An Astoria woman is campaigning to add a family and pregnancy representative to the MTA's advisory board. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Christine Yearwood is on a mission to make it easier for pregnant women and families to get around on public transportation.
"Pregnant women and families should not be made to feel that they need to stay within their, just their neighborhood, constrained to just their borough," said Yearwood.
The Astoria woman is the founder of the Up-Stand Movement, a campaign to take the guesswork out of offering up a seat to a pregnant woman. She creates and sells pins that read "I stand for expecting moms" to let women know the wearer is willing to stand up and give up their seat.
But now, she's taking her message all the way to the end of line. She's petitioning the MTA to add a pregnancy and family representative to its Paratransit Advisory Committee, which serves as a liaison to people with disabilities. She hopes it could bring a voice to the board, to share the concerns of pregnant women and parents across the city.
"Strollers are really difficult. Buses currently are not equipped to and the policy is to not allow strollers on buses," said Yearwood.
She says her proposed pregnancy and family representative could easily come up with solutions to common problems, just based on their own experiences on public transportation.
"So, when we come to a station without a gate attendant, what would be ideal is a parent metro card, where when you swipe it allows you access to the gate," said Yearwood.
Yearwood stresses it's not a petition against the MTA but rather a request for a seat at the table.
"This is an initiative to work with the MTA, to benefit all parties involved," said Yearwood.
In a statement, the MTA tells NY1: "We are always looking at ways to make commuting for pregnant women and families easier and encourage her or a member of her group to apply for the board."
For more information about Yearwood's campaign, head to up-stand.com