Saturday, January 14, 2012

Strollers on Metro: What she said, yet again!

RantWoman thanks radio tidings about whatever whiff of snow is about in our region for cancelling an afternoon event while RantWoman gets to sit by her window and pour sunlight all over her wonky but definitely sun-enthusiastic retinas.

RantWoman also thanks Bus chick and Sighltline's writing blogger for reminding her of another topic to add to the agenda on the Transit Advisory Commission: strollers aboard Metro.

Here is the link to Bus Chick's latest post:

In order to allow time for the points on RantWoman's mind, RantWoman is not going to chase down the other post from Sightline.

RantWoman has witnessed a couple horrifying safety nightmares involving an adult, nearly always a mother struggling with one or more children and a stroller. In the most frightening case, a mother was travelling with a very young infant. Mom appeared not to speak much English. She also did not have any kind of a sling and literally had no way of managing the baby while trying to fold up the stroller and nothing to do but try to hold the baby once the stroller was folded up.

RantWoman is trying to remember why she herself did not intervene and thinks it must have been a time when RantWoman herself was physically compromised, for example with an arm in a cast or even more eye yuck than average. RantWoman also has a kneejerk reflex that mothers should not be expected to hand tiny babies off to random strangers, no matter how well-meaning the stranger, just to manage about strollers.

As an aside, RantWoman is all for families with newborns being required to have car seats just in case. However, RantWoman would also like to ensure that people dependent on the bus can safely strap their babies on before boarding. Perhaps that is a cause for another day or different actors. Let us stick to strollers.

RantWoman read the link on Bus Chick's posting for Metro policy about strollers. RantWoman is wondering what she missed. The page shows up when RantWoman searches for strollers, but RantWoman did not find anything topical. RantWoman did notice free training for people with disabilities needing to use the bus.

What if....

What if people who needed to bring strollers on the bus could come train and practice for free?

What if there were some way of certifying strollers as bus-worthy so that people could leave their children strapped in and use the wheelchair tie-downs? RantWoman has heard someone connected with Metro say they do not want to be responsible for every kind of stroller out there, which is why RantWoman would like the free market to get the point loud and clear about the need for strollers to interact with the imperatives of the bus.

(What if Metro made the same offer about free training and practice for people with shopping carts?)

RantWoman says the person wrestling a stroller is nearly always a woman because usually if dad is involved alone, he is hip and urbane enough to have something that folds up easily.
Most of the time though even if there are multiple adults, the stroller needs to be dealt with on top of lots of other struggling with baggage and acoutrements, mobility aids, shopping bags, and sometimes just the weight of existence.

RantWoman frankly thinks most of the time the kid and all the baggage would be safest if it could just stay all assembled and get belted into the wheelchair tie down. In a few rare cases, RantWoman MIGHT be content with the new buses where the 3-seat bench is actually two seats and a third, both of which fold up. RantWoman finds it REALLY convenient to see the smaller seat get folded up to stow all kinds of things like shopping carts and strollers. That still does not solve the problem of what to do with the child!

Maybe if enough people keep jumping on this issue though....

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