Improving Stroller Accessibility on TTC Escalators

Improving Stroller Accessibility on TTC Escalators
T40401
Improving Stroller Accessibility on TTC Escalators
03/02/13
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (REVISED)
Improving Stroller Accessibility on TTC Escalators
2 March 2013
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T40401
Improving Stroller Accessibility on TTC Escalators
03/02/13
Abstract:
Commuters travelling with strollers in the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway stations have
difficulty bringing the strollers down to inaccessible stations using escalators due to the strollers’ large size
and their inability to stabilize while on the escalator. The TTC has the third largest ridership in North
America[3], yet only 31 out of 69 TTC stations are equipped with elevators [1] (and even those are sometimes
out of order). Consequently, commuters are often forced to carry the strollers down by means of escalators
or stairs. This method, however, is advised against by the TTC [2] because it is extremely unsafe, as the
strollers and the people pushing them have a high likelihood of falling down the escalator. Even though
the TTC suggests travelling with two people for better control of the stroller [2], this is not always a viable
option, especially for single parents. In addition, taking alternative routes could be time-consuming and can
sometimes be restricted by poor weather conditions. This poses a great inconvenience for commuters who
rely mainly on the TTC to travel from one place to another.
An appeal to solutions is therefore required to address this need. Possible solutions are to be done by
modifying or redesigning current strollers so that they can be used safely on an escalator. The new stroller
design should be able to hold the child in place during transport, it should be able to remain stationary on
the escalator without human assistance, and it should also be able to sufficiently resist the motion of the
child and/or other exterior forces so as not to fall down the escalator. As the use of strollers to travel with
a child in public transit is largely a necessity rather than an option, solutions would greatly improve the
commuting experience for the target community and reduce the inconveniences they currently face.
With safety as the main concern, high level objectives for potential solutions include the ability of
the stroller to hold the child in place during transport, the ability to remain stationary on the escalator
without requiring human assistance, the ability to resist any motion that could potentially cause the stroller
to flip over, and affordability, especially for commuters from low-income households. Primary stakeholders
include the commuters with strollers, the TTC and the other TTC commuters.
[1] Toronto Transit Commission. Elevators and Escalators. www.ttc.ca. [Online]. Available:
[http://www.ttc.ca/TTC_Accessibility/Easier_access_on_the_TTC/Elevators_and_escalators.jsp]
[2] TTC Spokesperson, Toronto Transit Commission, February 15th, 2013. [Personal Interview].
[3] Toronto Transit Commission. Riding the TTC. www.ttc.ca. [Online]. Available:
http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Operating_Statistics/2011.jsp
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Addenda
General
• Removed rendundant information through several sections
• Reorganization and consolidation of several sections in order to effectively present to the reader the information indicated by section headings:
• Combined sections 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 from previous revision into new, renamed 2.4 section
• Information from 5.1 moved to Section 2
• Joined sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 together to form a consolidated Section 4.1
• Consolidated Section 6 and 7 to form a better organized section
• Design Philosophy (Section 6.3) moved into earlier sections
Section 1 – Introduction
• Added background information about the current situation, thereby explaining the problem statement
and how it came about
Section 2 – Community in Need: TTC Commutters with Strollers
• Name of community included in title
• Section 2.1 – Redefined community to include a group of people connected by common needs
• Section 2.3 – Focused legitimacy of community on the definition we defined in 2.1, new references added to strengthen arguments
• Section 2.4 – Focused arguments to “Justification of Need”
Section 3 – Stakeholders
• Section 3.1 – Justified the role of commuting parents in this project by talking about their major concerns
• Section 3.2 – Further explained why a solution to this problem would be a benefit to the TTC
• Section 3.4 – Added more justification to other commuters’ stake in this project
Section 4 – Reference Designs
• Section 4.1 – Market evaluations removed, though the opinion of the majority is still noted
• Section 4.1 – Moved figures to Appendix F as a reference source
• Section 4.1 – Added further descriptionof important highlights of reference designs
Section 5 – Problem Specifics
• Section 5.3 – Moved to Appendix F, market opinions deleted
• Section 5.4 – Removed a Center for Injury Research and Policy study
Section 6 – Design Overview and Requirements
• Section 6.1 – Removed redundancy and broadened problem statement, to not overly constrain design
• Section 6.2 – Revised design scope to be more specific
• Section 6.3 – Objectives revised to be more specific, as well as include more references to back up
• Section 6.4 – Constraints revised to include more detail, included constraint to Canadian Consumer
Product Safety Act
Section 7 – Conclusion
• Included a conclusion to re-establish the community, need, and design overview
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1 – Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 1
Section 2 – Community in Need: TTC Commuters with Strollers ................................................................... 1
2.1 – Definitions of Community and Need ......................................................................................................... 1
2.2 – Demographics and Statistics ....................................................................................................................... 1
