ride the bus

Riding the bus can be an adventure for you and for your baby.  Tricia, a Saskatoon mom of two, said riding the bus provides an opportunity to see new parts of the city that you might not see when you have the responsibility of driving.  It also allows you to chat with your little one about what you see from the window -- something that is sort of hard to do when your babe is still in a rear-facing car seat.

As you may be aware, strollers on the bus have gotten a bad rap in the The Star Phoenix:

To summarize, some are complaining that a parent with a child in a large stroller might be taking up more of their share of the room on a city bus. The gripes are fueled by an isolated incident during which a group of parents were allegedly bullying a senior to give up her seat on the bus. The letters to the editor that followed seem to paint the entire parenting community with the same brush of "entitlement" and "attitudes of privilege." (I can't believe that the paper actually gave ink to the May 18 letter with its blatant racial stereotyping in paragraph four!)

The city transit system is for everyone and is the only transportation option for many. It is something we share as a community. It is a place where mutual respect and understanding is often put to the test. Unfortunately, some will fall short in this test.

I was pleased with the city's response that it is not considering any changes to its policies about strollers, nor will it refuse service to anyone.  The Saskatoon Transit Rider Rules do state that the aisles must be clear for others to safely pass and strollers should be "folded or out of the aisle." 

I hope that the recent hoopla will not intimidate parents from getting out and about or from trying the transit system for the first time. Rather we, as parents, should be encouraged to explore the city via bus with our children and should take every opportunity to emulate the values of respect and consideration that we expect of our children and in return from our fellow community citizens.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I think it would be great to get a discussion going on this topic since online commenting was disabled for this particular story through The Star Phoenix web site.

If you are not already familiar with the city transit system, click here for the user-friendly click-and-go system to search for transit routes. Fares are $2.75 for adults and children under five travel free. Click here for fare rates for older children.  If you are carrying cash, you must pay in exact coins.  Paper cash is not accepted, and no change will be provided. There are also a variety of passes that can be purchased at a variety of locations around town.  (Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list.)



3 comments


Anonymous said...

After travelling for (literally) the last month- in large cities, we as a family, got quite accustomed to riding the bus with our litle one in her stroller. In Vancouver, there are 3 or more companies that make up their public transit system. For the most part, the rules seemed to be the same amongst all three. The stroller must be placed at the front of the bus, where there are two sections of seats hat fold up for the stroller to be out of the aisle... Lock your heels, and away we go! The drivers were great- and when the bus got full (which trust me, it did in a hurry in Vancouver) we would stand next to the stroller, and give up our seat. Their rule states that strollers mus use the wheelchair spots.

In Las Vegas, it was entirely different, but had some frustrations nonetheless. You CANNOT take a stroller on unless it's collapsed, and are required to sit with your little one in your lap. This was awkward for a few reasons, we have a fairly high end stroller,and it collapses easily- but lets face it: how easy is it to hold onto a diaper bag, sippy cup, teething toy, purse AND a squirming one year old who thinks that sitting inlaps is equivalent to torture? It was also almost embarassing, when the bus driver would see us coming, get on the microphone and yell "ALRIGHT PEOPLE, THIS WOMAN WITH THE BABY NEEDS A SEAT!!!" when the bus was less than standing room only. There wee MANY times when simply standing with our stroller would have been MUCH less hassle and MUCH less frustration for the other bus patrons. If you've ever been to Las Vegas, you'l understand why using their double decker or express double length buses is necessary. It's impossible to drive there LOL.

In Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna, it was altogether uneventful. They may not have a "policy" or they may just leave it up to commonsense, but we basically just stayed out of the way and all was well.

I don't EVER expect a senior, or person with limited mobility to give up their seat, and the fact that a fellow Saskatonian would feel that way disgusts me. I'm a big believer in "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Simple. Be a grown-up here folks. More importantly, lets teach this next generation appropriate behaviours! Geesh. What an unnecessary fuss. It's summer time! Get out there, enjoy the sunshine (what little of it we have) and be a bit more positive.

Melissa Danis

Laura Monchuk ~ saskmom.com said...

Thanks for sharing, Melissa. Very well said!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is still in her infant seat. So, honestly, it would be completely pointless to fold her stroller, since either the floor space or the seats space would actually be doubled.

If I did that to a senior, I would hope that someone would call me on it; how rude!! There is simply no respect for our elders these days! I would have locked the wheels and stood in the aisle.

I view buses like I view any store, mall, restaurant, sidewalk or park: if you're going to be there, you are required to be as considerate and thoughtful to everyone else as you can, to not purposely inconvenience them. If you can't do that, then you shouldn't be there.

I don't think putting a stroller policy in place would solve anything; the problem is not the stroller, it's the operator.
Amanda Bruneau

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