Is It Okay For Bus Drivers To Refuse Rides To Passengers With Strollers?

Not everyone who has kids has access to a car — which leads to the potentially complicated situation of taking a baby stroller on public transportation. In San Francisco, supervisors of the city’s Municipal Railway are challenging the current policy that lets bus operators refuse rides to people toting baby strollers.

The rule is supposed to combat overcrowding on the buses, but supervisors David Chiu and Sean Elsbernd, who introduced the resolution this week, don’t think it’s acceptable behavior, reports CBS 5 in San Francisco.

“I think we need to make our city both transit first and family first and need to make it as easy as possible for our families to take public transportation,” Chiu said.

Elsbernd adds that he thinks there could be some positive change ahead for families trying to get around the city.

“They’re [families are] making the effort to take public transit and then to be shunned away simply because they have a stroller is problematic and I’m grateful that Muni is taking a look at it,” he said.

We’re sure riders are divided on this issue — on one hand, getting smacked with a stroller in the face is never fun on a crowded bus, but everyone has a right to get around. So, where’s the line? Who gets booted and who gets to stay?

2 San Francisco Supervisors Seek Changes To Muni’s Stroller Policy [CBS 5 San Francisco]

Comments

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  1. dolemite says:

    Next up: An accident where a baby is killed or injured, and the city spends 1 billion dollars retrofitting buses to make them more safe for strollers.

    • Anathema777 says:

      This policy change is just looking at allowing parents to bring strollers on board the bus, not allowing them to keep their kids in the stroller.

    • CubeRat says:

      I have always used transit, and I’ve lived in many cities. I’ve never seen a case where the city bus refused to allow someone on because they have a stroller. I currently live in LA, and they don’t do this, they do require that the stollers be folded up. I’m shocked SF would have something like this.

      And I’ve never heard of a lawsuit because a child/parent were allowed on and had a stoller.

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    i think bus drivers can refuse anyone for any reason. and the person can file a complaint if they don’t like it. and hopefully if the bus drivers is found at wrong, a day’s pay it given to the person who file the complaint.

    • aja175 says:

      LOL you don’t live in SF, do you. MUNI drivers have an incredibly strong union. They can run over people and keep their job. There’s no accountability, there’s no fines, hell they can just not show up to work a few days a month and there’s nothing anyone can do.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Any reason? Don’t like teenagers? No bus for you. People in wheelchairs? No bus for you. Women? No bus for you.

      • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

        There was a bus driver at my old College (To/from the off-campus dorms) that wouldn’t allow men onto the bus until after the women boarded. Even if the men were waiting longer and the bus was full, making them miss the bus because he made the women board first. Thank god that loon was fired.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Hey fattie – you look like you could use the walk!

  3. John says:

    Absolutely should refuse. Of course, every parent believes their kid is perfect in every way and anyone inflicted with the child should consider themselves blessed to be privileged to enjoy the experience.

    • Phildogger says:

      Good thing you were never a baby, right?

      • Cat says:

        He still is.

      • Tiercelet says:

        Please. The fact that we all had greater needs at one point than we do now — and that we likely will all have greater needs in the future than we do today — doesn’t mean that there isn’t a balancing act between different interested parties. Needing a bit of accommodation doesn’t mean you can write your own ticket for all the resources, and too many people act like it does.

        Of course we shouldn’t just arbitrarily cut off access to mass transit based on reproductive status, but far too many parents act like their ability to breed entitles them to throw other paying customers off mass transit. We have to be accommodating by letting you on, you have to be accommodating by taking up as little space as possible, and waiting for the next one if you still can’t fit. That’s the bargain that makes shared resources work (and it’s one that’s incumbent on every transit rider, including that guy who’s moving an armoire on the subway during rush hour).

    • Anathema777 says:

      Except that kids are still allowed on the bus. It’s strollers that are in question.

    • nbs2 says:

      Do you also complain about the giant mommy-wagons that are getting driven everywhere?

      • Jawaka says:

        Hell yeah. Most of the mothers that I’ve seen driving huge SUVs don’t seem to know how to maneuver them in and out of parking spaces without making 8 point turns.

    • alana0j says:

      That’s discrimination. Not every child is poorly behaved and they absolutely have a right to ride the bus just like everyone else. I’ve seen grown folks who are more loud and outspoken than my four year old is and you don’t see them being refused a ride.

      Tell me though, what are these parents supposed to do about transportation if they don’t have a car and can’t ride the bus? Are you going to give them a ride to the grocery store? Or do you expect them to walk the entire way?

      Let me do you a favor. I’ll send you a few of my baby’s diapers for use on your face to catch the shit falling out of your mouth.