2.3 – Legitimacy of Community ........................................................................................................................... 2
2.4 – Justification of Need ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Section 3 – Stakeholders .......................................................................................................................................... 4
3.1 – Parents and Other Child Handlers ............................................................................................................. 4
3.2 – The Toronto Transit Commission .............................................................................................................. 4
3.3 – Manufacturers and Retailers ....................................................................................................................... 5
3.4 – Other Commuters ........................................................................................................................................ 5
Section 4 – Reference Designs ................................................................................................................................. 5
4.1 – Stroller Reference Designs ........................................................................................................................... 5
4.2 – Cart Escalators .............................................................................................................................................. 6
Section 5 – Problem Specifics .............................................................................................................................. 6
5.1 – Escalators ....................................................................................................................................................... 6
5.2 – Stroller Safety ................................................................................................................................................ 7
Section 6 – Design Overview and Requirements ................................................................................................. 8
6.1 – Problem Statement ....................................................................................................................................... 8
6.2 – Design Scope ................................................................................................................................................. 8
6.3 – Objectives ...................................................................................................................................................... 8
6.4 – Constraints .................................................................................................................................................... 8
6.5 – Criteria ........................................................................................................................................................... 9
Section 7 – Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 9
Appendices ............................................................................................................................................................... 10
References ................................................................................................................................................................. 17
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Section 1– Introduction
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the third largest transit system in North America [48],
having an average of 1.6 million commuters on a daily basis [48] yet only 31 out of its 69 subway stations are
currently accessible and equipped with elevators, leaving the other 38 stations inaccessible to wheelchairs
and strollers. Because the TTC provides transportation for people all over the Greater Toronto Area (GTA),
this lack of accessibility creates a formidable problem, especially for commuters traveling with baby strollers.
For some commuters, there are no alternatives to taking the subway because, according to Statistics Canada,
the majority of people taking the public transit are teenagers or individuals from low-income families [43]
who do not own a car and are therefore restrained to taking public transit. Thus, commuters travelling with
a stroller are presented with no safe alternatives. But often, out of desperate need to get to their destinations,
they attempt to carry the stroller down escalators or stairs at stations that do not have elevators, which is a
very dangerous method strongly discouraged by the TTC (see Appendix A). Consequently, there is a need
to address this prominent problem.
This Request for Proposal (RFP) aims towards an improved stroller/baby carriage design to allow for
safe accessibility on escalators in public locations, especially in the TTC subway stations. There are obvious
dangers when using existing strollers on escalators [35], but as well there is a lack of existing accessibility
for stroller use in public locations (such as in subway stations) [1]. Thus, the objective of this proposal is to
request for the modification of current stroller designs to allow for safe use on escalators. This document
also highlights the need of the target community that uses strollers in public spaces, the justification of the
need through stakeholders, and finally the objectives and constraints for a potential solution, including
reference designs and guidelines.
Section 2 – Community in Need: TTC Commuters with Strollers
This section will begin by covering formal definitions of key terms, as well as defining who belongs to
the community being focused on demographically. It will justify the legitimacy of the community and the
need itself through specific issues with elevators, escalators, and strollers.
2.1 – Definitions of Community and Need
A community is a group of people who are connected by social ties, by common interests and needs
(examples: common beliefs, specific activities), or by geographic location. In addition, we have defined a
need as a commodity whose absence has negative effects on an individual or group, and quality of life as
the indicator to the well-being of a group or individual. In this RFP, the main focus will be the community
that uses strollers (baby carriages) in public locations, specifically those who use strollers in TTC subway
stations.
