Street Stories: Deborah Wray

Street Stories is an interview series with Providence residents about how they move around the our city by local photographer Brittanny Taylor. Would you like to share your story? Get in touch

Name, age, any personal identities you feel like sharing, neighborhood where you live.

My name is Deborah L. Wray. I am now a 65-year-old lady and moving around a little slower. I live in the Olneyville section of town off Hartford Ave. I have been living in this area for over 30 plus years. I was not born and raised in Providence, but I made it my home and got a job and wanted to raise my family here, so I did. I have a college education and the ability to work with my first factory job on the other side of town because I live in the Hartford Park Development.

How do you typically travel around Providence? Is that working for you? How does it affect your life?

I take care of myself and a disabled grandson. We use the bus to go back and forth to doctor’s appointments. I am no longer working at this time, but it was downtown in Providence at the Federal Building (the post office) when I did work. The bus was the only way to get back and forth to work and home.

When I need to go to church on Broad Street, it was by bus. The bus is the only way I get around Providence, then and now.

Do you feel safe when traveling around Providence? Where do you feel safe, and where do you not?

I have never been afraid to go from one city or part of town because I knew I could always have a way home by the bus.

How could the City or RIPTA improve your experience getting around?

Ensure there is a shelter over every bus stop where we can sit and not be in the rain and snow waiting for the buses to come.

If they change the way it is now, it will make it more difficult for people to travel from the train to the other side of the 6th district court for a transfer and going up and down the hill by the mall to get different buses to go to the doctor’s, hospital, etc.

I have watched all the changes they have made, like raising the bus fare over the years and removing bus stops in many places.

Understanding this and learning how to deal with those changes should be enough, and now this change to Kennedy Plaza Bus Hub is very sad and will upset a lot of people in this city.

I feel this is very sad that they would not be asking riders of these buses how we truly feel. It’s about money and not the welfare of the people.

I believed if I voted for you in government, you speak for the rights of the people. I will vote you out, just saying.