one of the members of my church now attends college in philly, where i am from. i like that he's there because i get philly updates; i am and always will be a philly girl at heart. i just got an email from him that said SEPTA or the southeastern pennsylvania transportation authority, has gone on strike.
i remember septa being on strike when i was a senior in highschool. highschools in philly, unlike grades k-8, did not get yellow school buses and so we either received rides to school or had to take public transportation to commute for our education. some highschools gave students tokens (10 per week to cover the trip for 5 days) or you had to purchase them at student prices (which i did). purchasing was the way to go. if you were sick or lost a token they didn't help you out by giving you an extra and then you had to find someone to sell you one.
the strike was awful. i remember one friend who had to leave her home before 5 AM to commute to school by taking the trains (at least they still ran) and walking a long way in order to keep up her perfect attendance record. i can't remember how long the strike lasted ~ 2 weeks, maybe more. i just remember what it did to us kids in highschool who didn't have access to a car.
the day i stopped needing to take the bus was the day i stopped using public transportation (except for a few trips to NYC or to visit the boston pobble and when using the T is the best way to get around the city). i always hated the bus and the subway. it never failed to be late when i was in a hurry, or jam packed when i was exhausted and would have paid for a seat (which i had since it wasn't free). i hated watching bus after bus go by because they were full and people were pressed (illegally) up against doors.
and i always felt guilty as i drove by bus stops packed with cold, wet, and tired people waiting to go to work or home because i knew that i was blessed with a nice, warm, non-sardine-like car.
last night on the daily show the guest was d.l. hughley. they showed a clip from his new show where he talked about the death of rosa parks. he spoke with reverence when he talked about how she had made such an impact on our society because she had refused to give her seat to a white man. "look how far we've come." he said. "white men used to take the bus."
and there it is. who will be affected by this strike: the poor and the young.
i don't believe in reincarnation, but God, do you think you could send rosa back?