While this is not quite typical, it will give you an idea of riding both MAX VIP (our Metro Area eXpress paratransit, door-to-door scheduled buses) and MAX fixed route buses. I no longer have sufficient sight to drive safely. I had made plans to take last Thursday off and do 2 things, so decided to also go to a store, and had scheduled VIP. Plans for Friday were unexpected, with no time to schedule VIP, so I had to ride the big buses that run a fixed route. We do not have the best service, but I'm glad we do have bus service. Some was good; some OK; some problems the fault of some of the bus personnel; some the fault of a doctor.
8:30 a.m. VIP at my house to go to the doctor about 14 miles away.
10 a.m. appointment; I took crocheting to do while waiting.
11 a.m. VIP to go to a restaurant to meet a notary to sign some papers. Our appointment was at 1. I ate lunch and the notary arrived at 12:30. Called VIP dispatch to let them know I was ready about 45 minutes earlier than my scheduled pickup time, hoping there would be an available driver in the area.
Driver got me at my scheduled time. Said she could have gotten me earlier because someone on her manifest canceled. Dispatcher never radioed to let her know I was ready early. Driver took me to the store, was finished there earlier than planned but didn't waste my breathe to call dispatch to let them know I was ready early. Just waited inside the store door until the bus came.
5:30 p.m. - home.
Doctor the previous day had written a scrip for me to have a non-invasive out-patient procedure at a hospital about 4 blocks from the doctor's office. Because of meeting the notary (a necessity), I didn't have the time to do that right after seeing the doctor. The doctor said I could "walk in" anytime at the hospital. The place where friend Shane works was closed this day, and he offered to go with me even though he didn't need to (he's 4 years younger than my son, also legally blind but, like me, with a good bit of usable sight; maybe I'll "adopt" him!), and I told him he could go back home any time he wanted to. He stuck it out and, as you'll see, it was a LONG day!
6:45 a.m. - about 36 degrees. Out the door to wait for 25 (route number of the bus that goes on the street 1/2 block from my house). Bus ran on time. Friend got on nearest his house, about 4 miles toward town.
8 a.m. arrived on time at Central Station.
8:35 - the route 14 bus was also on time.
9 a.m. - got off at the stop nearest the hospital, and walked there.
9:15 - got signed in at admitting and got an ID wrist band. Turned out the doctor should have made an appointment for me. Was told that if we had other things to do, OK, and if I returned about 1:00, they could probably work me in. I told them we didn't see well enough to drive, and had ridden the bus. I think they felt sorry for us!
9:30 - walked about 3 blocks to a drug store and got snacks. By now the temperature had warmed to 55 or 60! We sat at a concrete table and bench next door to the drug store and talked and ate.
12:30 - back to the hospital.
1:00 - was taken in for the test, and all was well.
1:30 - walked about 4 blocks to Subway for a late lunch.
2:00 - waited about 30 minutes for the trolley back to downtown but it never showed; maybe broke down or shift change, so walked 7 long blocks to the nearest street where most of the buses go on the way back to Central Station.
3:15 - got the first bus that came by.
4:00 - got one of the 2 buses that goes toward home.
4:50 - got off at Wal-Mart, went inside, bought a couple of things, ending with each of us getting a hot fudge sundae at McDonald's.
5:40 - got 25 on home, with Friend getting off nearest his house, and me riding on of course.
6:15 p.m. I walked in my door.
All 5 drivers were nice.
Even if I'd been taken on in at the hospital, to ride the fixed route buses there and back would still have taken me 5-or-6 hours, even though the hospital is only 14 1/2 miles from my house.
To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!
- I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!
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