Moms and dads pushing strollers onto CTA buses have launched another salvo in the CTA “stroller wars” – an online petition that seeks approval for strollers to be parked by seats marked for wheelchairs on buses and trains.
The petition specifically asks that:
Young children are allowed to remain in strollers for the duration of their rides.
Designated areas for special needs on trains and buses clearly allow strollers.
Drivers are instructed to always kneel buses for strollers and to promptly comply if asked to lower the ramp.
Recordings and signage ask riders to accomodate strollers.
The petition also notes the “hostile environment” on buses for child caregivers and that having to stow a stroller would slow a bus by seeral minutes.
First of all, I think it’s fine for strollers to be parked in folded-up seats marked for wheelchair use – IF the bus is not crowded and IF there are no wheelchair-bound riders who may need to use that area.
And that’s the essence of the CTA’s stroller policy: “Seniors and customers with disabilities have priority use of the Priority Seating area aboard buses and trains. If these seats are not in use, open strollers may be parked in this area. This will help you to avoid blocking the aisle. Please yield this space if a customer with disabilities, a senior, or a person using a mobility device wishes to board. On buses, you may request use of the access ramp or lift to help you board and exit.”
In a Sun-Times story, a CTA spokesperson noted that the transit agency is one of the few in the country to allow open strollers on trains and buses. Also noted is the federal law that requires the CTA to accommodate riders in wheelchairs. That same law does NOT mention riders with strollers.
Please note: I understand how difficult it can be to travel with a kid in a stroller on the CTA. That’s why when my wife or I did, we put our daughter in a smaller umbrella stroller. We even folded it up right away and held Moira on our laps. So we do understand your pain.
But it’s a two-way street. First and foremost, you must give up that “wheelchair bay” to those who truly need it. And if the train or bus does get crowded, do your best to get your stroller out of the way, or fold it up.
For those riders without kids, stop creating the “hostile environment” for moms and dads.
Can’t we all just get along?
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