Public Transit Communication: Interviews (Public transit experience…
Public Transit Communication: Interviews
Public transit experience
Differing experiences in terms of how easy/difficult it is to navigate the bus
Ethnic/religious harassment is prevalent
"All refugees are slow learners and slow responders." - Charles Mugabe
Some clients are more focused than others on which systems to navigate (i.e. one client could be focused on the public transit system within the community that they live, while another could be focused on how to get from Lewiston to Portland)
Fatuma Isamael - The refugees aren't afraid of asking for help (people or bus drivers) - bus drivers are usually very helpful - they help people put money in where they need to, or help explain to them where they need to get off, routes, etc.
Where a client is working is a large factor in their public transit experience
Catholic Charities assists first 3 independent rides to social services: clients are ensured to be enrolled in such programs.
Clients get an orientation (at least two sessions) - one from catholic charities itself. one from the director of advertising from the portland
Clients are familiar with the system before they have to use it. Know where to pay, how to signal how to get off
Ameera Transportation & Logistic Care offer free transportation for up to 5 years to and from medical appointments. The transportation services pick them up at their place of residence.
Fatuma Ismael - Making mistakes during the first week of using the bus system is necessary for their clients learnings - she says they learn from those mistakes in about a week.
Big complaint: clients putting in too much money and not getting money back
Big Complaint: Getting off at the wrong stop, having to get back on and still having to pay again
Big Complaint: understanding that if the bus is at 1pm, the client will miss it if they show up at 1:05
difficulty with differing public transit schedules between different cities and systems
Differing viewpoints on time management: works really well and works poorly.
Fatuma Ismael - many people don't understand that you actually have to be at the bus stop before you take the bus in order to get on - if you miss the bus because your five minutes late, your screwed... takes people a while to realize that.
Buses are generally on time
Denise Beck: Director of Advertising & Community Outreach for Portland Metro
Everything goes through her
She conducts an orientation for the whole transit system once a month at Catholic Charities. At this orientation, the C.C. clients are also getting information from different nutrition, and health programs and the local P.D.
Big issues we can't really resolve...
There's no bus/public transit after midnight, so for a lot of clients with the second shift can't get home easily
Would want the system to have a later bus to address this
It's easy to get to work, but they have to carpool to get back home - usually split the cost of the cars and help each other out that way
But what if there's an emergency and the driver can't come with the car? Then they have to call a taxi to come pick them up (huge language barrier with that) and not to mention that it's a lot of money...
Childcare is also a big issue - who is going to look after your kids when you are gone - then even more complications with having to wake the kid up when you get back home in the middle of the night, etc. (If they can't find childcare, then they don't take the job.)
This was Fatuma's biggest issue with the bus system and the thing she would see solving a lot of their issues... Her dream bus system didn't really involve anything related to low literacy...