  4. catskyfire says:

    I don’t ride public transit, but i have observed a lot of strollers. I think part of the problem is how huge strollers have gotten. It used to be that a stroller held one child. Now they can hold one or two children, have enough space for a lot of stuff, and are seemingly huge. (I hate seeing them when I’m at the farmer’s market.) How do you even get that kind into a bus, (or a door, where I’ve seen parent’s struggle)?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Ding ding ding! There are many variables to this, but the biggest one is the size of the stroller. They’re getting to be ATV size now and there’s just not enough room on a bus to handle this. Most buses have poles going down the aisle. This makes either side of the pole wide enough for most people, but not for an ATV-size stroller. People in wheelchairs use the ramp at the back of the bus but this can’t be afforded to people with strollers. Buses are just not built for large strollers. The kind you can fold up really quickly? Those are fine.

    • Not Given says:

      Aren’t buses required to be wheelchair accessible? I don’t know, we don’t have public transit here. If a bus is wheelchair accessible and there is room for the stroller then they should have to let them on. Is or is not public transit public?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yes, buses are wheelchair accessible. HOWEVER, most buses load wheelchairs onto the bus through a ramp in the back. When they stop to pick up a person in a wheelchair, they activate the ramp that lowers onto street level and the person in the wheelchair can be lifted onto the bus. You really can’t do that just because someone wants to put their wheelchair onto the bus.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Edit: “You really can’t do that just because someone wants to put their *stroller* onto the bus.”

          • kobresia says:

            I think you were right the first time. Folks who use those ridiculously oversize strollers are a lot like an able-bodied person who just wants to loaf in a wheelchair, and expects the bus to delay everyone 10 minutes to load the chair onto the bus after he walks on board. “Hey, oh, that’s my wheelchair back out there on the sidewalk. Load it up for me, okay?”

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              I don’t think I’ve ever seen any able-bodied person use a wheelchair. When I used to ride the bus daily, there was always a person on my afternoon commute who was in a wheelchair. It was obvious he wasn’t able-bodied. No one minded waiting for him to get on the bus.

              • kobresia says:

                But an able-bodied person using a wheelchair would be the sort of outrageous behavior that one would expect from a comedy sketch. Which is pretty much what expecting a bus driver to use the wheelchair lift to load an absurdly large stroller would be, and that was my point. :)

                • njack says:

                  One of the times when I visited NYC, there was a very aggressive panhandler in a wheelchair. He’d move his wheelchair into your way so you couldn’t ignore him and had to go around him, or give him money and he’d move aside. He stationed himself outside a high end restaurant and pretty much bothered anyone going in or out.

                  We were eating dinner when we looked out the window and apparently the guy was ‘done with his shift’ as he was pushing his wheelchair toward the subway station, then folded it up and carried it down the stairs….abled body using a wheelchair, achievement unlocked.

        • Kitamura says:

          Where I live standard buses can fold up the seats in the front of the bus to accommodate up to 2 strollers/wheelchairs maximum (at the cost of 4/5 seats and standing room per unit).

          The rule is basically if there are already 2 strollers/wheelchairs on the bus already or if the bus is already full to the point where people have to stand and it’s full up to the front seats, the stroller/wheelchair has to wait for the next bus. Now the driver does radio control to let them know they had to leave people on the curb, but they won’t kick off passengers to accommodate new ones.

        • Emperor Norton I says:

          No they don’t!
          Federal rules require transit buses to load wheelchairs through the front! The same door as those of us who walk on.
          You’re seeing private buses that have a separate door & lift for the wheelchairs, which is allowed.
          The requirement of the front door loading is just one of the reasons GMC got out of the transit bus business.
          They had designed a rear door bus & the feds told them no way.
          That was under Bush the Elder, a Republican!

    • Mulysa says:

      What I hate even more are people who act annoyed when you don’t make room for their unnecessarily large baby wagons, push their way through crowds, or take up large sections of the sidewalk while walking slower than a glacier. Because they have kids, and they’re important.
      Man do I hate strollers. My son very rarely used his, and I doubt I’ll use any with future kids.

    • Limeade Youth says:

      Exactly, larger strollers (and people’s perception that they need to carry so much STUFF regardless of the context of their journey) are creating the issue. I’ve taken buses with my little ones and we travel light with an umbrella stroller to do so.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      What you said. It’s BS the words “family friendly” somehow got twisted into “tolerating Hummer sized strollers for your 4 year old you drag everywhere and your bags and purse etc.”

  5. MissPinkKate says:

    If the stroller can’t be folded up, bus drivers should say no. A stroller in the aisle of a bus, even one that is relatively uncrowded, makes it totally unable to navigate.

