The TTC will consider the feasibility of limiting the number of baby strollers allowed on its vehicles in the future.
But chair Karen Stintz told reporters the transit commission has no intention of reducing the number of strollers allowed, for which there is currently no limit, nor would it consider charging extra for their use.
“We’ll take it back (to staff) and see if there’s anything we can do,” said Stintz at city hall Monday afternoon.
At the monthly meeting, Stintz and the rest of the TTC’s board of commissioners (minus Glenn De Baeremaeker who was absent) voted to receive feedback from staff regarding the use of strollers on all vehicles, which can be a source of dissatisfaction among some commuters for their size and tendency to block seats and exits.
Stintz, who said she has taken baby strollers on board TTC vehicles in the past with no argument from other riders, was surprised the issue came up during the two-hour board meeting.
“I don’t have a resolution because quite frankly up until today I never considered the use of strollers to be a problem,” she said.
In a five-minute deputation to the board, resident Elsa La Rosa said baby strollers are often the source of disputes between commuters.
She called the presence of up to six strollers on one TTC bus a “comedy act” for riders attempting to make their way through.
La Rosa, 61, called on the TTC to start charging riders with strollers extra fares or limiting their use at peak times.
TTC CEO Andy Byford admitted the feedback he has received from riders and bus operators indicates baby strollers blocking seats and bus exits are becoming a growing concern.
But adopting measures like those in London, UK, for example which limits strollers to two per bus, can create resentment among riders who would perceive operators as acting like “jobsworths” a British term for difficult or unhelpful employees, said Byford.
“It’s a tricky subject,” he said during a post-meeting scrum with reporters.
“We’re trying to strike the right balance between offering excellent customer service for everyone but equally making sure the buses remain safe and easily accessible.”
TTC commissioner Peter Milczyn said he didn’t support charging riders extra for having a baby stroller.
“It’s not the kind of fully accessible system Torontonians expect if we start charging extra for strollers,” said Milczyn. “Why not buggies or big backpacks? the list could go on.”
Byford said staff would not issue a formal report on the matter but would provide feedback to be shared with the board in the next couple of months possibly in his monthly CEO’s report which tracks service quality.