It's been a baby boom on NYC Transit! On Thursday, a woman gave birth to a baby girl on a Queens-bound R train—and on Friday, another woman gave birth to a baby girl on the B61 bus! Can babies on the LIRR or Metro-North be next?
According to NYC Transit, the R train delivery occurred when the train was waiting at the Whitehall station. The Rail Control Center was alerted at 1:20 p.m., but Shondell Lancaster's water broke. (The mom-to-be and her fiance were headed from Brooklyn to their Queens hospital for the delivery.) Conductor Bretta Sykes, who was waiting at the station to start her shift on an incoming W train, entered the train and suggested Lancaster take deep breaths to slow the process, since EMS was on the way. But soon Sykes realized had to act—she had pulled Lancaster's pants down and saw the baby's head!
While colleague Tyrone Cloud helped control the crowd, Sykes, herself a mother of two, delivered the baby, "My motherly instincts definitely helped me think and act quickly. I caught the baby and used my coat as well as the baby’s father’s jacket as blankets until EMS arrived.” But she told the Daily News she didn't cut the umbilical cord: "I'm a conductor. I only push buttons." The Benton and the baby, named Alisha Nia Benton, were taken to Downtown Beekman Hospital and were in fine condition and proud new dad Melvin Benton said, "We love the MTA now. With this kind of service, we approve of the fare hike." Here's video of Sykes describing the delivery to the AP:
And on the B61 yesterday morning just before 10:30 a.m., a baby girl was born on a B61 at the intersection of Manhattan and Greenpoint Avenues in Brooklyn. According to NYC Transit, "Though the Bus Operator did not deliver the baby, he was quick to notify bus Command who called for Police and Medical assistance as the child was being helped into the world by a female customer. Mother and child were removed by ambulance to Woodhull hospital and B/O returned bus No. 9481 to Grand Avenue Depot for cleaning."