  6. Atherton says:

    Strollers should be allowed to be hooked on the front of the bus like bikes. Removing the child is up to the driver’s discretion.

  7. Tiercelet says:

    Strollers are fine if you are carrying the baby in your arms and folding up the stroller.

    If you are not doing this, you are taking more than your share of scarce public resources due primarily to laziness on your part. Of course even people with children should be accommodated on public transit, but there has to be a balance between rights and responsibilities.

    Don’t even get me started on one of those not-even-foldable eighty-pound combat strollers. Your SUV will not fit on the bus; and that’s the decision you made when you decided your six-year-old has to go everywhere in a shopping cart.

    • longfeltwant says:

      They didn’t refuse a child, they refused a stroller. I don’t try to board buses with my bicycle, so it’s not clear why a person would *necessarily* expect to be able to take on a stroller. Maybe strollers are okay, maybe not. Babies aren’t born in strollers, and parents successfully carried their babies for a couple million years of human existence before strollers were invented. If your baby is too young to walk, then it’s young enough to carry; if it’s too old to carry, then it’s old enough to walk. If it’s too young to walk, and you are disabled, then that sucks and the bus might not be right for your needs.

      I don’t know. There MIGHT be something unreasonable here, but it’s not clear to me. Nevertheless, if legislators want to mandate that strollers be allowed on buses, then they have the final word on it and that would be fine. Without it, I think it’s fine to leave the decision up to the bus company management, who might leave it up to the drivers. None of that is a problem.

      • Cat says:

        “If your baby is too young to walk, then it’s young enough to carry; if it’s too old to carry, then it’s old enough to walk.”

        My 90 lb wife disagrees. She would have had a tough time lugging around my near – 30 lb son for more than a few minutes before he started walking. Even now that he walks, walking anywhere with a “just learning” toddler is not easy for parent or child.

        And the part about being disabled may run afoul of ADA, along with being just a generally shitty thing to say. (Hint: Some disabled people pay taxes to support public transit, too.)

        • Sarahlara says:

          Depending on just HOW disabled the person is, many metropolitan areas have special mass transit vehicles (like Metro Access in DC) precisely because the person needs more time or assistance getting on and off than a regular city bus driver could provide and/or the rider has bulky equipment.

          • nbs2 says:

            Because MetroAccess is reliable and available on a regular basis. One of the major ways that WMATA is trying to protect fares is by cutting down MA to nearly anacceptable levels (and MA has no impact on me), which is almost just as well since driver have a history of not showing up or doing their jobs in anything that could be considered a professional manner. No citations here, but I’m sure a search of the WaPo archives will yield several results.

      • dpeters11 says:

        I’m sure most transit authorities ban bikes from coming on the bus, except folding ones. For others, that’s what the bike rack is for. They don’t have a stroller rack, and they do fold. But the double wides are still really big and cumbersome to get around.

    • Gorbachev says:

      Let me ask you.

      Would you be willing to wait while a mother juggles a small baby while trying to fold the stroller?

      Cause the bus better not be moving while she’s doing that.

      In some other more developed countries mothers with strollers travel for free in municipal buses.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        If I had a baby and a stroller, I’d also bring one of those slings or front kid harnesses and strap the baby to that to keep my hands free to fold the stroller. And I’d do it before the bus came.

        • nbs2 says:

          And thus justifying why strollers get bigger and bigger? Or should parents be wearing the carrier the whole time?

          Also, the way I see it, if an adult is physically incapable of walking for the same distance as an ordinary adult, it would be eligible for disability certification. A child is in the same position – would folks prefer to work around strollers or have children be certified as disabled?

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            I don’t see how any of what I said is any kind of justifcation for larger strollers. A baby harness fits into a backpack. If you’re out with a baby, you’re probably carrying a backpack’s worth of stuff anyway. It’s not unreasonable to fold your stroller (no matter the size) before you board a bus. And if your stroller is so big that even when folded, it takes up a lot of space, you should at least carry it to an area where it can be stored without blocking the aisle or an exit.

            And I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to have strollers in the first place. It’s the size of some of them and their potential to create issues on the bus that are the problem, not their existence.

            • nbs2 says:

              It was your observation about using a carrier that I was referring to. While you normally have a diaper bag, between the diapers, wipes, toys, change of clothes, sun screen, food/drink for the kids, there isn’t a lot of space. We’ve found that we normally end up having to place our carrier in the stroller basket.

              The latter part of my comment wasn’t directed towards you, but rather was a general comment that I was too lazy to put into a general post.

