Why Does Transit Set Mothers Against Seniors?

August 9, 2010

I am a big booster for transit in Vancouver. I haven’t had a car for twenty years and have relied upon transit almost every day. I happen to think that the public transportation system in Vancouver is pretty good; it certainly works for me and gets me efficiently where I want to go. But there are issues, and the biggest for me right now is a manufactured dispute between seniors and mothers.

Every bus in the system has a section near the front that is designated for wheelchairs, seniors, those with disabilities, and mothers with strollers and infants. It seems logical to me that priority should go to wheelchairs and there is rarely an issue with that. The next priority should surely go to those seniors with disabilities, who find it difficult to stand for any length of time. But no: I have on so many occasions seen drivers force elderly crippled people to stand up and make way for some fit young mother with a stroller and a baby. That cannot be right, and yet most mothers take it as an entitlement.

On the occasions when I have questioned drivers about it I have been told either that stroller priority is company policy, or that I should mind my own business. Ridiculous! I have finally written to the company to find out directly what their policy is. I will let you know. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue to steam about all this.

Update: Transit wrote back very quickly — I guess I wasn’t the first to ask.

Thank you for your recent feedback and inquiry. The priority seating goes in the following order.

1. People using wheelchairs or scooters
2. Persons with disabilities and seniors
3. Children in strollers

But will they tell the drivers?

Tulips and Vase

August 9, 2010

“Tulips and Vase” (2008), acrylics on canvas 16″ x 20″ [better image here]

After The Rain

August 9, 2010

For several weeks Vancouver has enjoyed high temperatures and sunny days. However, when the smoke from the Province’s hundreds of wild fires drifted across the city last week, the air quality deteriorated to the point where it was affecting me badly. Three days ago we finally got some rain, and it was warmly welcomed by me and our plants. The rains were never heavy but for many, by this morning, a third day of precipitation was too much to bear and Twitter was awash with complaints.

I went vegetable shopping along the Drive about noon today while the air was still moist with light raindrops — and it was a delight. The temperature was muted and the rain-cleaned air was wonderful. Just an hour later, as I was walking home and the rain had finished and the sun was breaking through the clouds, it had already begun to feel like a rain forest, with humidity as heavy as a Hudson’s Bay blanket.

Once again I began to dream of finding a place where there was only spring and fall. Where could that be?