Posted by: Ophelia | August 26, 2008

Hodge podge

I’ve been trying to find the time to write up comprehensive posts on some stuff I’ve seen/been thinking about lately but I’m finding myself with less and less time so I thought I’d just toss the ideas out there and maybe it’ll spark some discussion? Worth a shot right?

Ableism in public transportation: Perhaps this is unique to the area, but Philadelphia has trolleys that go underground. They’re pretty ancient and the doors are rather small (so good luck if you’re over a certain weight getting off and on comfortably). Last week there was a woman who was visually impaired who had to ask the other people who were waiting for the trolley to let her know when her trolley was coming. The trolleys don’t announce their number or where they’re going–I suppose they’re too ancient but the drivers do have intercoms and they are supposed to be announcing it. The fact that they expect people to depend on fellow public transportation riders rather than the transportation company and its drivers that they’re paying for their service is rather ludicrous. Would it really be that much hassle to take the time to announce the number and direction of the trolley as they do for busses, regional rail, elevated train, subway, and speed trolley services?

Alone in the dark: Yesterday as I was on my way out of the law building, a male public safety officer got on a floor below me. That’s basically the story. The only reason it was even remotely remarkable to me is that I’m fairly sure that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been alone with a man that I didn’t know.  Somehow I doubt that this is somehow a coincidence but rather more of a result of my socialization. Has anyone else ever had any lightbulb moments like that where you finally notice that your actions may in fact be infuenced by factors outside of your direct control?

I had more ideas but they’re gone now–I hope they come back :/.



  1. I’ve been taking SEPTA a lot recently and I’ve noticed the same thing. It’s just not friendly to the huge variety of people who use it. I’ve noticed that they’ve got the raised yellow parts at the edge of the platform so there’s that bit at least. But if you have a wheelchair it’s impossible to get on. And once you’re on the train it’s hit or miss at to whether the driver will actually announce stops. It’s not the most user friendly service by any stretch.

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