This morning was another nightmare riding as a deaf passenger on the Buffalo Metro Rail train. As I am waking up, I figured to save gas on my car, by taking the train instead. So I parked it in the parking lot and headed down the escalator after paying 4 dollars for a round trip ticket. Then I carefully put it away in my purse, where I wouldn’t lose it. By now I already knew there was no text scrolling screen displaying any of the stops. So, I had to get used to it. Finally I boarded the train as it slowly came my way.
Reading the daily Buffalo paper is a must. So I took it out and started reading as the train took off. Some lady behind me was talking kind of loud, but I thought she was chatting with someone else. I turned around, and I thought she was a passenger trying to make a conversation with me. I had no clue what she was saying. So I just turned around and looked out the window. She tapped me on the shoulder, the lady was behind me. I asked her what she wanted. By then I figured she might of been the cop, as I couldn’t see her uniform. She must of had a coat on, covering it, either that, or I was half asleep. I still didn’t understand what she was trying to say to me. So I said I was deaf. She then smiled and I showed her my ticket, and she moved on to the next person. At that point I was really embarrassed. People on the train gave me dirty looks, as why am I ignoring this lady? Why was I giving her a hard time kind of look on their face. They didn’t know I was deaf. Neither did she. Then I looked out the window, and wondered why she was behind me instead of front of me. I can’t lipread anyone that is talking from behind me.
Five minutes later, another cop was behind me. He was mumbling away and I got restless. I turned around and I didn’t understand what he said, he was talking away. So I showed him my ticket to get him off my back. And I also told him a cop had already checked for my ticket earlier. He said that doesn’t matter, I still need to show it to him. By then I was feeling dissatisfied. It did not make sense for them to check for my ticket twice, when I had it. What was wrong with these people? Anyway, I was very disappointed that these cops did not know how to communicate with me as a deaf rider. They went from behind me and I can’t understand anything being said to me from my back. And when they were in front of me, they talked too fast and mumbled, so I couldn’t lip read them either. This is a big problem for the deaf riders. Something has got to be done. When I go to the next NFTA meeting, I am going to bring this up. This should not keep on happening to the deaf riders like me.