I’m lucky that I don’t have to use public transport that often in Buenos Aires. Not that it’s bad; on the contrary I can get a bus from where I live in the burbs to Capital in about half an hour… and all for AR$11.80, equivalent to 60-odd pence. No, my issue is more of a biological one as I’m now pregnant, which makes standing up on a journey that goes via the motorway slightly more problematic.
On the whole, I've been touched by how considerate fellow passengers have been here. Once on the way back from Capital to Quilmes, a girl came up to me to where I was standing in the middle of the bus and offered me her seat. The bus driver had noticed my belly and had kindly told the girl to give up her seat. Another time, a lady shouted out for someone to cede their seat for me because I was too shy to ask.
|Transport for London Baby on board badge|
My husband said I should have asked someone if I could have taken their seat. Maybe so, but I can’t assume that people will automatically give up their seats for me, even if I did have a 'baby on board' badge... which I don't.
Pink Light system
Interestingly, South Korea has trialled the Pink Light wireless system for pregnant travellers. The bluetooth technology alerts train users to give up their seats for pregnant women. In the City of Busan, women carried sensors that activated pink lights fitted near priority seats on the Busan-Gimhae Light Rail service over five days.
While the Pink Light system may be a step too far, Buenos Aires had made its own progress in helping pregnant woman on public transport - or so it seemed. Buenos Aires province had approved a law in 2012 to allow pregnant women to travel on buses for free twice a week.
The aim was to protect women’s health during their pregnancy and to make it easier for them to travel to their health appointments and check-ups. A worthy initiative, but I’m not sure if it took effect as I’m still paying for my bus fare. Not that I at all mind for 60p a pop. I just don't like drawing attention to myself, but maybe I should. I'm sitting down for two after all.