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CTA To Urge Riders To Yield Seats For Pregnant Women

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new mom says it's time to give women who are pregnant a break aboard CTA trains and buses. The CTA agrees.

Credit new mom Erin Fowler with bringing it to the attention of the CTA's board. She told them she recently had a difficult pregnancy and knows other women who have, too. She said all have one thing in common -- no one yielded a seat to them aboard trains or buses.

CTA To Urge Riders To Yield Seats For Pregnant Women

Fowler says it's not that everyone is uncaring.

"Oftentimes, the first five or first six months of pregnancy, when you're the most weak and the most tired, you're not showing very much," she said. "People are reluctant to assume that you're pregnant.

Fowler asked the board to change announcements and signage, asking riders to yield seats to pregnant women as well as to the elderly and the handicapped. The CTA's board is not known for making snap decisions, but CTA President Forrest Claypool said the agency will do it.

"Common courtesy tells you to give up a seat for a pregnant woman, and I'd hope we'd see more of that civility on our system, but you can't legislate civility," he said.

While Claypool said it's especially important to accommodate women in the later stages of pregnancy, Fowler said it's not just women on the verge of giving birth who could use that seat. She said any woman having a difficult pregnancy will appreciate being able to sit.

Next, she would like CTA to issue expectant moms a button so they are easy to identify. She brought with her to Wednesday's meeting a bag of buttons she had made.

Fowler said CTA would not be the first transit agency to take such a stand about seating. She said the London Underground launched a successful campaign to find seats for pregnant riders several years ago.

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