Section 2.2 – Demographics and Statistics
The City of Toronto reports that there are about 140 000 infants between 0 and 4 years old in the GTA
in 2011[5], while also reporting that there are 2.4 million dwelling units occupied by usual residents [4]
(otherwise known as households). Thus, approximating that 5.8% of all households have an infant from
0-4 years old, and also taking into account Statistics Canada reports that 41% of all households use public
transportation regularly [43], we can extrapolate that 2.4% of all households in the GTA will use a stroller
on the TTC, meaning approximately 2.4% of all households in the GTA comprise the community in focus.
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2.3 – Legitimacy of Community
The group of people this RFP focuses on encompasses all regular TTC commuters that use a stroller, or
those who commute on the TTC with a stroller enough that accessibility is a considerable issue. This issue
of accessibility that they all share, along with their concerns for thier child’s safety in the stroller is essentially
what defines them formally as a community, according to the definition in Section 2.1. The definition says
that a community can be connected by common activities and needs, and in this case, the interests and
needs that all the members in the community share are exactly what define them as a community. It is true
that they all share the common activity of commuting on the TTC with strollers, but more importantly,
they all share a need for improved accessibility in TTC subway stations as well as a need for safety for their
strollers in providing this improved accessibility (on escalators).
Comments from community members themselves, which can be found in Appendices B and C, firmly
support this idea that they all share these needs of improved accessibility and safety for their strollers. One
comment especially sums up these needs well; not only did the interviewee say taking her stroller on the
TTC was unsafe or inconvenient, she says it is both, “…very inconvenient and quite dangerous as well.” (see
Appendix C, Question 2) Furthermore, the two interviewees are simply everyday TTC commuters that use
strollers, yet they both provide similar comments about how inconvenient and unsafe their commutes often
are. From this, it could be concluded that anyone who commutes on the TTC with a stroller would share
common opinions and needs on their everyday commute, which would thus define all of these people as a
community, again as required by the definition in Section 2.1.
2.4 Justification of Need
The justification of need can be categorized into the following:
A. The use of strollers on the TTC is a necessity
B. Accessibility is limited on the TTC for those with strollers
C. Injuries and accidents related to strollers on escalators need to be prevented
A. The Use of Strollers on the TTC is a Necessity
Many parents and guardians choose not to place their child in child daycare for a wide variety of
reasons. But regardless of the reason, whether it be financial problems, or that a specific errand requires
the child there, it still stands that the use of strollers on public transit is a necessity. There are plenty of
documented stories of parents struggling with and complaining about the use of strollers on public transit.
In several articles, mothers question if they are expected to carry their 30-pound son rather than using a
stroller [10], or they state that it is impossible to carry a diaper bag and a baby [47]. There are countless
stories of mothers and fathers saying how impossible it is to hold so many things at the same time, along with
their child and the subway handle, and so they need strollers with them on the public transit. But the most
important thing to take away from these people and their stories is that they are everyday, average people.
They are Catherine Porter, Toronto Star journalist and mother, or they are Lisa Belkin, New York Times
journalist and mother; these are the type of people that are a part of the community in focus. People like
this exist everywhere in Toronto, and the fact is that they need to use their strollers on the TTC. But without
this “commodity,” the quality of life for this community will go down, which exactly what the definition of
need in Section 2.1 states.
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B. Accessibility is Limited on the TTC for those with Strollers
The ability to travel on public transit should not be restricted due to the use of a stroller, and therefore is
a quality of life issue with respect to the community who uses strollers. Many commuters have complained
to the TTC about the issue of accessibility in TTC subway stations due to having to commute with a stroller
[29][30][40][41]. This, in turn, often leads to navigating difficulties and occasional accidents on stairs and
escalators while pushing a stroller [29][40][41]. For example, a commuter who has been in stair-stroller
accidents herself said, “It is hard to find an elevator at convenience to use, and even when there is, the wait
time [...] you also often end up behind schedule when you can’t find an elevator because it takes a long time
to go up stairs.” [40]
In addition, in the City of Toronto, the TTC currently has 69 operational subway/rapid transit stations,
38 of which are non-accessible (For a list of accessible stations, refer to the Appendix or to [26]) [1]. As well,
the possibility of an elevator breaking down will add another 5 stations to the non-accessible list according
to the TTC Accessible Transit Services Plan, as these stations only have a single elevator - though the TTC
offers a 24 hour elevator service status line [1][2]. In comparison, all but 3 stations, Ellesmere, Rosedale and
Summerhill, are equipped with functional escalators [1].
