Media & Communication

Courtney Russell
Public Space: Service on the Rise

The Great Allentown Fair, Cedar Beach, and the Spanish War Veterans Monument are all examples of "public space" we may interact with as residents of Allentown. One pubic space of particular intrigue for myself was the LANTA bus system. During my research, I was able to analyze the system as a whole by riding the bus, meeting with the Executive Director, and interviewing regular riders of the bus. Questions explored were ones such as "What transportation needs does LANTA meet?" "What greater environmental concerns does this system address?", and "What is the relationship between customers and the company?" Robert Coles and his book Doing Documentary Work proved to be of particular importance, as he suggests to his readers that personal experiences are often shaped by social factors. I therefore also explored my position as a documentary researcher considering whether or not I agreed with Coles. Overall, this project allowed for important truths to be uncovered about an extremely effective and efficient form of convenience, or even necessity to many. It also provided a means for personally considering whether or not I brought biases to the situation as a researcher, in turn shaping my agenda and interpretations.