OC Transpo and the Strollers

On Wednesday, the City of Ottawa's Transit Committee will be asked to consider OC Transpo's report on a new policy for the seats at the front of the bus that used to be called Courtesy Seating and are now called Priority Seating.

The report is called Priority Seating - Managing the Front of the Bus. First of all, they're going to rename the seats at the front to "Co-operative seating". If people who should give up their seats don't they can still be charged with an offence under s. 18(2) of the OC Transpo by-law, but that will be a last resort.

The "co-operative" versus "priority" seating isn't why this is going to Council. The real controversy is with the strollers. On the list of stupid things people in Ottawa get worked up over, big strollers clogging the front of buses is right up there with the use of lawn chairs at Blues Fest.

The problem for OC Transpo was that dealing with strollers was left to the discretion of the drivers. This led to the unfortunate baby-napping incident of 2008. Now this will never have to occur again because the new policy has detailed criteria for baby buggies. It starts off with:

An open stroller occupied by a child will be allowed on the bus if:

  1. It is capable of being folded
  2. It is capable of being safely stowed
  3. It will not interfere with other passengers or with the safe movement of passengers within the transit vehicle; and
  4. It can be wheeled, or (when folded) carried, through the aisle without contacting the seats.

The policy carries on with wheelchair priority, and what to do with double strollers. Although I've never tried to navigate the City with a stroller it all seems to make good sense to me. Still I have to say that their plan on what to do with the strollers that can't go inside the buses caught me by surprise. Rack'n'Stroll is the sort of innovative thinking that we don't often see in this town.

Update: Looks like City Council didn't go for the new plan.


Anonymous said...

I think OC Transpo just isn't going far enough to take the "public" out of public transportation. Pets in carriers and people with strollers is a no-brainer. I think the list of people not allowed on the bus should be expanded to include: people more than 10% overweight as they take up too much seat room; people with Zimmer frames; people with canes or crutches; people on motorized scooters; people with groceries; people with backpacks or any other back larger than a clutch bag; people who walk too slowly; people with food or drink; people who smell funny; people wearing puffy winter coats; people with umbrellas, wet raincoats or wet footwear; people with iPods or cell phones; people who are too tall; all children under the age of 12; teenagers not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 30.

coyote said...

Well, that leaves just me and the bus driver. And if she's 10 per cent overweight, I'm not sure about her. Should not your comprehensive list include coyotes...?

Anonymous said...

Four-legged and winged/finned (unless also battered) critters are already off the list of OC-appropriate passengers. Do not mock the Transpo regulations. It's imperative that the ailes and seats are left free of encumberances like people and their stuff.

Anonymous said...


4th Dwarf said...

XUP: Excellent creative thinking. And excellent incentive for me to lose some weight.

Coyote: While it's true that you can put on a service animal harness and ride the bus, XUP's "smell funny" rule would still rule you out.

coyote said...

Hey! Recreationally sniffing the other passengers is what we coyotes do on buses. I can't help it if you think it looks funny...