It should be noted that the TTC is scheduling “to make the remaining 38 stations accessible by 2020”
[1]. However, outlined in the TTC Accessible Transit Services Plan, “in 2010 and 2011, pressures on the
TTC’s long-term capital budget resulted in the program for the retrofitting of stations having to be pushed
back by five years” (2025) [2]. It is clear that the pressure on the budget from major projects such as the
replacement of subway and streetcars may result in further delays in the TTC’s accessibility program.
Clearly, this lack of accessibility for commuters with strollers decreases the quality of life for members
of that community, which again is how a need was defined.
C. Injuries and Accidents Related to Strollers on Escalators Need to be Prevented
As noted in the previous section, accessibility in the TTC subway stations is a prevalent issue among
commuters, especially commuters who travel with baby strollers/carriages. Thus, without elevators, these
commuters resolve to taking the escalator with the strollers, but at the same time they are putting themselves
and their children at risk. According to CNN Health, taking the escalator with a stroller is very dangerous
and could lead to severe accidents [21], and so as a result of this danger, it is advised by Health Canada that
strollers should never be used on escalators [38]. Yet already, there have been multiple reported accidents
on the TTC where commuters attempt to carry their strollers down the escalator unsuccessfully and end up
falling down the steps and injuring themselves [29]. Even outside Canada, there are reports of severe accidents
concerning strollers on escalators all across the United States [45][46]. These accidents are obviously a
hindrance on the quality of life for members of the community and thus support the idea that there is a need
to be recognized. Looking deeper into this matter, the reason that commuters would take such a desperate
action is that some commuters use the public transit as their primary mode of transportation and therefore
do not have other alternatives to accessing the underground trains [39][41]. Indeed, this problem creates a
real need for the identified community and adressing this need would greatly increase the overall health and
safety of the community, as well as make the lives of community members much more convenient, thereby
improving the community’s quality of life.
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Section 3 – Stakeholders
This section will introduce and explain each of the stakeholders in this problem: the community in
need, the TTC, manufacturers and retailers, and its commuters.
3.1 – Parents and Other Child Handlers
These are individuals commuting with strollers who constitute the target community.
The TTC is constantly aiming to provide better accessibility to its commuters [12], and has begun
implementing solutions to improve the experience for its commuters such as their low-floor buses and
streetcars [32][33]. However, mentioned in the problem statement, there is a lack of alternatives for elevators
in TTC subway stations as only 31/69 subway stations are equipped with elevators [1].
Experiences and opinions disclosed by two interviewed stakeholders from this community [40] suggest
that it is extremely dangerous to carry a stroller down a flight of stairs due to the difficulty to see beyond the
stroller to spot the next step. This is even more difficult for commuters like the interviewed stakeholder who
often had to carry many bags while holding the child’s necessary items because there is no space on the small
stroller to put them [41]. However, parents are more inclined to take the stairs compared to the escalator as
the moving steps of the escalator makes it harder to handle the stroller [41]. Therefore, the ability to safely
take the escalator with the stroller would greatly increase time efficiency and convenience for these parents.
In addition, because of them constantly having to carry bags and children’s items, there are two other
major criteria that they will hold a large stake in. First, the size and weight of the solution will affect the
overall maneuvrability of the stroller and seeing as community members struggle with holding groceries
and diaper bags, the ability that they have to control the stroller will be key in how successful the solution
is from their perspective. Also, the ease of use of the solution is very closely related to this issue and clearly
they would be interested in this criterion as well.
Furthermore, there is a higher tendency for lower-income families to take public transit [43] [44], thus
cost is an important cost consideration.
With these considerations in mind, solving this problem will thus better improve the community’s
quality of life as it will provide more accessibility, convenience, and time.
3.2 – The Toronto Transit Commission
Just as strollers cause inconveniences for our community in need, they also affect the TTC. According
to a TTC spokesperson, there have been reported accidents with strollers falling down stairs and escalators
(see Appendix A question 3). Also, as mentioned in section 2.4, the TTC has been pushing to make all of
their stations accessible with a possible timeline of having all stations be accessible by 2020 [1]. However, due
to complications and lack of funding they have pushed back that plan to a later date [2].
