Ensure caretakers with strollers are welcome on public transportation
This petition had 406 supporters
CTA policies and practices are currently discriminatory towards strollers. Caregivers are often asked to fold their strollers prior to boarding, which involves removing the child and belongings from the stroller, collapsing the stroller, stowing the stroller, and finding a seat that can accommodate the caregiver, child and belongings. Unintentional consequences from this policy include:
- Considerable safety issues for children, the caregiver and other riders. Rather than allowing a caregiver to safely lock the stroller in a special needs designated area, with the child securely strapped in, the current practice asks the caregiver to find a place to stow the stroller and hold the child and their belongings on their lap. The stroller - a large, clumsy object - is likely unsecured and the caregiver is likely overburdened with personal items and a small child. One can assume having the stroller, child and belongings secure during a ride would be much safer for all riders.
- Significant slowing of transit. The process of unpacking a child and belongings, folding a stroller, stowing the stroller and then settling into a seat adds several minutes to a stop. The reverse process does the same when the caregiver's and child's ride ends. Allowing a caregiver to quickly board and simply secure the stroller is a significant time savings.
- Creation of a hostile environment for caregivers. Anyone who has boarded a bus or a train with a stroller has likely experienced gestures of mild irritation to open hostility from CTA staff and/or other riders, whether they folded their strollers or not. The current policies encourage this by suggesting open strollers are unsafe via recorded onboard messaging and by causing caregivers to need extra time and space to maneuver, stow and sit.
Please, CTA, consider adjusting current policies and practices to ensure that caregivers with strollers are welcome on public transportation. These adjustments would include:
- 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.
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