Ever try to navigate public transportation with a tot and stroller in tow, only to decide that it isn't worth the effort? You're certainly not alone. Public transportation is a necessity for city-dwelling families, but it can also be the least convenient method for getting from point A to point B if you have a stroller and child with you.
Michelle Parker is hoping to change that. The Chicago-area mom started an online petition demanding that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) give stroller users the same rights as wheelchair users, meaning they wouldn't have to fold their strollers to board the bus.
But it is her comparison of strollers to wheelchairs that is landing her in some hot water. According to Parker, "I think at the end of the day, it's recognition that for very young children . . . strollers are their wheelchairs."
When you have a child and a stroller that is holding your diaper bag, a ball for the park, snacks, and who knows what else, having to get your child and all of that "stuff" out and fold it and then get everyone onto the bus is a struggle. But is it equivalent to someone who must use a wheelchair or scooter?
Open strollers are actually allowed on CTA busses if they're located in the priority seating area, but there's a hierarchy for who can use those areas — first riders in wheelchairs or scooters, then riders with physical disabilities, then the elderly and pregnant women, and finally children in strollers.
The question is this: should strollers move up in the priority line?