Thus, a new stroller design could make TTC stations more accessible, especially stations that do not
have elevators, and it would alleviate some of the pressure being put on the TTC’s budget and resources.
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3.3 – Manufacturers and Retailers
Manufacturers and retailers form another one of the primary stakeholders of this project because
it would be the manufacturers and retailers who would produce and sell the potential designs. Since the
existing strollers are either oversized for escalators or unsafe for smaller children, a solution that can tackle
both problems would be a good investment to make, depending on the criterion: cost of manufacturing.
Therefore, manufacturers and retailers may directly benefit from this project, as a solution to this problem
could mean an increase in sales as well as customer satisfaction.
3.4 – Other Commuters
The lack of access for those with strollers can also impede the other commuters, especially during the
more congested hours. Often, commuters traveling with a stroller require assistance from other commuters
to carry the stroller down the stairs, which can be quite inconvenient especially when everyone is in a rush
to reach their own destinations. Therefore, a solution would reduce the impact that strollers would have
on other commuters, allowing everyone to follow their own schedules uninterrupted, thereby improving
commuter experience.
Section 4 – Reference Designs
This section will go into detail about strollers (chosen based on the fit to the proposed need in this
document) available on the market, as well as an existing cart escalator design.
4.1 – Stroller Reference Designs
Several existing stroller reference designs were consulted, but none pose as a feasible solution to the
problem. Rather, they outline potential criteria in a future solution, as none of these strollers have any
features that would allow them to be safely used on an escalator (refer to Section 5.2 – Stroller Safety).
Furthermore, it is clear that the comparison of the large number of available strollers on the market is
not reasonable. As a result, a few highlight comparisons are drawn from three reference designs of current
strollers, which were chosen due to their reputations of being some of the most manoeuvrable and easily
folded strollers – ideal characteristics for a stroller being used on public transit.
The highlights of three strollers, Inglesina Zippy, Bugaboo Cameleon 3, and Maclaren Quest Sport the similarities and differences in these three different strollers - can be seen in Table 1 below.
Below is a list of important highlights which are expanded into design overview:
A.The ability to have extra storage as in the Zippy and Quest Sport as opposed to the Cameleon 3, is
clearly a benefit to Guardians, as it gives them extra hand and less baggage when carrying out errands.
B.Maximum allowed weight should be labelled [38] and is about 20 kg for the three strollers
C.All three strollers are easily foldable and manoeuvrable [13] [14] [15] as this allows not only better
accessibility, but also the intuitive character of these processes will allow the strollers to be more user
friendly.
D.Safety harness and adjustable straps, brakes [42] .
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Table 1 – Highlights of Reference Design Strollers [13][14][15][16][17][18]
4.2 – Cart Escalators
Currently, there is in fact a solution for carts in shopping malls
regarding escalators. The cart escalators as they are called are a
separate lane specifically designed for the shopping carts [36][37]. It is
essentially a conveyor belt which has a sensor to know when a cart is
pushed on in order to “operate”: (sensor also checks whether children
are in the cart) [37]. While this provides a method for shopping carts
to descend and ascend, installing these escalators as well as configuring
them to function for a variety of strollers would be highly impractical
and costly for the TTC when already considering their financial delays
for the implementation of elevators in all of their subway stations.
Figure 1 - Cart escalator [50]
Section 5 – Problem Specifics
In this section, more information will be provided for the issue at hand. They include information on
elevators, escalators, types of strollers, and what can be considered safe for a stroller.
5.1 – Escalators
Currently all escalators in North America must abide by the standards set out by American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 17.1 [22][23]. Escalator widths lie between 600 mm to 1000 mm (or 24 inches
to 40 inches for the TTC), the latter being considered the mainstay of metro systems [22][29]. In addition,
the step depths are approximately 400mm deep for all of these escalators [22] [25] [49]. The TTC currently
has 292 operational escalators located at all subway stations except for 3 stations (as mentioned in 2.4) [1].
