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Monday, October 20, 2014

Stroller vs. Scooter - who wins?

Friday I took my regular GO bus home and then transferred to another bus to do some shopping. To protect the driver, who was innocent in the drama that unfolded, I am not disclosing the route.

At the transfer point, this woman boarded the bus - a double decker - with a large, all-terrain type stroller. She did not ask, but demanded that the three people who were sitting in the accessibility-area jump seat, immediately across from the staircase, vacate the area so she could park the stroller.

Her stroller was similar to this model:



It was huge. Even with it parked in the accessibility area, it took up a lot of room.

I realize she's entitled to her space as a customer on public transit. For the record, I traveled with my daughter on public transit, but I used a folding type stroller. It was nowhere near as large as her stroller and it was compact. I had a Graco snugrider which was a stroller base and the car seat (infant, too) would snap into it. It folded flat and the car seat could be put on a bus seat, carried, or put on the floor (which I don't recommend).

We weren't even on the bus for more than five minutes before we came to a stop where a man in an accessibility scooter, similar to this model, was waiting:

The driver told the woman she would have to collapse her stroller so the man could board. She refused. The man was unable to get his scooter past her stroller and if he stayed on the bus, no would be able to exit the bus.

This woman refused to move or be accommodating. She reminded the driver she was on-board first and a paying customer. The driver told her, by law, he was not allowed to refuse service to the man. He also said he could lose his job.

She said, and I swear on every Bible, "He can take another bus."

This is where I decided to step in. Like everyone else on the bus, I had some place to be and this woman needed to get off.

Before I got a chance to tell this woman how disgusting she was, the man told the bus driver he would wait for another bus and that he wasn't going to complain. "No one is going to lose their job," he said while backing out and off the bus.

The driver looked upset. The woman was triumphant. Her phone rang and she answered, a wonderful opportunity for her to evade the situation. I decided to get off and wait for another bus with the man.

The whole situation was upsetting. At one point, in her exchange with another passenger who told her to get off, she claimed that having a stroller was a disability and she had a right to expect a bus to be accessible for her and her child.

I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes.

Being a parent is not a disability. Sorry. But being an asshole sure is.

26 comments:

April said...

No! Disability is not a choice, being an asshole is!

My eyes, be like O O as I read this.

Squiggles said...

The woman was clearly in the wrong. Yes, she is a paying customer, but those accessibility seats are for people with accessibility issues. Of which, a person riding a scooter is a perfect example.

This woman should be ashamed of herself (doubtful) and her actions. Someone like this should not be taking public transit, especially during rush hour, when she is not willing to accommodate other people.

Thank you to both the man and yourself for taking the high road. It is hard, there aren't any kudos. But it eases tensions when those around you raise them as high as they could go.

Anonymous said...

And you didn't take a picture??!

Tal Hartsfeld said...

It's amazing just WHO has the power-and-control and command-over-everything in this world, isn't it?
Outwardly they look like just any old ordinary individual, but then they flex their muscles and display their extortive tendencies,and...
social rank fascism. Favoritism.
Just like living in communist China (or some 3rd-world aristocracy).

Dakota said...

I have always been under the impression that strollers are to be folded on the bus. I feel terrible for the gentleman who could not get on the bus because of her.
Good for you for speaking up.

KM said...

If the woman had the ability to collapse her stroller and sit in a seat with her child then she had much more of a choice than the gentleman in the scooter.

This is sad. :(

C.J. Smith said...

As I was a participant, holding up my phone wasn't a priority at the time. However, I should have filmed the whole encounter.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for stepping in and stepping off to wait with the gentleman...who clearly was a gentleman for allowing that arsehole to get away with it!

C.J. Smith said...

She refused to collapse the stroller saying she was unable to.

Bicky said...

Sorry, that twit should have collapsed the stroller. Great parenting (NOT!) ... good Lord, how will the child behave when it's older?

Another fine example of a self-involved nitwit bullying her way to a "win". *smh* (/end sarcasm)

Pat Centeno said...

If that was an MCI bus, she will be asked to fold the stroller and put it on the luggage compartment or just leave the stroller on the bus stop altogether.

Anonymous said...

Bus diver here. I'm guessing your on the 90 route C.J.
It says on Go Transit/Metrolinx website that only small fold up strollers, not big bulky ones, that take up space are allowed. Again nobody reads anymore.

Remember C.J, a few months ago you said that you couldn't understand why people had to fold up their strollers on the buses and why children couldn't ride in them. This why.

