The Fellas at the Freakin TTC

Today, like almost every day I go anywhere, I rode the TTC. For those not in the city, that’s the Toronto Transit Commission. Our bus/streetcar/subway system.


While riding, I heard about a rather stupid idea to either limit, ban, or charge extra for strollers. I couldn’t believe this, and probably shouldn’t have since it seems the TTC themselves said nay nay, and went on my own little online rant. Luckily for me, @BradTTC was there to set me straight. For what it’s worth, both subways were packed, so was the bus, so was the streetcar. But we went about our business, today it was grocery shopping, and got home.

I was actually feeling pretty good about the TTC for a change. Despite the long wait for a 504 Streetcar at Broadview, we actually had regular service on warden… as opposed to the normal 40 minutes followed by 3 buses tailgating each other. And with the shelter from the wind, it wasn’t too bad a wait at broadview.

Getting home, I did what I normally do, and sat in my comfy chair, to read the virtual paper, a tradition no less cherished because its now virtual.

Ok, well, I also pulled up twitter, argued with some idiots, read some awesome posts by awesome people, and generally distracted myself for a few hours.

But eventually, I got back to my paper reading.

Enter Chris Selley, and his article for the National Post.

Now, I’ll admit, his point about strollers being the same level as a problem as passengers in general, was pretty good. They are no more an inconvenience than any other person taking up space. And while I admit, I’m not a “awwww babyyyy” type person, I don’t own the subway/bus/streetcar. In fact, the idea that it costs me 3 bucks to get anywhere in the city kinda means I don’t even pay enough to complain when someone else, who paid their 3 bucks, has a kid with them.

Now, I do take issue with a few things Chris brought up… like this gem:

If you complain that many strollers today are much bigger than they used to be, you will be told that for various reasons, they need to be that big. But they do not need to be that big. The proof is that they were not always that big, and humanity survived.

This is just a plain bad argument. It’s appealing to some misbegotten idea that because something was once a certain way, it would be ok to go back to that. I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to realize this is stupid logic. At one point humanity survived without a Polio Vaccine… doesn’t make it a good idea.

Strollers have gotten bigger as we have better understood safety and what is needed to protect an infant. At on point, not so long ago, seatbelts were “optional”, and kids rode on parents laps in the car. Just because this didn’t lead to the end of humanity doesn’t mean it should be held up as an example of how things SHOULD be.

That’s not to mention that many strollers also take the place of huge bags (babies rarely seem to travel without diapers and such), and grocery carts.

the TTC could delicately suggest that transit-riding parents consider using the smallest (and especially narrowest) stroller that suits their needs, for everyone’s benefit.

…. and you don’t think people do that already? You think the parent at home sits there going… “we’ll, I’m going to have a small child to wrangle, an overcrowded public transit system to maneuver  shopping to accomplish, and judgmental gits to deal with throughout my day… Ya, I’ll take the huge stroller that handles like the Titanic, just because my day isn’t going to be stressful enough”… I think not.

Strollers are the LEAST of the TTCs issues. Honestly, there are enough jackasses who ride it every day that if strollers adding 5 minutes to a trip keeps you off… It’s a price I’m happy to pay.

Fact is, in all my times riding the TTC, I’ve never had anything take the length of travel time their site says it would. I’ve had the same trips take anywhere from 30 to 67 minutes. I’ve seen things that would make a ‘nam vet feel sick.

Today was the “best” trip I’ve had in YEARS, and we still sat in a subway tunnel for 10 minutes (unmoving), waited for 25 for a “frequent service” street car, and piled onto a bus that smelled like a morgue without a functioning air conditioner.

Chris, there is one thing you’re right about. The TTC can improve. Brad spending today on Twitter shows they care and want to. And I for one look forward to what they come up with. It’s sure gotta be better than the above.


One thought on “The Fellas at the Freakin TTC

  1. Haha great analogy for the faulty logic in the “stroller SUV” argument. I disagree with you that strollers are a minor TTC issue, though. Strollers are just one of many accessibility issues in the TTC.

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