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The main two escalator brands seem to be OTIS type escalators
(made by OTIS) and Montgomery-type escalators (made by
Kone), having had extensive replacements and renovations done
to many of these escalators. [24][28].
Escalators are often equipped with various safety features
such as side skirts (which eliminate the gap between escalator
steps), brush guards, lighting, specifically painted areas, side
structures and emergency stops [34].
An OTIS Escalator Layout and Specifications link can be
found in Appendix E [25].
Figure 2 - Dimensions of escalator [51]
5.2 – Stroller Safety
Safety for a stroller on an escalator is paramount to any possible solution to the problem, as many
stroller-escalator related accidents have occurred in the past. It is also worth noting that most warning signs
concerning strollers on escalators are mainly deterrents and there is no standardized sign for strollers. [34]
As well, interviews with TTC commuters (see Appendices B and C) show that the situation is especially
present in Toronto.
Furthermore, the City of Toronto’s Growing Up Safely Manual has some useful input on Child Product
Safety, specifically stroller safety under section 6.2.18 [20]. It states that the majority of stroller-related
injuries come from falls caused by:
• the child attempting to stand or climb in and out of the stroller (without a fastened safety belt)
• the stroller tipping with the child inside
• the stroller being pushed down stairs or a hill
The guidelines also recommend that the brakes should be applied to the stroller if it is not in motion [20].
Robert Tanz, MD, former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Injury and
Poison Prevention says that escalator steps are too narrow to accommodate both sets of wheels on the
strollers, which increases the likeliness of the stroller flipping. According to Tanz, the safety of the parent is
also at risk as pushing a stroller onto an escalator prevents the parent from holding the handrail, making it
easier for the parent to lose their balance as well [21].
Thus, based on these factors and recommendations, a safe stroller on an escalator should be defined
as one that:
• the occupying child is secured in place
• the stroller itself remains stationary on one or more steps without human assistance
• the stroller is able to resist motion from the occupying child and exterior forces while stationary
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Section 6 – Design Overview
This section will go over the problem statement as well as going over the design scope, the objectives,
the constraints, and the criteria for this issue.
6.1 – Problem Statement
Develop a product which will enable safe stroller use (see Section 5.2) on an escalator, such as a new
stroller design or an attachment for existing strollers.
6.2 – Design Scope
The problem statement and design objectives focus on decreasing the inconvenience and travel time of
commuters who use strollers on the TTC, and is framed with a stroller-centric approach. As such, potential
solutions should focus on modifying strollers rather than escalator modifications. This is because the
dimensions of TTC escalators are not standardized [24] [25] [28], and this issue stems indirectly and relies
on the TTC’s budget for accessibility (see Section 2.4). By designing with a stroller-centric approach, this
ensures a potentially quicker resolution to this issue as well as a solution that our target community has more
control over (i.e. they will have more control over purchasing a product rather than waiting for the TTC to
implement a potential solution).
6.3 – Objectives
The design solution should accomplish the following objectives:
1. The solution must allow safe use of stroller on an escalator (refer to section 5.2).
2. Must be able to operate on TTC escalators [24] [28], which also conforms to the North American standards for escalators ASME A17.1 [23].
3. Must allow safe transportation of a child when not on an escalator.
4. Should reduce the travel time of our target community.
5. Should be easy to use such that the user can operate the device with very few steps (motions).
6. Should be affordable, for low income families in the community (see Section 3.1).
6.4 – Constraints
The design solution should not violate any of the following constraints:
1. Should not place infant in the stroller at risk.
2. Should not place the guardian pushing the stroller at risk.
3. Should not place other TTC commuters at risk.
4. Should not inhibit stroller functionality (e.g. blocking off a strollers storage space or taking more time to fold up).
5. Should not modify existing escalators in the TTC subway stations.
6. Should not increase the time needed to implement solution on an escalator when compared to the time it would take to use the elevator.