      • CubeRat says:

        Yes, mr. Gorbachev, I would. BTW, the stroller needs to be folded BEFORE getting on the bus in LA.

        I ride the bus all the time, and I work next to several county public services locations. The bus that serves it only runs once ever 45 minutes. During the day, it is not unusual for several (2-5) passengers to have children & strollers. These parents load themselves, children, pay fare, and fold up the strollers very quickly. Sometimes much faster than a person who is trying to put their bike on the carrier (although they get fast too). Yes, sometimes they take some time, but it’s public transit. I’d rather wait for them then listen to other people yelling on their cell phones.

  8. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    What kind of safety hazard does the stroller pose to both the riders and the driver?

    If there is a safety issue regarding this, then yes, the driver should have the ability to refuse ridership. Because you know as well as I do as soon as some precious snowflake is hurt there will be a lawsuit and the buses will have to be changed/upgraded at the tax-payers expense.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Most bus aisles, in my experience, are not made to accommodate a stroller. Most to all of the buses I have been on have handicapped sections toward the doors that are fold-down seats (like movie theater seats). If no one was sitting there, you could park a stroller there and it would be mostly out of the way. The problem is, if there was an emergency and if someone was already sitting there, the stroller is probably in the aisle and impeding people from getting to the exits. I’ve been on buses where there is only one way off and on, making it hard for people to get past anything that has been left in the aisle.

  9. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    Perhaps do like certain rail lines do, and limit things like strollers/bikes during rush hour?

  10. longfeltwant says:

    Not everyone who has kids has access to a car — which leads to the potentially complicated situation of carrying your damn child when in places where strollers are inappropriate.

    The first sentence of the article had a grammatical error, which I have fixed here. And now with the grammatical fix, I don’t understand the problem. A bus may or may not allow strollers, either way could be reasonable, and reasonable people comply with reasonable regulations. If legislators want to assure access for strollers, then that’s fine. If not, then that’s fine.

    • Missing in Vlissingen says:

      Okay, I’ll carry my baby… but can I also take the stroller onto the bus? I don’t see the error you fixed. It seems like you just changed the emphasis from carrying the stroller to carrying the baby. Either way, baby and stroller are coming on the bus. And the question is, is that okay?

  11. winstonthorne says:

    Here’s a proven solution that’s as old as humanity: CARRY YOUR CHILD. Get a baby front/backpack and place the child therein. Solved. As an added bonus, you will get better exercise and bond more with your kid.

    I’m not saying strollers don’t have their place, but their pervasive use irritates me. I see yuppies toting their precious cago (which is often eating, screaming, or in a trance-like stupor because mommy/daddy is ignoring it in the damn stroller) EVERYWHERE, crowding out other pedestrians while neglecting their own children.

    • Cat says:

      As stated in another response, this will not work out well for my 90 lb wife. Don’t forget to add the weight of a diaper bag to the weight of the child, too.

    • Atlantan says:

      I walk four miles (round trip) to work with my kid every day. She is 3, and while she is *capable* of walking this distance, it takes her two hours to do so. I’ve timed her. No way could I carry her that far. So, stroller it is. I had no idea I was both annoying passersby and ignoring my kid. Here I thought we were having some bonding time and getting to speak to our neighbors on the street.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t even have kids, but I wouldn’t carry one a whole day. That would wreck anyone’s back. Strollers are great but what we’re talking about here is large strollers on buses, which are confined spaces not exactly meant for such personal child conveyances. On the street, I don’t exactly like when people are blocking walking paths with strollers, but that’s no different than the tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to look at their maps, or the people who start …walking…sloooowly…because they’re talking on the phone.

    • BennieHannah says:

      I was a 100 lb new mom with an infant that weighed 9 lbs at birth, natural delivery, sideways, and 20 lbs at 6 months. Yes, I’ve given him grief about this his entire life. He damn well OWES me! We all hate children and procreators once we are no longer children and until/unless we are procreators…but it’s unfair to ban an entire species of customer and its apparatus. However, it’s not unfair to place a limit on the size of stroller able to be transported. A little common sense and tolerance would go a long way here.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        9 lbs sideways? And you were only 100 lbs?

        OW.

      • Cait says:

        The average Asian mom here in my Tokyo neighborhood isn’t much bigger than you and they ALL manage to do it. I see bikes with baby baskets and backpack style baby slings all the time. I see strollers once a month or less out here. Strollers are more often used for accessory dogs than babies.

        Over dependence on strollers IS an American problem. As is pretending like one can and should go about a long, busy day out and about with an infant when they have no assistance and no transportation independence.

