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Are there too many strollers on buses in the Lower Mainland?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Too many strollers on the bus?  There have been complaints from riders about blocked aisles and a lack of seats.

It’s not just an issue here — in Toronto, the transit commission is considering creating new guidelines governing strollers on the transit system.

Derek Zabel with TransLink says media in that city have been calling and asking about policies here.  He says the bus and SkyTrain system in Metro Vancouver is world class when it comes to accessibility.

“We do have a number of different policies and procedures in place in order to get as many people onto the transit system as need it,” he says.

“So, for example, when a customer with a child in a stroller wishes to board, say, a bus, that child may remain in the stroller while boarding but there are different options [after boarding],” he explains.

Zabel says priority seating on Metro Vancouver buses and trains is for people with mobility issues, whether they use a wheelchair or not.  Parents with strollers are next in line.

“Parents can remove the child from the stroller, then fold up the stroller, and place it in the wheelchair location or any other location that doesn’t obstruct any aisles or doorways,” he says.

“We do have some guidelines [for strollers],” he adds.  “So a maximum footprint is two-feet by four-feet.”

He acknowledges that “some people do have some pretty huge, massive strollers” that take up a larger area.

“An operator may ask a person to maybe fold up a stroller, have the child sit on their lap or on the seat beside them,” he says.

However, sometimes being left behind is unavoidable. Zabel says if there is no room for a passenger with a disability, that person can ask the driver to contact TransLink dispatch.

“They can call in and have a taxi sent over, granted there is no bus coming, say, five minutes behind, or 10 minutes behind.” The cost of the cab would be covered by TransLink.