The Haves and Have-Nots: COVID and Mass Transit

The Haves and Have-Nots: COVID and Mass Transit

Knowledge is Important

I’m always on the lookout to increase my knowledge about the issues that impact my clients championing affordable housing and anti-poverty.

As I think of my birthplace and the place I moved to, I’m astonished that my old hometown has surpassed my new hometown as a mass transit mecca. If I were a betting person, this is a wager I would’ve lost. Who would have ever thought L.A.’s public ridership would surpass the Bay Area’s?

Some People have Choices

This San Jose Mercury News article sums it up with this statement – “At the heart of the Bay Area and Los Angeles pandemic ridership dynamic are two seemingly bland transit terms: “choice” and “dependent” riders.” The haves vs. the have-nots. Those who must take public transit because of a lack of money to purchase a reliable vehicle versus those who can and usually do.

Accountability and Responsibility is NOT  a Blame Game

Some will say “it’s the riders’ fault”. Some will say “who cares.” And then there are those who will say let’s implement policies and systems so there is equity. This my friends is what all the talk of systemic bias is all about. It’s not about whose ancestors did what. It’s not about “I didn’t do it.” It really comes down to everyone being part of a solution. In this game, many are looking to go to work while being safe, on-time, and healthy. Some can do so, simply by rolling out of bed and walking to their computers. (That’s a good thing!) Others roll out of the place where they sleep and take crowded and delayed transport to get to work. (This can be a better thing with strategic planning and upgraded systems.)

Those sleep-work options are extremes on a continuum. There are so many more that could be listed here. AS A MATTER OF FACT, WHY DON’T YOU LIST YOUR SLEEP-WORK OPTIONS? And offer some ideas that can be passed on to policy- and decision-makers!

I do want to mention that one of those in-betweens are the folk who provide employment for those who roll from their positions of sleep. I’m no capitalist by any stretch of the imagination. And I also believe that those who support payrolls can have ethical cash flow and profits to pay the people who work for them.

My Part

As for my part, I’m going to continue working with organizations that want to dismantle the systems that seemingly and, often, unknowingly are turning their backs on the “have nots”. Again, this is not a call to blame, but a call to work together for safe, on-time, and healthy options for transportation for our collective workforces.

If I have stepped on your toes in any part of this blog post, please do me a favor and say “ouch!” I’ll say “I’m sorry!” And then I’d love to have a respectful conversation. I have stepped on toes, and I have said “I’m sorry” and then went on to discuss where we agreed, where we didn’t agree, and how to move forward. Click this link to see one such interaction.

In the meantime…

What Part Will You Play?

I believe we all can make a contribution to the betterment of society. The contributions can be small; they can be large. What will be your part in this game of social responsibility?

I’d love to hear from you.

Until then, to your health and calmness.

Lori, The Calming Communications Coach

The Calming Coach


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