Detroit Man’s Inspiring Daily Trek Highlights Transportion Ills, Unfair Auto Insurance Rates
February 2, 2015. A poignant and inspiring Sunday Detroit Free Press article you can read here highlights 56-year old James Robertson, who walks 21 miles per day to get to his job. And he has a perfect attendance record.
Robertson works at a factory 23 miles from his Detroit home. He is hindered by several cumbersome issues that too many Detroiters face: a lack of public transportation and unfairly high insurance rates, a tactic that is called redlining.
Redlining is the practice of denying, or charging more for, services such as banking, insurance, access to health care, or even supermarkets, and is often racially determined. According to the Free Press article, a nationwide survey conducted last week found car insurance in Detroit to be the costliest in the nation, at an average of about $5,000 a year.
Robertson is an injection molder at Schain Mold & Engineering, a plastic-parts manufacturer located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He lives in Detroit, and for the last decade, after his 1988 Honda Accord quit on him, he has had to rely on limited public transportation, occasional rides from others and his own two feet to make the daily trek, the Detroit Free Press reported. He is unable to afford the cost of buying and maintaining a car earning just $10.55 an hour, and he hasn’t moved closer to work because his girlfriend inherited the house where they live.
Robertson leaves around 8 a.m. to arrive at work ahead of his 2 p.m. shift, which ends at 10 p.m. He catches the last bus toward Detroit at 1 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 4 a.m., the outlet reports. He says a prayer that he arrives home safe each night, walking through the dangerous area along 8 Mile. Despite all this, he still manages to have a pristine attendance record and doesn’t complain, reported the Huffington Post, which has picked up this local story and made it international.
The benefit of the publicity for Robertson: after the Detroit Free Press published Robertson’s story, thousands responded, asking how they could help. A student at Detroit’s Wayne State University decided to set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Robertson to buy a car and donations since the story first ran yesterday are reportedly more than $50,000 as well as offers for free vehicles for the Detroit man.
Read Stephen Henderson’s editorial on the story here: Detroit Free Press story on James Robertson.
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