No decency on public transit


To the Editor:

On Saturday, April 20, I was on the 1:15 boat from Woods Hole. When it came time to land in Vineyard Haven, I wasn’t the only one, senior and handicapped, trying to locate the exit. Unfortunately, there is only one elevator on the Island Home, and it was on the wrong side for our exit on this trip. But as numerous people like me tried to figure out how to get off safely, there was no one to guide us. 

I eventually took the elevator up, crossed over to the exit side, but would have to get down to the ramp by a steep staircase. A young mother with a small child grabbed my rolling bag and carried it down for me. At the same time, there were three or four SSA employees talking in the purser’s office. Why couldn’t those employees station themselves on the ferry and guide passengers to the exit and help them off? Why couldn’t they wipe off the handrails which were wet? 

The ferries should not be so unmanageable for people like me that we can’t get on- and off-Island. Or do we have to accept our isolation?

On the same trip, I was the last person on the Palmer lot bus to Woods Hole. I am 81, my left leg is mostly metal, fused ankle, artificial knee, 10-inch titanium plate, and eight pins in my femur. I got on the bus, the driver slammed the doors, and we were off. 

Of all the seated passengers I could see, two were women. Two men in the handicapped seats looked like they belonged there. But all of the other ones were, like me, hanging on. 

I raised my son to take off his hat inside, and give up his seat to an older woman. I guess those were the good old days.

Irene Ziebarth