Transit Stories” is a series of real-life experiences with public transit in the U.S. We feature the first-hand experience of public transit riders. From large cities to small towns, we will document the experiences of the millions of users of busses, trains, ferries, and other forms of public transit in the US.

Public transit is essential to our communities, to cooling the planet, to advancing equity.

Transit is essential to our very lives. This year there is a unique opportunity for the country to make a historic investment in public transit funding to help the country build back better.

Transit Stories: Brian Colfer

Sterling Heights, Michigan Public transit needs to be improved dramatically here in southeast Michigan. Right now it is not reliable. I am completely blind. I’m going to be getting vocational services and want to work as a receptionist. But if I had a job now, they’d fire because I’d be late all the time. I used to use Suburban Mobility Transit but I don’t anymore because I can’t count on it. I don’t use fixed route buses — I need paratransit. But I found that you’d call, ask for a time to be picked up, and you’d be given a window, but you might not get where you needed to be on time. Once I was going to shadow a receptionist for a volunteer organization. They opened at 8:30, so I was trying to get there at 8:00. But the bus didn’t show up until 9:20. For my vocational assessment coming up, my career counselor arranged for one of the cab companies to pick me up. That’s how I’m getting to my appointments. But I can’t afford cabs on my own. Once I get trained, that’s going to be the sticking point because they train you for the job, but


Transit Stories: Benjamin She

(He/Him)|Philadelphia, PA As a rider and advocate, I find transit in Philadelphia and using SEPTA to be liberating. First of all, the city, as a pre-war, very dense, and compact city, has an abundance of available transit through the subways, buses, and trolleys. It allows me to get to a bunch of different places for only $2. I’m able to get anywhere within one transfer. Transit is not only beneficial to me, but also to many low-income workers and residents who have to rely on transit to access the amenities they need. Pre pandemic, my workplace was outside the city of Philadelphia, around the King of Prussia area. I decided to live in the city because I have a network of friends and advocates here I want to continue to connect with. I forwent using a car in the city. Instead, I took SEPTA’s train lines all the way out to the suburbs. These days, people of all income levels find that their workplaces are not necessarily very close to Center City anymore. Jobs are being spread out throughout this region to centers where it might not be the most accessible to transit. Because of our history of transit and


Transit Stories: Anthony Medina

Transit is important because some people do not have cars and need the bus so they can get to places. I do not have a car, so I’m obligated to bike or bus. Most of the time the bus does get me to where I need to go, but there are often delays from traffic and during the pandemic, I get passed up by the bus a lot. I usually have to get on the bus by 5:50 a.m. to get to basketball practice by 7:00 a.m. and there have been times when the bus passes me up and I can’t make it to practice on time. The same has happened when trying to get to the Housing Center so the Youth Coordinator just tells me to go home and join by Zoom instead. I wish I didn’t have to miss out on basketball practice or Youth Council meetings because of issues with the bus. Some bus routes in Chicago run more smoothly than others. For example, the Pulaski A route that runs further south is better than the other Pulaski route that comes through Belmont Cragin and Logan Square because there is less traffic further south. So we would