Last month Rahm Emanuel suggested that if you don't want to pay the CTA fare increase, which will hurt poor, working-class families, that you should choose to drive instead. On Dec. 5, the CTA began to promote its stroller policy that also reflects Rahm Emanuel's disdain for the poor.
The posters promoting the policy remind passengers with strollers that priority seating is for the disabled and elderly, and to only use that space when it is not being occupied. It also suggests downgrading to umbrella strollers that fold up more easily.
As a CTA rider who frequents bus lines that always seem to have parents with strollers (the 74 Fullerton is a good example), I have come to notice that the families that are on the CTA with strollers (and children in general) tend to be working-class. They aren't riding the CTA for the fun of it or because it's convenient and easy for them, but because they need to go somewhere with their children and the CTA is the only option they have.
Outside of major events like the Taste of Chicago and Navy Pier fireworks, does the CTA genuinely believe that people with strollers WANT to use the CTA as their main means of transportation? A resounding "No" is the answer to that question. Do they think people want to be on the buses and trains inconveniencing people with bulky strollers? No. Does the CTA think that most of the people with strollers on the CTA have secret cars and money, that they just refuse to use? Clearly the CTA staff does think that, but they're wrong.
The times I see families with strollers are in the morning and mid-afternoon, when they are dropping off/picking up other children they have in school. To continue that argument, many areas in Chicago lack resources so parents are often forced to find healthcare, schools, enrichment programs, etc. outside of their poverty-ridden neighborhoods. That means having to take public transportation to literally get anywhere in life.
I understand that it's annoying to have something so bulky taking up so much space, especially during rush hour (that is why the CTA began to promote their stroller policy), but complainers, put yourself in the stroller's owner's shoes. The CTA is all you have to get places you NEED to get to. You can't find a babysitter. You can't find a ride. What are you supposed to do? Miss that doctor's appointment? Not send your kids to school? No, you're going to find a way to get there even if it means temporarily inconveniencing people on public transportation. So, fellow CTA riders, please "mind the strollers."
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