Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Public Transit and a Social Pittsburgh. A rider story . Oakland

Do you recall our story about social cities, the way in which a city's walkability and its social desirability were interconnected? A place where events do happen is a place where people can walk to these events, or from event to event since walking spaces maximize our ability to interact socially.
The following rider story tells us how important is transit for a social Pittsburgh. And how her daily commute helped her develop not only a social network but also better social skills:

"I began my love of bus riding when I was in elementary school and had been chosen to attend the Carnegie Museum’s Tam O’Shanter art classes. Every Saturday morning you could see me catching the 67F (now the 69) to get into Oakland. I have been riding the bus to and from work for 20+ years now. Over the years riders have come and gone but those of us that have been riding the same routes for years I refer to them as my mobile family. The commute in the morning is usually quite quiet but on the way home more conversations take place. We catch up on what people are involved in, ask about their true family members, and comment on things taking place around the city and country – or just settling back and relaxing. I recall one time when we had a baby shower for one of the passengers, another time there was concern for an ailing rider who soon was no longer with us and last of all when a passenger gave out candy canes during the holiday. There is something to say about sharing the ride with others and yes, you are never alone!"

Laraine H. is a former ACTC member and a University of Pittsburgh employee.

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