Monday, December 7, 2015

Ann Arbor = Accessibility

Two words can describe how my visually-impaired self feels about our upcoming move to Ann Arbor.

Pubic transportation.

No wait. This call for all CAPS.


It is no secret that living in suburban Metro Detroit is incredibly difficult as a non-driver. Detroit's moniker as the Motor City never rang truer or felt more alienating as when I realized my vision loss would prevent me from driving.

I've written about this struggle time and time again and in several ways. While the hassle and challenge of my daily transportation needs are a giant pain in the ass, I am forever thankful for opportunities these have provided. I met my dearest friend because I needed a ride. I've gotten really good at forging friendships, building networks, and asking for help. When Uber expanded to Northern Oakland county, I got a taste of the independence I was missing.

But public transportation. Dude. I am not even sure I can wrap my head around this. Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority or "AAATA" or "TheRide" is going to change everything. There 3 bus stops within a quarter mile from our new house. The entire city is accessible to me for less than $60 a month.

Total. Game. Changer.

I don't expect this to be an easy transition. It's been almost 5 years since I've been on a bus and I'm still going to need to plan routes, timing, and transfers ahead of time. But within time, I fully expect, both Emy and I, to be as comfortable riding buses as we are calling Uber or my dear "chauffeurs."

Public Transportation. Can you imagine the stories I'll have to share?!