March 8, 2007

Wha Wha Wha? They Allow Strollers On Buses Now?

muji_bus.jpgThe kid and I were making the rounds of some galleries in Chelsea, then we had to go meet my wife and some of her former colleagues for dinner at Columbia. So with a little time to kill and no desire to schlep all the way back to Seventh Avenue, we decided to take the 10th Ave. bus.

Because of the whole stroller thing, the kid almost never takes the bus, but we left the stroller home today. So as we head for the high seats in the back, what do we see blocking our way? A stroller. A full-fledged Evenflo stroller being pushed by a couple of babushkas.

At first, I was like, "No way! That's awesome! Finally, you can bring strollers on the bus!" But when they were getting off, and grappling that thing down a couple of stairs, shoving people out of the way, and making everyone wait, it was good riddance. That stroller was a menace.

But then not five blocks later, another lady gets on with a kid asleep in an umbrella stroller. They stayed up front, where the aisle was wider, but still. That was two strollers in half an hour.


Greg, you have to come to the UK.

Almost every bus has a wheelchair space and in the absence of anyone in a wheelchair you can wheel the pushchair straight on and into a custom-built space with a handy seat for you to face the pushchair occupant.
Definitely no rules against carrying on folded strollers either - even on the older buses with steps or without wheelchair spaces.

(It does divide London pushchair drivers firmly into two groups though - the 'Hoping I'm never asked to fold it' Bug-types and the 'Bet I'll have to fold it sometime' Macs)

The buses here have bike trays sticking off the front now, and I find myself compulsively checking for bungee corded strollers when they pass.

Here in our small town, they have allowed strollers on the buses for years. All of our buses have at least 2 wheelchair spots up front, and provided they aren't occupied by wheelchairs, a stroller can use them. But, should a wheelchair user get on, you have to either fold the stroller or get off.

I'm a bus driver here in Minneapolis and this is a big issue for me. Strollers have always been allowed on the bus here (it's no different than wheelchairs or fat people). Last summer somebody thought it would be safer if we required strollers to be folded before boarding - effectively pushing everybody with other transportation options away. I can't even take my kid on the bus if we're planning on doing more than a single small errand.

Beyond trying to fold a Bugaboo, if you shop at even one store, you're supposed to have a folded stroller, hold your kid on your lap, and make sure your diaper bag and shopping bags don't slide anywhere? Ridiculous. That takes up more space, anyway.

[that was (my understanding of and experience with) the rule in NYC, too. you had to fold it. If you were traveling solo, forget it. -ed.]

Seconding the comments of becster - the UK is fab for strollers on the bus. Frequently you'll see 2x strollers up right with kiddies in them in the wheelchair spot.

Macs a better bet than anything much bigger tho' but I have been on buses with huge XTS all terrain thingy a couple of times and just folded it onto the suitcase shelf at front of bus.

gobsmacked that this a new thing in NYC!

You must have had a very lax busdriver. Not too long ago I took my daughter on a NYC bus with my husband, not knowing that strollers weren't allowed. We pretty quickly got the stroller on the bus and I stood up front with the stroller where the aisle was wider. I got yelled at by the driver and told that I could only stay on if I folded the thing up. I told her I didn't know that was the rule and (as it was an infant carseat on a Snap 'n Go base with tons of crap in the storage underneath) it would be really difficult to fold up on the moving bus and take up more space anyway. Could I please just leave it and remember the rule for next time? Absolutely not. It was an awful, embarrassing nightmare with such a rude driver. Subways and taxis from now on.

[now that's more like it. classic. -ed.]

The rules in Boston are the same as what throkky said. But some bus drivers get their panties in a bunch and try to enforce a spontaneous no-stroller rule. We reported him, and got confirmation of what the rules were. We have a Mtn. Buggy double, which is no wider than a wheelchair, but the thing is massive on a bus, and it's not very fun to deal with the drivers and the people sitting in the wheelchair seats. We just take the subway, which requires a bit more walking, but far less problems.

I can imagine it'd be easy with a single stroller on the Boston buses, but honestly I have no clue.

Greg - You CAN bring a stroller on a New York City bus. Bus drivers are funny about them - you're supposed be able to take a FOLDED stroller on the bus, except during specific rush hour times (something like 7-10am and 5-7pm). I have brought a Mac not folded onto the bus a few times (what do you do with a big kid who's not walking yet and therefore can't stand AND all the stuff you have below?).
It really comes down to the driver - some made me fold it (almost impossible when you're holding your kid in one arm and the bags in the other) others were cool about it, especially if the bus was not full. In a city like New York taking the subway is not always an alternative when you have to go East/West for example.

Meanwhile growing up in Germany, my mom would take a full size pram on the trolleys and they had a spot for it! And it's still that way...

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