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Strollers on Subways Cause Controversy in Canada

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A turf war has erupted in genteel Toronto over whether parents have the right to more space on public transportation. It all started when 61-year-old bus rider Elsa La Rosa went to city hall to complain to Toronto Transit Commission, saying that the number of strollers allowed on any given bus or subway car be limited, since they take up extra space. She also asked that stroller users be charged an extra $2. Now the TTC is looking into the issue to decide if formal guidelines are necessary.

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We’ve written previously about another incident in Canada where a dad and his twin stroller were kicked off a bus, as well as a movement to enact a folding rule in Boston. The reaction to these types of stories betray deeper resentments toward parents, and what some childless folks see as their outsized sense of entitlement and their quest for one-upmanship.

“Doesn't the TTC understand that the world revolves around the modern parent and its offspring? Obviously they simply need to get bigger vehicles, better equipped to accommodate the monster stroller, the multiple iProducts, and the venti latte,” wrote one commenter (ouch!). Others brought up that given how physically stressful it is to lug a small child and stroller on to public transportation, those who do it probably often don’t have a choice. 

TTC CEO Andy Byford told The Globe and Mail said the complaint comes up regularly among bus drivers but played down the idea that surcharges or limits would be put in place.

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“At the end of the day, people with kids are entitled to use strollers. I have no problem with that whatsoever,” he said. “What we are trying to do is get the right balance between offering excellent customer service for everyone, but equally making sure that the buses remain safe for everyone.”

Do you ride public transportation with a stroller? Do you think guidelines should be in place, or should common courtesy rule? Leave a comment.