Until today, my biggest complaint about Worcester must have been the public transportation. Worcester and Clark do provide options such as The Safety Escort Service, The Consortium Shuttle, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA), and of course, taxis. Clark also provides buses on the weekend to Boston, the movie theater, and the near-by shopping center. Still, for me, as someone who spent time living in Boston, riding the T, and being able to get basically everywhere using public transportation, coming back to Worcester’s system was less than appealing.
As I mentioned, that was until today.
I was in Boston for the MassChallenge (the largest startup accelerator in the world) Awards Ceremony, which just so happened to be the same night as the sixth game of The World Series, Barack Obama speaking at Faneuil Hall about health care and a Drake Concert going on at the TD Garden. As you may imagine, it was quite busy and there were many emotions in the city.
Today, I took the bus back to Worcester’s Union Station, where I would typically have a friend with a car pick me up, or take a taxi back to campus. But not today.
The Chief Economic Development Officer of Worcester recently spoke at Clark and mentioned that a new transportation hub was built to control the WRTA buses that go around Worcester. Today, when I stepped off the bus, I went over to check out the new building. I took the WRTA a few times my first year at Clark, but couldn’t remember which buses stopped near Clark. I went inside the new building, had great customer service, and six minutes later, was on the 19 bus going down Main Street.
As people walked on, they were greeted by the driver who knew most of them by name. She asked about their kids, their day, and what they ate for lunch. One elderly man, who everyone seemed to know, walked on. He had difficulty seeing, but as he prepared to take his first step, a middle-aged man stood up from his seat and helped the man step on the bus and into his seat. My faith in humanity grew exponentially.
Conversations went on around me, while some people just kept to themselves. A few stops later, a women in a wheelchair got on, and I stood up so they could use my seat for her chair. I sat down in a different seat near some kids who were talking about a rough day at school. Since I’m shadowing in a Worcester high school, I was really interested to know more. I started talking to them about where they go to school, what they like, and what they don’t. It was really nice.
I pulled down on the rope that let the driver know that my stop was coming up.
I thought I was happy with the score of last night’s game. That was nothing compared to this.