7. Should not violate the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act [42].
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6.5 - Criteria
Criteria on which the design will be judged on include:
1. Size and weight (i.e. space taken up by stroller on escalator) [less is better]
• Directly affects the target community and other TTC commuters as it will impact maneuverability of the stroller
• Determines how much of the escalator will be blocked off by the design (which can have significant impact especially during peak TTC hours)
• metric: dimensional sizes in cm and weight in kg
2. Cost of manufacture [less is better]
• Directly affects manufacturers in terms of their business (i.e. profit)
• Affects target community as they will be the consumer
• Metric: cost in Canadian Dollar (CAD)
3. Ease of use (intuitiveness)
• Clearly impacts overall functionality of solution
• Metric: number of steps taken to implement the solution [less steps is better]
4. Durability [more is better]
• Related to customer satisfaction as well as their tendency to use the product
• Metric: lifespan in years
5.Aesthetics
• Affects the retailers as they will have to sell the product
• Considering factor for consumer purchase(i.e. our target community)
• Metric: results from customer surveys
Section 7 – Conclusion
In conclusion, the requested solution in this proposal should address the aforementioned needs
of TTC commuters with strollers, in particular, the accessibility and safety of strollers on escalators. A
modification or redesign of the stroller would provide: a safe alternative on escalators, better accessibility
to TTC subway stations and subsequently the rest of Toronto, and reduced restrictions to the community.
Further consultations with members in the community and stroller manufacturers would give an idea of
what types of changes to a strollers are reasonable, in order to arrive at a potential solution.
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Appendix A
TTC Spokesperson Interview
1. Do a lot of people call to complain about problems with strollers and what kind of problems do they
often complain about?
Yes, occasionally. Commuters complain about their inability to move around because too many strollers
are in the train. Commuters who travel with strollers complain about tripping, falling off stairs when they try
to bring the strollers down the station. They also complain about having a hard time navigating.
2. Do people suggest solutions to the problems they complain about?
Not really, usually they just report the problem or ask about how to navigate better.
3. Are there any reported accidents with strollers?
There are some reported accidents where people try to bring the strollers down the stations by way
of stairs or escalators and the strollers end up falling off them. So we often advise people who travel with
strollers to take the elevator instead.
4. What do you often advise people to do when they travel with strollers at stations that do not have
elevators?
We suggest things such as taking alternative routes, travelling with someone else so they can handle the
stroller better, carrying the stroller up/down with another person or have one person carrying the stroller
while another carries the child.
5. Is there a fixed dimension for escalator steps in every station? If yes what is it?
After inquiring from a technical supervisor, there are indeed varying widths for escalator steps at
different stations that range from 24” – 40”.
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Appendix B
Interview with a Guardian (Tammy Hua)
1. How would you describe your experiences with the stroller on the subway?
Normally when I use the stroller on the subway, I feel like I am an added burden and also it is difficult
to maneuver around a large group of people. Often times, it is hard to find an elevator at convenience to use,
and even when there is, the wait time is long so I would rather not use it. In addition to that, I feel confided
with the available space on the subway so I feel the pressure to get on first, because it’s hard for people to get
in and out because you’re blocking and taking up so much of their space. If we are talking about the train,
I feel that it would be of benefit for a train just specialized for strollers so that it would make it easier for
transportation.
2. Have you ever experienced a time where there was no elevator at a station you wanted to get off?
Yes, and I believed that there were elevators at every station, and so when I got there I had ended up
having to ask someone to help me carry the stroller up the escalator.
3. (Did you ever have to bring a stroller down stairs or escalator? ) How were those experiences?”
I find it very difficult when there are no elevators in certain stations because you have to carry the
stroller up the stairs yourselves, and it’s an added burden because you have to rely on others to assist you.
You also have to factor in the fact that you have to carry your baby bags, your purse, etc. Some people on the
TTC are really nice and will help you out, but other times, people are in a rush to go to places, and that adds
pressure to you because you feel like you’re in their way. You also often end up behind schedule when you
can’t find an elevator because it takes a long time to go up stairs, especially doing it yourself.
4. Have you ever had any accidents?
Yes, sometimes when you’re going down the stairs, it’s hard to see your steps because you have the
stroller infront of you so you cant see where you are stepping I have had incidents where I’ve missed 1 or 2
steps, but luckily enough they were close to the end of the staircase so all you really feel is that shock, but I’ve
seen people have experienced worse.
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Appendix C
Interview with a Guardian (Tran Bich Thuy)
1. Did you often use the subway with the stroller?
Yes, I used to take the subway with my kids very often because when I had my first kid I hadn’t gotten
my licence and I did not have a car at the time.
