Sic Transit

May 7, 2009

busesI have on a number of occasions in this space praised Vancouver’s transit system.  However, one item that seems to be becoming established policy is just setting my teeth on edge.

The seats near the front of the bus are designated for various groups of people — wheelchair users, others with mobility problems, seniors, and those with baby strollers.   The notices as written put these groups in the order I have listed them, presumably establishing some sort of priority.    I certainly have no problems with wheelchair riders.  Good for them to be able to get around.  However, on more than one recent commute, I have seen seniors and others with mobility problems (carrying canes, crutches, etc) forced to move because a parent with a stroller wanted to get on and use that space.

Hold on folks, that just isn’t right.  What is even less right is the entitlement these parents seem to assume by their manner, as if they and their children were somehow more worthy or important than the seniors and others involved.  The attitude of most (though not all) drivers is to accept the strollers’ rights and to assist them shooing the seniors out of their seats.

I urge Coast Mountain Bus Lines to make a definitive statement that seniors and those who are mobility-challenged do NOT have to move when a stroller tries to gain access.  And I further urge them to train their drivers in dealing respectfully with the rights of these groups.