Thursday, January 09, 2014

January 9, 2014

Pretty quiet day today, finally semi normal. While I spent most of yesterday raging against the dual machines of public transit and for-profit healthcare, today I was able to just go to work, do my job and maintain an even keel.

Two things I want to remember, if I ever go back and look at these posts in the future:
1. the receptionist at my doctor's office told me she'd "let me slide this time, but next time I'd have to have insurance if I wanted to see the doctor," in spite of the fact that I was paying in cash, in full. She told me I could blame Obama.
2. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has changed up some of the bus routes. What that means for me, and for a number of people who work in the industrial park where I work, is that the bus will no longer service the industrial park. The line will now end at  WalMart, about a mile away. There's an irony in taking people to a place where they can spend their money, and cutting off service to the place where they earn the money to spend.
The one mile stretch of road is a four lane highway with few street lights, that junctions with an interstate. There's no sidewalk on the side of the highway where the industrial park is. And they're cutting this service in January, which means it will be dark at closing time, and if there's snow on the ground, plow piles will force pedestrians into the street.
Meanwhile, RIPTA has partnered with RIDOT (Dept of Transportation) to expand their "Beat Traffic, Try Transit" program, wherein people who use park-and-rides, and take the bus into the city, will receive half-price fares until June. I wondered on Twitter how they could make this offer with a straight face while cutting service to existing customers. RIPTA replied that they "aren't cutting service, we're redistributing it." I pointed out to RIPTA that they "redistributed" our access to work (and a medical center and senior/disabled housing, too), clean out of existence. No response to that so far.

But today was pretty uneventful. I went to work, came home, had dinner. Watching Ripper Street and I'll probably turn in early.

Our image for today: Niagara Falls, frozen. Amazing.

via MSN News


  1. The problem with gov't funding is often they don't have enough $ so they
    will try to make one group happy (commuters with cars in this case) while neglecting people they were already serving.

    I have noticed in my own transit system (Metro Transit in Twin Cities) that they are generally good about serving shopping areas, but suburban office & industrial parks where people work, but don't get get much non-employee traffic they do not serve as well. And once again, as you mentioned often these suburban streets do not have sidewalks. Keep annoying them with feedback, and point out the handicap accessibility & safety issues. Actually even better if you could get employers in the industrial park to write to the transit agency. I really think employers need to think about public transit more.

    I remember when I didn't have insurance, some receptionists would treat me very coldly, as if I had no right to be there. I would complain to the health care office about the receptionist. Hopefully the new healthcare will make it easier for you to get insurance.