Friday, May 27, 2011

Priority Seating: Not All Disabilities Are Visable

On June 15th, 2009 the MTA kicked off it's Priority Seating Campaign .  And since then, we've all seen the signs on the buses and trains.  It's been almost two years since the campaign.  How many times have you given up your seat?  How many times have you seen others offer their seat to someone?  

Taking the bus with The Boy is fine so long as we get a seat.  Last Wednesday while taking the bus to the sensory gym, it was especially crowded and we had no choice but to stand in the front.  I had my big bag, The Boy's book bag and I had to keep reminding The Boy to hold on.  There were three young girls sitting in the priority seating.  Oblivious.  I looked around - there were a few elderly people standing too. 

The bus route up to Riverdale takes a lot of twists and turns, up and down hills.  And losing my balance is easy.  So I need to hold on to the rail and keep one hand on The Boy who has difficulty balancing his body.  

Though I admit, I let him step on the young girls feet more than once without apologizing.  She should have offered her seat. Not for The Boy - I would have let the elderly woman take it before letting The Boy sit down. Because that's how I was raised.

When The Boy was finally able to sit. I made him get up again - 2 stops later - for an elderly woman carrying her groceries. There were still a few teenagers sitting in the priority seats.  I let The Boy step on their feet too.

It amazes me that men, women, teenagers ignore the elderly.  Pregnant women. The disabled.  Mothers struggling to balance babies and folded baby carriages.  How people lack common courtesy.

I should have said something.

Next time I will.  And if you see something - say something too.       



  1. I rode a public bus in high school and was raised to do the same! I gave my seat up plenty of times to an older person! We practice this now with our two boys when we ride public transportation. I have to say that the regular commuters are the worst about giving up a seat to a mom and her two (young 3 and 6) kids on the train :( Though I will stand and make my boys stand if there is someone who needs my seat more than me. That's just how I was raised. Unfortunately, not everyone raises their kids that way or thinks of others before themselves :(

  2. Ive never seen anyone offer a seat either. Your right these days people do lack common courtesy.


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.