Christmas Baby Third Born On Philly SEPTA Train, Public Transport

On Christmas Day, the Philadelphia SEPTA subway train welcomed a baby born on their public transportation train. The Metro UK reports that the mother of the Christmas baby was on the Market-Frankford El train. However, this is not the first baby born on public transportation over the past decades, but it might be the only Christmas baby. The baby is the third born on the SEPTA transit system, and it is also one of many babies born on public transportation to receive free fare.

CBS News reports that the name of the mother is Yanjin Li of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She told reporters that she named the Christmas baby boy “Chris” in honor of Christmas. SEPTA Philadelphia Transit Police worker Darrell James and Sargent Daniel Caban recount the incident surrounding the Christmas baby.

“I had a patron that told me that she believed that someone was going into labor. We went on the scene and saw that the baby was ready to come out, and we went right into action. Her husband was there and he gave the shirt off his back. We wrapped it around the baby.”

Within minutes of being born, the Christmas baby was given to EMS workers, who took the new family to the hospital. Philadelphia Transit Police officer Darrell James concluded by saying that he had three kids and a pregnant wife, so he knew to just get in there to help the Christmas baby. Sargent Caban explained more in a CBS News interview.

“We delivered a baby for her, so that’s her Christmas present. But its also a blessing and present for myself. This is the first time I experienced something like this —besides with my own [children], and it just happened at the perfect time.”

On Twitter, SEPTA’s response to the Christmas baby incident has been a humorous one. Management at SEPTA proudly tweeted about the Christmas baby saying,

“For those that have asked, I have waived today’s fare for our newest rider. Congratulations!!!”

However, the Christmas baby born on public transportation incident is not the only one of its kind or the first born on a SEPTA train. It is also not the first time that fare has been waived for a child born while in major transportation. In July, Daily Interlake states that a woman in Elmo, Montana gave birth to a baby on a rural transit mini-bus. Almost two years before the Christmas baby was born on a train in Philadelphia, The Daily Mail UK reports that a Chinese woman gave birth on a bus in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.

In August, 2012, The London Evening Standard UK reported that a Hackney, England woman gave birth on the Number 106 bus. The same article reported that in 2011 and 2009, two English women also gave birth on a public transit bus, but none had a Christmas baby.

In a similar situation as the Christmas baby, in October, 2012 Megan Rivers gave birth to a boy on a SEPTA train. According to The Huffington Post, Rivers was approaching Olney Station when she went into labor. Police officer Loyd Rodgers assisted with the birth. During that time, Philly Magazine reports that a similar incident happened in 1990 when a baby boy was born in a SEPTA bus, but it was not a Christmas baby.

“In 1990, a 7 1/2-pound baby boy named Tahir Alsbrooks was born in the back seat of a SEPTA bus on Lehigh Avenue to a 17-year-old mother on her way home from school. On Christmas Day in 2007, SEPTA police Sgt. Steven Rocher was on his way to work when he heard a woman screaming on 18th Street near Lehigh Avenue and discovered she was in labor. He helped the woman and the child’s father deliver the baby girl on the street.”

In the stories surrounding public transportation births like the one about the Christmas Baby, Mexico City’s incident stands out. Fox News reports that the baby born on May 1, 2013 received free transportation for life for being born at the subway station. The same article states that in 2009, an AirAsia flight made an emergency landing to help a mother give birth, but it was born while the plane was still in the air. Treating them like their own Christmas baby with a round of gifts, AirAsia gave Lieu Siaw Hsia and her child free air fare for life.

[All images from the referenced links.]

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