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Thread: Metro Rail and You: 1985 guide for Buffalo's free range kids

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Metro Rail and You: 1985 guide for Buffalo's free range kids

    In the process of simplifying my life and cleaning up my files, I came across this interesting bit of ephemera called Metro Rail and You.

    First, some backstory: when the first underground stretch of Buffalo's Metro Rail system opened in 1985, my dad and I were on the very first "civilian" train to pull out of the Amherst Street station. While waiting for the train, us passengers-to-be were handed bags filled with free schwag; keychains, candy, a commemorative copy of USA Today, guides to the system with details about the engineering and public art of each station, and Metro Rail and You.

    What is Metro Rail and You? It's a crudely drawn comic booklet describing the adventures of Tommy Lee Jones who, on his eleventh birthday, gets a pair of tickets to see Jungle Book. Tommy's something of a transit fan, and he begs his parents to let him take the Metro Rail downtown to meet one of his friends and see the movie. His parents, confident in the safety of the Metro Rail system, oblige.

    Anyhow, it's times like this when I wish I had a scanner. Click on the images for the full-size pages.

    EDIT: there's a couple of pages missing in this series. I'll upload them and edit the thread in a bit.

































    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Classic! Thanks for posting. Do parents really let 11 year old kids ride the subway by themselves? Of course todays parents are overprotective but still...

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Classic! Thanks for posting. Do parents really let 11 year old kids ride the subway by themselves? Of course todays parents are overprotective but still...
    Well, earlier this year, there was a lot of buzz about a mother who let her nine year old son ride the New York subway alone.

    Yeah, parents are VERY overprotective nowadays, and the Metro Rail booklet just seems like something out of another era. I sat on a mobile point source pollution advisory board, and brought forward a growing problem with particulate matter generated diesel-powered school buses. In the area where I worked, instead of stops spaced several hundred feet apart, school buses provided a level of service approaching door-to-door transport, winding in and out of subdivisions where even the most isolated lot was a short walk from a main road. Why? Parents demand it now; there's the combination of the "WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?", and a fear that a child molester ready to pounce lurks around every corner
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I rode the city bus everywhere by myself from age 9 or 10 on. I used to take intercity bus trips by myself to Boston to visit my friend when I was 12-13.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    You did not post the end of the story. Did Tommy Lee Jones ever find the one armed man?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    maudit anglais
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    When I was about 10 years old I used to take the subway by myself everyday after school to my mum's work and then come back home with her. I guess it was far safer than letting me have my own house key

    My idea of a fun day out when I was around the same age was to ride the subway and visit every station. Cycling across the city and back was a good day too. Only got into trouble once, when I didn't make it home for dinner on time.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Dan-I am amazed that you kept this thing for so long! I don't think that we'd ever see anything like that be published these days.

    I routinely rode the public bus system in Portland from age 12 onward. My daughter rides the Rutgers bus system which really is the default public transporter for the bulk of New Brunswick and the geographically wide spread university campus. She has ridden the train by herself from New Brunswick to Princeton (two stops) a number of times to meet me when I worked there last year. She always lets me know where she's going and what she's doing and has her own cell phone. I think in large part it depends on the maturity and decision making capacity of the individual child.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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