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On A Rant: I Don’t Move For Baby Strollers

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I’m quite certain that after this rant, my popularity will be right up there with the Wicked Witch of the West. Oh well.

I love babies just as much as the next person, but I despise the privileged attitude of folks with baby strollers on public transportation.

I’ll give up my seat in a heartbeat to a wheelchair user, someone with a walker, a senior or someone who is pregnant. I’ll even gladly give up my seat to a child, but I won’t give up my seat to someone with a baby stroller unless they also have mobility issues, disabilities or are seniors, themselves. Why?

I’m a person with mobility issues, myself. Sometimes I use my chair, but mostly I hobble about on my cane. It’s very painful to walk, so when I use the bus or light rail here in Denver, I sit in the priority seats for folks with disabilities and seniors.

Unfortunately, many people with baby strollers who use public transit feel entitled to use the priority seating, not bothering to collapse their strollers. Some even have the nerve to expect a senior or person in a wheelchair to give up their seat to them, giving them baleful looks and muttering under their breath when, of course, they don’t. After all, it’s priority seating for a very good reason – people in wheelchairs have no other option for a seat, and it can be downright dangerous for someone with mobility impairments or frail seniors to try to get pass the priority seats. I know – I’ve fallen many times going to another spot in the bus after giving up my seat to someone!

Our transit authority, RTD, does allow people to stow strollers in the wheelchair securement area, but they must collapse them if the child is not in the stroller. Further, if a person with a disability or senior boards the bus, they must collapse the stroller and move toward the back of the bus. Period.

There are signs on practically every bus warning passengers with strollers that they must be prepared to collapse them on crowded buses or if a senior or disabled person boards. These signs are in English and Spanish. Also, there are pamphlets further detailing the rules, including size restrictions and alternatives to strollers.

With all this in place, you’d think folks would know better, but NO—they prefer to argue with the bus driver, rather than be considerate of their fellow passengers. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve witnessed or been subjected to their rude, privileged attitude, I wouldn’t need a job. Really, it’s that bad!

Therefore, I’ve taken a strong stance – some may call it a nasty attitude – that I will not risk injury by giving up my seat for someone with a stroller (unless they fall into the aforementioned situations), nor will I succumb to guilt tripping about my perceived rudeness or dislike of babies.

As a disability rights activist, I’ve put myself and my life on the line, many times even getting arrested fighting for the right of folks with disabilities to ride the bus. Once we’ve paid our fare, we have the same right as you to ride the bus – not maybe, not sometimes, not because you don’t like, or want us on the bus – it’s the law. Oh, and if you feel special, privileged and offended enough by the stance I’ve taken to want to have the police called – be my guest – I’ll even give you the number.

So, if you want to avoid hassles with me about strollers, follow the rules—collapse them, especially when the bus is crowded, be prepared to move when a senior or disabled passenger boards, and in the name of decency, don’t ask us to move for you!

Now, let’s talk about your cute little baby!

More From This Author: Meet Anita Cameron: After 118 Arrests, She is Likely the Most Passionate Disability Rights Advocate (you read that right) 

Photo credit: TheeErin / / CC BY-NC-SA

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9 Responses

  1. avatar Tom Stronach says:

    Agree totally. Never been in the situation you have as I have always managed to get a seat further back in the bus (when I gave up the car for two years) but the looks and the comments from some of the mothers with strollers over here made my blood boil. They chose to have children people with disabilities usually don’t choose that and need to be able to sit down without having to stumble and fall the length of a moving bus when getting on or off.

    Some mothers just need a good……, oh never mind ……

  2. Thanks so much for your support! It really bothers me that almost all of these folks with baby strollers act so privileged and entitled!

  3. avatar Priscilla F says:

    Shame on those mothers! I live in NYC with a toddler and occasionally use the extra space in accessible areas (if no one else is there), but I have never seen a mother with a stroller expect a senior or person in priority seating to give up their seat on MTA public transit. If some mother did, she would probably get a lecture from another passenger.

  4. avatar Ash says:

    I totally agree with this. I was on a train and a woman with a stroller hit my service dog and blocked me into the priority seat with the stroller. When I said I needed her to move the stroller because I was off at the next stop she told me to step over the end of it.
    I had to call a train employee to get her to move it, as I use forearm crutches and cannot lift my legs high enough to step over things.

  5. I agree 100% and I don’t think you have a nasty attitude at all. It’s sad how much people just don’t think about others anymore.

    Once when I was 9 months’ pregnant, I went into a crowded public restroom and I was ready to pee my pants so I slipped into the only available stall (the handicapped) and I felt kind of guilty about it so I tried to hurry. I came out and there was a handicapped person who had just come in behind me. I felt awful and I apologized and she was very nice about it. She said she understood and that people use them all the time but I still felt bad. I was told once that it didn’t matter if I used it as long as there wasn’t a handicapped person in the bathroom at the time but for me, it still feels like parking in the handicapped spot in the parking lot. You don’t park there “until someone comes along”. You’re not supposed to park there ever…

    I will wait for another stall to open up before I use the handicapped stall. But I see others use it all the time. I don’t really know what the acceptable procedure is for this but I feel better leaving it open just in case.

    • avatar Olivia Richard says:

      I have been in many fights with the “baby tank brigade” here in Boston about this very same issue! The MBTA does not require strollers to be folded; in fact, automated announcements state that “riders and baby strollers need to share space on the bus.”
      Here it’s not as bad on the bus itself because the driver is required to use the wheelchair tie-downs which make it clear to the stroller pushers that I CANNOT move, even if I wanted to!
      Now the rest of the T (subways, boats, light rail, and commuter rail) are a totally different animal! On the Green and Orange lines, if you aren’t loud you will get abuse from the baby tank brigade about taking the assigned cutout. I actually have been assaulted on the Orange line by someone because the inspector made them move their double-wide jogging stroller so he could put the bridge plate down for me to board the train. I parked chair in the newly vacated open space in the doorway. They were enraged, and said out loud that I belong on the RIDE (our para transit service), not the T with the “normal people.” I lost it, started saying back that the law allows me to ride fixed route transit just like them, and if they continued to harass me I would call the Transit Police.
      The guy hit me.
      Even though I wasn’t hurt, the other passengers FREAKED out, called the police, and pushed the emergency intercom to let the train operator know what happened. We were all taken off the train and a few others voluntarily got off with me to give statements. The guy was arrested, charges were filed, and he pleaded guilty. I am just one of many, many, many mobility impaired people that have similar experiences with ghetto baby mommas and baby daddies that can’t stand our presence!

  6. [...] entitled. I only bring this up because she was taking up space for the handicapped. I found this article that explains the issue.  It’s titled, “On A Rant: I Don’t Move For [...]

  7. avatar Mr.John says:

    Nice article.Thank you for the article.

  8. I always like visiting here to see the superb quality content that you’re producing. Thank you.|

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