Long Time Passenger: The Story of a 12 Year Old Boy

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Long Time Passenger: The Story of a 12 Year Old Boy

Well, I was not real sure where to start. My journey on public transportation began 23 years ago, in Massachusetts. In brief, I was 12 when I started riding the public bus. I had to figure the system out all by myself. The reason I began riding public transportation was a rather sad one, my mother left and my dad was left with two children to raise (my grandparents did help, but only had one car). We lost our car and our house due to what was incurred by that. I’m the older of the two, and was in charge of helping raise my sister, and knew that my bicycle was limited and I needed a way to access places I was not capable of reaching by bicycle. I knew there was a bus route in town and that it went down the street we lived on.

One day, I walked out to the street and waited. I had no idea there were places called designated “bus stops” where people waited for these buses, nor did I know that they ran on a schedule, all I knew is that there was a bus. The bus eventually came, and stopped for me, and I boarded. I poured about 1.50 into the farebox when the driver told me the fare was only .55 cents. Realizing that I had no idea what I was doing, she gave me a schedule and explained to me how the bus works (including where to board next time I want it)

In 23 years, I have enjoyed the experience of riding 20 different transit systems worldwide, learning the policies, making friends, and meeting new people. I have used public transportation to attend social events, get to places of employment, classes at school, get to appointments, run errand, take day trips to get to see different or even new places, and even get reunited with my mother.

I have been able to use public transportation to turn a bad situation into a good one, and it has helped me build a foundation for my future that I may never have had the opportunity to do.

Now that I call Hampton Roads my home, I have learned much of the area by riding on Hampton Roads Transit. I have made many trips to Smithfield, the Peninsula and Williamsburg. Being able to make connections with Williamsburg Area Transport has given me the freedom to explore more of the area’s rich history (as well as shop at some pretty nice shoppes in Market Square).

The Elizabeth River Ferry, a service of HRT, helps me enjoy my travels between Norfolk & Portsmouth more, because I am not in a car or on a bus getting stuck in tunnel traffic.

Very soon, I will begin blogging about my adventures and exploration, as you can imagine, I have quite a few.

Gary Dubour


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