Can Public Transit Regulate Strollers?
I love and hate strollers. I love that they make going from point A to point B a lot easier; but negotiating them through crowds, small doorways and over snowdrifts can be very stressful.
The most stressful is getting a stroller on to public transit. I don't know how people with strollers fare in other cities, but in Toronto the transit system is very difficult to use with a stroller. Most TTC stations do not have escalators, and streetcars and buses have stairs and are crowded.
In my motherhood-centred naivete, I would hope that the transit systems would look at making travelling easier for people with strollers. People who use the TTC daily with their kids are most likely travelling between jobs and daycare. It is an essential service.
But instead of looking at how drivers can make transit easier for people with strollers (you know, by maybe helping them, instead of giving dirty looks??), a request from Elsa LaRosa is getting a lot of press. LaRosa asked the TTC to look at limiting the amount of strollers on buses and/or charging a two dollar fee.
TTC CEO Andy Byford chimed in by saying that a 2-stroller limit exists on buses in London, England, but that that does cause trouble too.
Imagine for a minute, a driver barring a mother and baby from getting on the bus in the middle of winter, leaving her there to wait another 15-20 minutes for the next bus shivering with a crying baby. It's ridiculous.
There is no question that strollers can take up too much space. They are awkward and can block aisles; kids can be annoying too. But that's life in the big city. We all have to give a little, and some days we take a little too.
Yes, it’s annoying for other riders to have to negotiate around a stroller. But I’m only going to be that person taking up space with a stroller for five years or less, yet I’ve been riding the TTC for 30 years so far and will probably do so for 25 more, and I deserve to be able to use our public transit system without being discriminated against due to the fact that I have a child.
An editorial said in the Toronto Star said baby boomers who have invented parenthood should work towards increasing accessibility on transit, as the improvement would help everyone.
Every so often there is a stroller outrage in the press. A store bans strollers and upsets the mommies, or someone complains about the sidewalk real estate that they take up. People get upset, complain and then life goes back to normal.
The TTC has said that they will not charge for strollers and they are going to study the issue and come back with recommendations. But I assume that the issue will disappear, until the next time...
Do you think transit, or stores can or should limit strollers?
Want more chaos? Last year, I shared some of our favourite kids and teens books.