and has many beautiful old buildings and parks. The city center is quite compact so walking is the best way to explore. As in most German towns, regular tram services run all around the city, with service intervals of at least every 10 mins for most of the day. Trams are less frequent in the evenings. Night buses are available throughout the night to bring you home after midnight. They run once or twice every hour and meet at the heart of the city center (Anger) or depart from the train station.