My second encounter with the GTA bus system was drastically different from the first. My mission was to spark up conversation with another passenger in hopes of recording a video interview.
This plan was immediately tossed out when I was approached by a very kind African American young lady. "Excuse me, are you guys riding to the mall?" she asked. (we being Tiffany Garber and myself.) We responded "well, we aren't actually going there, but yes, this route goes to the mall." She looked a little confused so I jumped at this opportunity to futher engage in conversation. We proceded to inform her that we were IARC students doing a project on the design of a bus shelter, and asked if she would mind answering a few questions. Her responses were very positive about GTA, something that contrasted our other interviews. Throughout the converstation she informed us that GTA is "safer here than at home (Durham, NC)". To her the bus drivers and employees of GTA were very paitient. With some humor she stated that, "I called four times today and the women said 'theres this stop at this time, and this stop at this time.' She was paitent and I really appreiciate that." This statement made me realize how large the effect of out actions is on other people, and how a simple smile can go a long way.
Also during our conversation the young women talked about how she would like to see more trash can and recycling bins, more informational signs would be helpful, and definitely a bench or shelter to sit on/under.
This to me is the simple truth that what we are attempting to accomplish this semseter IS important and will be noticed. We CAN make a difference.