I’m not going to out this woman on Facebook. I took her picture and said I could post the photo on my timeline.
“But won’t,” I said. “It would go viral, but I’ll be kind.”
She hadn’t been. She had been sitting on the Skytrain beneath a sign that said she was in a priority seat for seniors. I stood, swaying, hanging onto the strap in front of her. I’m a senior.
I had begun the trek from Vancouver to the Coast last week via the Canada Line. I had just arrived at YVR from Portugal.
The woman–she looked to be about 25–stared up at me when I grabbed the strap. She glanced my way again and averted her eyes for the next few stops until we both got off.
I had travelled for a full day without sleep. Strapped to my back was a 15 kg pack. As I walked away from the train, I did what too few seniors do. I confronted the source of my discomfort.
“You were sitting in a priority seat for seniors and people with disabilities,” I said. “I was right in front of you, so you should have got up.”
She apologized and hurried off.
As I said, I’m not posting this story on Facebook. My website is a better place for it. It’s read mainly on the Sunshine Coast. It’s unlikely to go viral—but many seniors read this blog.
I hope this story will empower them to speak up when they encounter discourtesy on public transit. They should do it sooner than I did–and claim their rightful seat.
I also hope Translink will read this post and make those “disabilities and seniors” signs larger. They should use Skytrain’s announcement system to remind youth that seniors have earned their seats.