It has been a couple of weeks since this happened. This is the first time I have felt like I could take the time to stop and write something down. I may miss a detail or two, but it has happened to me often enough that I will surely have pulled from some other time. Let me start by saying that I’m not making any blanket statements about the people who work for DART. In fact, for every bad experience I have had I can point to countless good experiences. Many a driver has gone out of his or her way to help me get where I needed to go. I tell this story not to beat up on DART, but in hope that my story will help everyone to stop and consider the unintended consequences of their actions when they don’t feel like following the rules.
It was Monday before last. I had been going to the office all week because I was not able to connect to the office network from home. Finally my laptop was rebuilt and I packed up to hurry home early. I was expecting my new home computer to be shipped that day and I wanted to be there to get it. I made the train on time and arrived at the Arapaho Center station where I transfer to a bus with approximately a 10 minute window before the bus was to arrive. At the bus terminal, all of the busses have marked stops. I know where mine is, and it hadn’t changed. I do have a little vision, so I opted to wait inside the enclosed shelter from where I could see the bus pull up to the designated stop. The arrival time came and went, but no bus ever stopped at that birth. A couple of times a bus pulled passed the stop and maybe slowed a little, but if anyone else had been waiting inside the shelter I don’t think they would have had time to react either. It’s likely the driver was late and didn’t want to bother stopping if there was no one waiting.
Admittedly, I’ve been a DART rider long enough that I should have known better. I should have been standing right out by the pole with the sign on it, particularly after the bus was late. I have this terrible hang-up though. I expect people to do what they are supposed to do. I will never know whether that driver even arrived that day, but past experience suggests that he or she did not stop in the correct place either because of lateness or some personal quirk. All I really know is that I was stuck waiting for another hour for the next bus to come. I missed my shipment.
In my case the consequences were no worse than a delay in getting what I wanted and a great deal of frustration at being a slave to someone else’s incompetence. Blindness offers many challenges, but at least for me the worst by far is the lack of the freedom of movement. However, I always think in these situations, what if it were something more critical? I once met a man at a bus stop who was late for a job interview because the bus did not arrive on time. Sometimes those things are unavoidable. Traffic, construction, broken equipment, etc are all part of life, but a driver simply not doing what he is supposed to do is not acceptable