2. You know how some stations don’t have elevators, what kind of inconveniences did you have when
going to those stations since it must be difficult to handle the stroller with just one person?
It was indeed very inconvenient and quite dangerous as well. When I chose to take the stairs, sometimes
there would be someone willing to help but often times I had to do it myself. I remember I used to carry my
kid down first, told him to wait there and ran back up as fast as I could to carry the stroller down. I actually
tried to avoid taking the escalator as compared to the stairs because taking the escalator was simply too
dangerous and required you to grip the stroller very tightly and be very alert because if you forget to lift the
stroller at the end of the escalator it would be a disaster.
3. Did you perhaps avoid taking the subway because it’s unsafe to take the stroller on the escalator?
Yes I did consider that, but going to places like the Eaton centre, it was a lot easier to take the subway
because the subway station leads you right into Eaton centre.
4. Did you often use a bigger stroller or a smaller one when taking the subway?
I used the smaller stroller because using a big stroller requires more effort to carry it down the station
and there’s also the issue with creating inconvenience to other commuters to take the escalator. However,
using a smaller stroller had its own fallbacks because I used to have to carry the child’s stuff in a separate bag
while carrying my own purse and pushing the stroller at the same time.
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Appendix D
List of Accessible TTC Subway Stations
Bathurst BayviewBessarionBloor-Yonge Broadview Davisville Don Mills
Downsview
Dundas
Dundas West Eglinton Eglinton West FinchJane Kennedy Kipling
Leslie
Main Street North York Centre Osgoode
QueenQueen’s ParkScarborough Centre
Sheppard-Yonge
Spadina (Bloor-Danforth line only) St. Andrew
St. Clair St. George
Victoria Park
York Mills
Union
List of Non-Accessible TTC Subway Stations
Bay Castle Frank Chester Christie
CollegeCoxwellDonlandsDufferin
DupontEllesmere GlencairnGreenwood High Park IslingtonKeele King
LansdowneLawrenceLawrence EastLawrence West
McCowan Midland Museum Old Mill
OssingtonPape Rosedale Royal York
Runnymede
Sherbourne
St. Clair West St. Patrick
SummerhillWardenWellesleyWilson
WoodbineYorkdale
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Appendix E
OTIS Escalator Layout and Specifications [25]
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Appendix F
Types of Strollers
As described by [8], there are several types of strollers to consider beyond standard strollers: travel
systems, stroller frames, joggers, and umbrella strollers.
Travel systems and stroller frames are often not very high quality, and are generally for prolonged use
- though not recommended [8]. Travel systems and stroller frames are generally interchangeable with car
seats, as they are generally used when travelling in a personal vehicle [9]. Furthermore, travel systems can
be considered simply as a standard stroller, without considerations to the interchangeability. An example of
a travel system is the Bugaboo Cameleon 3 (refer to Section 4.1).
Joggers are, as joggers as the name suggests, generally for “control at fast[er] speeds” and “jogging
strollers are designed to make it easier to jog rather than do anything else”. [31]
Umbrella type strollers are lightweight and may “have much less structure and seat support” and
“should only be used with older babies who are strong enough to sit unassisted”. [8] An example of an
umbrella stroller in the Maclaren Quest Sport (refer to Section 4.1).
The remaining type is the standard stroller. An example of the standard stroller is the Inglesina Zippy
(refer to Section 4.1). Many strollers, including the Zippy can be converted into other strollers as they have
multiple setups.
Below are image references to better define the different types of strollers.
Fig. 3 - Bugaboo Cameleon 3 [52]
Fig. 4 - Maclaren Quest Sport [53]
Fig. 5 - Inglesina Zippy [54]
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[28] Toronto Transit Commission. Toronto Transit Commission Report of April 2006. www.ttc.ca.
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Image References
[50] Image Fig. 1. [Online]. Available:
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[51] Image Fig. 2. [Online]. Available:
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[52] Image Fig.3. [Online]. Available:
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[53] Image Fig. 4. [Online]. Available:
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36e95/b/u/bugaboo_cameleon_3_all_black_combishot_1280x959px_e.jpg
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6e95/m/a/maclaren-quest-sport-pushchair-black-silver.jpg
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