Seven transit peeves from a new parent in Vancouver
We all know that taking public transit around Metro Vancouver can easily turn into a bit of a gong show, especially during the morning rush. That’s partly due to our inadequate TransLink system, but mostly because of the maddening behaviour of many transit riders. However, try boarding a bus with a baby, especially with a stroller, and your frustration is likely to be lifted to new heights.
Now, it’s not all bad. Most people aren’t assholes, and plenty of considerate folks are encountered while travelling from Point A to B. Plus, a lot of bus drivers are both kind and helpful when it comes to strollers, and most SkyTrain elevators surprisingly don’t stink of piss. But this list is about those people who make riding the bus, well, not fun for new parents like myself.
Here’s seven things that have pissed me and my partner off while using transit in Vancouver with a stroller.
1. Able-bodied, babyless people hogging the courtesy seats
Sometimes the courtesy seats at the front of the bus are full of people. People who just stare idiotically at you and your stroller as you approach and then ask them politely to move. These are probably the same folks who pretend to fall asleep when an elderly person or a wheelchair user needs the accessible space. Inconsiderate types who begrudge the right of babies to access public transportation—or who just don’t have a clue.
2. Bus riders who give parents dirty looks when their baby cries
Babies cry. It’s not like there’s an on-off switch. My kid isn’t out to annoy you. He’s just hungry, tired, hot, cold, and/or upset that the bus has stopped moving. Imagine if you were an infant surrounded by scowling bus riders—how would you feel? Just be thankful he’s not projectile vomiting.
3. Smokers lighting up at bus stops
What’s with people sidling up to my infant’s stroller and proceeding to light a cigarette? There’s plenty of room down the sidewalk. Besides, City of Vancouver bylaws prohibit smoking in “enclosed or partially enclosed” bus shelters. It’s time to put up no-smoking signs, city hall.
4. People who rush to beat parents with strollers onto the bus
Look, we’re going have to get on eventually. And when we do, we’re just going to have to kick you out of that courtesy seat you snagged. Charging onto the bus before the stroller-pushing parent has a chance to board isn’t going to get you to your Asshole Club meeting any faster.
5. Aisle-blockers who seem to think a stroller can magically pass through them
The bus might be full of empty seats, but there’s often someone who insists on standing up front behind the driver. Someone who doesn’t want to move for anything, especially not a stroller. Someone who, after being asked nicely to clear out, seems to think you can just squeeze by. Sorry about your foot. Just kidding.
6. Transit riders who think my kid’s stroller is a handrail
Yeah, I understand you’re supposed to hold on to something while the bus is in motion or you may need to grab a handhold when you stand up from your seat. Just don’t make that something my baby’s stroller. Or you may have my partner’s wrath to deal with.
7. Bus drivers and passengers offering unsolicited child-rearing advice
For some reason, taking a baby on transit makes you a magnet for advice—some of it interesting, most of it plain annoying. Everyone’s got some secret recipe for ensuring your infant gets a full night’s sleep. (One driver practically made us promise we’d Google “dream feeding” before we disembarked.) Trust me, if a baby isn’t sleeping through the night, the last thing the parents want to hear is how your three-month-old sleeps 12 hours straight.
Got anything to add to this list? Post a comment!