Waiting to Arrive / by Dashaunae Jackson

For the past year, I have been traveling to and from school and work via the Regional Transit Authority. I can leave for the day at 4 A.M. at the earliest and get home around 11 P.M. at the latest. Seems like along day when you think about it. It takes me at least an hour to get to my desired destinations on the Eastside of Cleveland. But if I want to travel to the Westside, it can take at least an hour and a half. My daily commute is long and sometimes frustrating, but I have learned to develop patience. As I sit and wait for my destination to arrive, I cross paths with various strangers. All of them have a place to be but for a moment of time we share a space and are forced to enjoy the ride together.

Taking the RTA for me is like being inside of a mobile community. You have the option to get to know the person sitting next to you. Even though neither person knows when the other will reach their destinations. It’s okay to strike up a conversation and learn something new about a complete stranger just to pass the time. This choice to engage, to interact, or just to be silent is what I am most interesting about public transportation. While the outside world is passing us by, we choose to sit still and wait. What others decide to do in this space and with their time is what I observe and capture.