Driver's are required to tell them to fold up their strollers and take the child out when they board. The driver should not have moved until that was done.
Unfortunately many drivers are not following the policy, because they don't want the hassle of dealing with such said person. Had they have done their job correctly, the gentleman would have been able to board the bus in his wheelchair.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Bus Driver!
I don't recall asking or suggesting children remain in strollers, but if I did I must have drinking heavily the night before!
Trust me when I say this driver tried. Personally, security should have been called but you know what? So much time would be wasted. A person with a knife, I got all the time in the world. A bitch with a stroller? Not so much. But then again, this man sacrificed his time and comfort. Sigh.

C.J. Smith said...

Oh and this wasn't the 90. I started out on the 90. I do not want this driver to face any consequences. He did his best.

Anonymous said...

Bus Driver Here,

Unfortunately, we are living in an age of entitlement.
People like that have never had to struggle and really work, raise children and survive on a shoe string budget, to make sure their family and their bills were taken care of by themselves.

Anonymous said...

My god you should have snapped and pic and have it posted all over the internet universe so we can all have a good look at this price of trash! What audacity! Ps was it the Oshawa route? No offence meant but there are some characters out that way ;/

Anonymous said...

Hi Bus driver, other B driver here.
Totally agree with you. But drivers are constantly let down by Supervisors that don't want to intervene, though I hear a certain Waterloo Sup is good on these issues & luggage, shame we are not all on the same page.

Anonymous Mann

Lori said...

One time I was on Miway(Mississauga Transit) headed towards Square One and there was a woman with a big stroller on board. When we got to the stop across from Cooksville Colonnade there was a man on a scooter waiting to board a bus. The driver asks "do you think we can make room for the scooter". I felt like saying "Sir, it's your bus not ours, make an executive decision. But since you asked the weather is nice, give her a transfer if she doesn't have one already, and ask her to wait for another so the man can board".

Anonymous said...

My particular favourite are the women with the SUV sized strollers who push their way onto the bus before everyone else (I take TTC) and then make everyone crawl over their stroller/child to get on the bus while they in turn block 3 seats with their stroller-mobile.

Anonymous said...

I dont have an issue with strollers using the wheelchair accessbility area. In Durham Region, most of the commuters with strollers actually lift up the wheelchair seats.

That being said, the unusually "large" stroller and this woman's actions has taken this to the extreme.

Wish someone would slap this woman across the head.

Mark said...

This happened to us on the GO Train when we took my 2 year old downtown with her stroller last year and the Accessibility Coach got full with people that had actual needs. But being people imbued with common sense and respect, my wife and I collapsed the stroller and held our daughter.

This generation of entitled parent is the worst, flat out period.

Anonymous said...

This is typical of many mother's these days. If she couldn't collapse the stroller she shouldn't have gotten on public transit. Better yet, not buy a monstrous stroller that probably cost several hundred dollars in the first place. She should shell out a few bucks for a cab. If there was an emergency on the bus, what is she going to do? Endanger the safety of fellow transit users because her huge stroller is blocking access? These are the entitled ones you see in the malls that feel they have the right of way because they have a stroller.
Excuse me, that's your choice. If I'd been the bus driver I would simply have stated 'if you can't fold the stroller, you can't get on the bus'.

Ali Gator said...

To the woman who is the subject of this story:
This is how strollers are handled on a 'decker: http://bit.ly/1rv7Gt0 (copy & paste to browser address bar). Fold it and add it to the heap.

JulieBean said...

I am biting my tongue not to say something really nasty. I can't fathom what makes people so entitled. This is disgraceful. Its too bad someone didn't get this on video, because she probably still thinks she was in the right. Maybe if there was backlash and the video went viral with people calling her a selfish twat, then maybe she might just get it.
I always do what I can to accommodate parents, I get it I had a baby and I know that travelling on public transit isn't easy but people with disabilities trump entitled parents.

Robert Wightman said...

"The whole situation was upsetting. At one point, in her exchange with another passenger who told her to get off, she claimed that having a stroller was a disability and she had a right to expect a bus to be accessible for her and her child."

Actually according to a report on accessibility done for the Ontario Government for the setting up of AODA she is technically correct. Vehicles have to be accessible for parents with strollers. However, there should be a limit on size for these things. Many municipalities have limits on the sizes of wheel chairs and scooters that need to be accommodated and the should for these also. All in all, she was an asshole.

Dot McFarlane said...

A similar incident happened on our way to the Ex a number of years ago. My sister Michelle was a wheelchair user and we were in the accessibility coach pulling up to Rouge Hill. I saw another lady in a power wheelchair trying to board and I asked people to make way. One woman had the nerve to tell me that her child's stroller was like a wheelchair because he couldn't walk yet. My response? "You can pick your child up, fold up the stroller and go upstairs. The other lady can't do that!!" She was too shocked to reply.