As many of you already know Chris has relied on me for the last 9 years to drive him back and forth to work. The reason for getting the chair carrier was to lessen the strain on our family situation. It was to allow Chris to get out and keep up with us as a family as well as to allow him to ride the bus home from work in the mornings.
August 19th was confirmation that the bus is definitely not the best option for us. We took Chris to work using the carrier which was a learning curve in and of itself.
However, that morning proved to be a disaster!
Chris is supposed to work until 8:30 am. He left work early at 8:15 just to test out and make sure he would make it to the bus in time. He called me at approximately 8:35, 10 minutes before the bus was supposed to leave the stop. He calls me back at 9:05 and still had not gotten on the bus! I call Red Rose Transit and I’m told that bus is in Columbia! Not sure how he missed the bus when he was sitting there 10 minutes early.
He was stranded in Mountville! The next bus wasn’t until 9:50, an hour and 5 minutes later. The next bus headed for York after transferring in Columbia wouldn’t pick him up until 10:45am. He would then have another transfer at the York Mall and his next bus would pick him up at 11:33am to bring him into the city. It would have been almost 12:15pm until he got back home. Granted after having to rush to get the boys together and rush out the door we didn’t make it home until 11:50 but it was still a good 25 minutes earlier than if he had waited for the bus. That day he was unable to use the bathroom for approximately 14 hours. that situation has been dealt with but now we have a new challenge.
We’ve touched on the subject before but Chris has a new schedule once he can get back to work. His new schedule will be 6:45pm – 5:15am on Sunday night/Monday morning. It may have to be tweaked slightly so he can get to the first bus on time to get home. The other 3 days are 4:45pm-3:15am. He’ll have to wait approximately 2 hours to leave work to catch the first bus. Most likely he will be one of the only people, if not the only person, in the building. He will be then traveling in the dark in areas that don’t have the best sidewalks. The potential for him to become stuck in grass is a concern. He’ll be facing traffic and weather. This is a big concern considering why he hasn’t had his chair for 3 months. It was a slight rain shower that caused the chair to break down while being transported and the chair was thoroughly covered! It will be.exposed to the elements with traveling to each bus.stop. To get to his first stop near his work is about a mile and a half with much of it not having sidewalk accessibility.
He uses 3 different buses just to get home. He starts with Red Rose in Mountville and then transfers to Rabbit Transit in Columbia and transfer to a second Rabbit bus at York shopping Center. It’s a good 2-2.5 hour run for him just to get home.
That means on a good day he will be out of the house 14-15 hour Most evenings we will have to leave by 4:00pm to get him to work on time. He won’t get home until around 8:00am. That’s a 10 hour work day with a half hour break and a crazy commute. It’s definitely not the ideal situation. He does it so he can take care of us as a family. How many of you would “choose” this way of life? It’s not a choice that has been thought over lightly. It’s out of necessity at this point. Having his own transportation will open the doors to other options but until then we will keep doing what is needed to be responsible and live the best life we can.