Ridership is up on the CTA. Due in part to the rising cost of gas and the CTA's free rides for seniors program that just began in March of this year. Citing the increase Wednesday, CTA officials announced at a transit board meeting that the agency will soon experiment with seat-less cars on rush hour trains to address increased ridership and crowded trains.
While this would serve as one solution to allowing more riders on board, how might this effect the ridership of parents with kids, who may also be carrying a folded up stroller along?
The cars would debut on the Brown Line by fall, according to CTA President Ron Huberman. An eight-car train would include at least two contiguous cars without seats. Elderly, disabled and pregnant passengers could choose to ride in the cars with seating, Huberman said.
While some parents never bring a stroller along on public transit, opting to travel with a sling or carrier only. Other parents, including many who also bring a sling or carrier tote a lightweight stroller along for their older child or to ease the burden of carrying a diaper bag, lunch and sleeping baby all at once.
Though most parents who ride the CTA during rush hour and other busy times are probably no stranger to crowded conditions, it will be interesting to note what type of extra planning parents may have to consider before boarding a seat-less train. In addition, it remains to be seen if the plan will actually cut ridership numbers of parents with young kids.
We want to hear from you at Green Parent Chicago: would you plan any differently for trips on a seat-less train? If so how? Or is planning as simple as avoiding peak travel times or just leaving the stroller at home?