So, last week in Ottawa, a woman with a stroller was forced to get off of a bus, because she was taking up the space designated for people with wheelchairs and someone in a wheelchair needed the space. Some folks are grumbling about it.
I have no problem with her being told to get off if she's taking up the space designated for wheelchairs. It sounds like the driver wasn't being a jerk, because he allowed the stroller-users to take up the space for as long as it wasn't needed for someone who is supposed to have it available to them. When that space became needed, it was only appropriate for it to be emptied in favor of the person who it was designed for. Even then, it doesn't seem like he just had a thing against women with kids in strollers, because his decision allowed the woman with two kids to stay on.
If the bus driver had been a jerk, he could have kept her off the bus in the first place, because there wasn't enough room for her to get on without taking up the wheelchair-designated spot. She'd have had to take the next bus anyway. His decision to let her ride as long as the space wasn't needed seems fair to me, because if her trip had been shorter, then she might have been able to get off and on without anyone else ever needing that spot.
In New Orleans, a large portion of the population used public transportation. I've ridden as a person with disabilities and I've ridden as a mother with a child in a stroller. In fact, I did it for a couple of years, five days a week, twice a day. Down here, it was illegal to leave your stroller in the aisle, so you had to be able to put it between your seat and the seat in front of you or in the area reserved for wheelchairs. If someone with a wheelchair came along, you had to move. It was as simple as that. They issued you a transfer ticket so that you could get on the next bus, and at least you were closer to your destination than you would have been if you hadn't been allowed to get on in the first place.
I hate how so many people have switched from the smaller (less expensive) strollers to using these SUV style models and just expect for everyone else to work around them. Those umbrella strollers are still on the market. Heck, there are even lots of deluxe strollers that fold flat. The only models that don't fold flat are the ones that cost a lot of money. It makes sense, though. If you're spending big money on a top of the line stroller, the manufacturers seem to figure that you must be planning to put it in a spacious, top of the line automobile.
If someone knows that they may have to use public transportation, it just doesn't make sense to get a stroller that is too big for those spaces. If you have one non-disabled kid, why should you be allowed to use the space that was designed for folks in wheelchairs? You're certainly not entitled to that space.
People with disabilities have had to fight to get these designated spaces on public transportation. If the folks who use those SUV style strollers really think they should have their own designated spot, then let them go and make their case with the public transit authorities in their region. Complaining because you weren't allowed to use the space that was meant for a person with disabilities is nothing more than ablism. As much as I love babies, I don't think that parents should be given a free pass on this.