“GET OFF MY BUS!”
The TTC is in some hot water right now (mega eye roll as if this is a surprise), with drivers complaining about too many strollers during rush hour.
I got into a spirited argument last night with one of my roommates who has penchant for getting under people’s skin with his less than appropriate debate tactics.
It’s not even really a debate, you can’t tell someone they can’t ride the bus because they have a stroller. What you can argue about is what can be done to alleviate the issue?
Now my roommate does not ride the bus or the streetcar and what really got me infuriated was the fact that my OBSERVATION (I ride the bus everyday to work and have done for the past 4 years) that strollers during rush hour causes a lot of problems was not even considered a legitimate point in his mind.
Well apparently I’m not the only one who feels that there is a problem here so I guess this matter is now a fact. The question again is what can be done to fix this?
The obvious answer is every rider needs to take responsibility and be a smart rider. As a rider, you need to understand that things are going to hectic at rush hour (5pm-6pm). Here are some simple tips that I find useful:
- If you have a smartphone, check out nextbus.com. It’s great for letting you know when buses and streetcars are arriving. Most of the time I find 3 or 4 buses arrive at once or within 5 minutes of each other and they usually arrive at their destination at the same time so hold up and wait for the next one!
- Think about where you’re getting on or where you’re going. I use the 10 minute rule. If I am within 10 minutes of a major station or stop I walk there. You have a higher chance of getting on and you also don’t clog space for a short trip. Sometimes buses skip past stops if they’re full, so why risk that and just walk to a high traffic one! Again if you can and you’re within the 10 minute zone during rush hour.
- If you have a stroller, plan your trip around rush hour times if you can. It really sucks when strollers take up the whole front of the bus, making it not only difficult but unsafe to enter/exit the vehicle. Plus, the front 6 seats are reserved for the elderly and disabled so get out the way!! I’ve seen way too many people on crutches having to climb over strollers, falling over people, just to find a seat. In the words of Charles Barkley, “That’s trrrribbbllle.”
The TTC themselves need to take action as well. I still don’t understand why most of the bus lines that I use have buses not coming for 20 minutes at a time then have 4 show up at once. If a steady stream of vehicles coming at logical interludes during rush hour would not be too much trouble for the TTC then it would vastly help with congestion. People cram onto the first vehicle when there are 3 coming up right away. Again this also falls to the riders to calm the fuck down and wait.
But all these solutions are retty boring right? So how about my outside the box ideas for fixing the stroller problem during rush hour?:
- Magnets on buses. Take the kids on the bus but strap strollers to the sides, front and rear of the bus with high powered magnets!
- Double decker buses, only the top half is a short add-on with a ball-pit to throw the kids in and leave the strollers up there.
- Install a gem into everyone’s hand ala Logan’s Run. On your 35th birthday your gem will begin to glow signalling that you can no longer procreate. With today’s families starting at an older age, this method will help control the population and the amount of strollers in the city since I’m assuming the TTC has no plans to ever change their buses. If you procreate past your 35th birthday you will be exiled from Toronto and sent to the desolate lands of Mississauga.
Any outside the box ideas you have to solve this problem?