Today I had to make a quick run while Go-to-daddy was at work, so I packed Go-2-baby up and prepared to take the bus. I take the train to work everyday because I work in the loop, but the bus isn't something I do too often, especially with Go-2-baby. This was actually the second time we took the bus somewhere, the first time was to the mall which is literally an under 10 minute bus ride from our place. Anyhow, I rode two buses today, both Pace. The first I got on and parked the stroller on the bus without a problem. The stroller is fairly small, we have the Kolcraft Jeep All Weather Terrain stroller in pink.
The second bus however was a bit different. As soon as we got on, the driver informed me that I had to take her out of the stroller and fold it up. I guess he didn't want me to take up any extra room on the bus. I didn't think much of it at all, being that I rarely ride the bus, I don't know the rules. A lady across from me seemed to take offense to my being told to fold up my stroller, she immediately began talking to me about her lawsuit against the bus company... I'm still not sure how it was related, but from the situation I gathered that she was suggesting that I sue for discrimination of some sort. She mentioned skin color and a few other things that made me feel as though she thought I was being discriminated upon. She was a much older woman, with a walker of her own, which could not be folded of course.
I didn't feel as though it was discrimination by any means, the driver nicely asked me to fold up my stroller and hold my baby. I know that people tend to board buses with huge strollers and it can be a tad inconvenient or annoying to other passengers. If anything I became curious to find out if it was truly a rule or if it was simply his personal preference. So of course, me being a sponge for information, I came home and looked up the rules. Apparently the stroller and bus issue has been a problem for both CTA and PACE for a while now. PACE asks that riders have strollers folded prior to the arrival of the bus for passenger safety. CTA asks that parents be mindful and keep the aisle clear when traveling with a stroller and if the bus or train is crowded it is also recommended that parents fold up strollers for in order to make it fair and safe for everyone on board.
Again, I'm not upset by the situation by any means. This is only my second bus trip with Go-2-baby and I don't expect to have many more any time soon. Neither the driver for our last trip, or our first driver today had an issue with me parking the stroller. Mainly because its fairly small and did not block the aisle in a way that other passengers couldn't go by. The bus driver who did have something to say seemed to be a nice man and now I know he was simply following the rules that I was unaware of. For someone like me who rarely rides the bus this isn't a problem, but what happens to the parents who rely on public transportation all or most of the time. I can imagine how tedious it can become to have to fold up your stroller bus after bus with a small child in tow. But I also know how I may feel after a long day of work on a crowded bus full of strollers that take up more space than needed. Is this fair to people with multiple small children or big bulky strollers that may be difficult to carry along with baby and bag? Is it fair to other passengers to ride on crammed buses while having to watch out for huge strollers?
I'd like to hear from you all... bus riders and non bus riders alike, what are your opinions?