CTA riders urged to give up seat for pregnant passengers

It's just a common courtesy, right? Giving up your seat on a train or bus to an expectant mother.

But how do you know if she doesn't show? The CTA and a mom's rights organization are starting a new public service campaign using buttons.

"Over the years we have received a few comments or suggestions from riders that we do something like this,” said CTA spokesperson Catherine Hosinski.

Starting Monday, buttons reading "Baby on Board - Could we please sit down?" will be available for expectant mothers at CTA headquarters and via the agency's website -- or moms-to-be can pick one up while visiting the doctor at Chicago’s five largest maternity hospitals.

"This is all a matter of courtesy and just one more way we're trying to extend and encourage our customers to be more courteous to their fellow riders,” Hosinski said.

Anyone who has tried to squeeze into a CTA train or bus during rush hour knows space is at a premium.

A separate baby on board campaign kicks off Tuesday as a group called "The Mom Project" hands out buttons at a coffee shop at 225 North LaSalle.

"As a society, we're like don't ever ask someone if they're pregnant cause that can be really awkward and rude. So people don't. I think there's a lot of really well-intentioned people who would offer their seat if they knew the person was pregnant. So this removes all the awkwardness,” said Colleen Curtis of The Mom Project.

The Baby on Board campaign -- with buttons -- has been employed before in London on its massive underground Tube system, where it's been very successful.

"Expectant mothers have the opportunity to ride in comfort on the CTA and I think it's an interesting and innovative program,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.