    • turbo says:

      I’m having twins, and if I had to carry them everywhere, well, I’d just never go anywhere until they could walk themselves. I imagine lots of moms with kids who are close in age face similar difficulties.

  12. DoodlestheGreat says:

    If there were limits on how big a stroller could be in SF, then it would be sensible. So many strollers are designed so that all you need is a motor and a license plate to get them on the highway that there is going to have to be a place where a driver can decide for safety & ease for all.

  13. Shorebreak says:

    San Francisco is known to be a kid un-friendly city. What do you expect?

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      I expect it to continue to be so. There’s a lot of anti-kid commenters on Consumerist. And pro-kid commenters like to bash on the anti-kid commenters. However, the pro-kid agenda is just as ludicrous as the anti-kid agenda. Thank God I’m perfect, though, and hate kids and non-kids equally.

  14. Vox Republica says:

    If a bus regularly gets so full that it cannot accommodate a stroller in addition to a passenger and a much smaller junior passenger, your transit system isn’t running enough buses on that route. It’s the MTA paradox I face on what I’ll charitably call a weekly basis: oftentimes, drivers are adamant that passengers aren’t doing a good enough job of moving in to let on more passengers–but we wouldn’t have to go into physically intimate sardine mode if they actually stuck to their posted schedule with any degree of reliability.

    When my bus (the M60) does run on time or thereabouts, rush hour is a breeze, and there’s more than enough room to accommodate strollers, suitcases, gawking tourists, amateur youth lacrosse leagues, etc.

    • Tiercelet says:

      Right, because it’s not like traffic on 125th St. is unpredictably spiky or anything.

      I hate taking buses as much as the next person — mass transit doesn’t work without dedicated right-of-way — but I would posit that there are additional confounding variables that might cause delayed bus service and crowded service to happen in conjunction with each other…

      • Vox Republica says:

        …except this also applies to the morning drive from LGA heading westbound, where traffic is almost always pretty straightforward; even then, they can’t help but have five or six days a month where five buses come within 3 minutes of one another. That’s not traffic, that’s incompetence in dispatching.

  15. mindaika says:

    Okay, how about this: pick up your child and fold up your gigantic triple-wide $900 Bugaboo. Problem solved.

  16. yabdor says:

    If any public monies are involved they’re going to get sued.

  17. SkokieGuy says:

    Can we get people with enormous shoulder bags banned? When swinging from the shoulder of a standing passenger, it’s like a cannonball aimed at the head of seated passengers.

    A folded stroller is less deadly

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      And roller bags too! I’ve had my ankles hit many times by people who aren’t paying attention to where they’re steering their roller bags.

      • GrayMatter says:

        Oh God!! Roller Bags!! I was hurrying to catch my train; a person walked crossways past me, and I headed through the opening behind her. Only that opening was a bag. I stumbled and instantly realized why I had stumbled. So I brought my other foot FORCEFULLY forward to catch my balance. Damn near spun the bag dragger around. I felt good the entire way home.

  18. no says:

    The transit system here has a well-published rule: Carry your baby. If you have a stroller, it must be fully compacted to enter the bus.

  19. DonnieZ says:

    Here in Chicagoland, bikes are not permitted on Metra rail trains during rush hour. Enforce the same rules for strollers.

    It may sound heartless, but I believe that if a driver believes that a stroller would be distracting or take up too much space for passengars without strollers he should be able to deny boarding.

    They say parenting is a tough job for those first couple of years – this is one of those hardships.

  20. Jules Noctambule says:

    If the stroller is a suitable size and not one of those one-child SUV types that can take up an entire grocery aisle by themselves, I think it could reasonably be allowed. Also, if it has a kitty riding in it.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Yeah no kidding. I wouldn’t care, but some of those strollers are larger than a moped.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Once I saw this obviously homeless lady with a big cart of stuff and blocking the entire aisle of the train. I’m convinced the only reason why no one got upset about it is because she had a cat sitting on top, next to all her stuff, just looking adorable and fluffy.

      • nbs2 says:

        Metro?

        Animals are a no-no. Just as bad as letting a toddler run free during Orange Crush or Red Tide, one step beyond eating or drinking.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Yep, metro. Homeless people carry all sorts of stuff with them, so I’m not surprised a lot of them also have animals. You shouldn’t allow animals on, but I could see how the cat would just be hidden in all that stuff. Station managers aren’t always the most attentive of individuals. Who would stop her?

          • nbs2 says:

            I can think of one station manager – the K Street Dragon guarding Farragut North. Oh, how I despise that woman.

            I guess this is another reason to live in the middle of nowhere. I haven’t seen a homeless person (with gear) on the Red Line during rush hour before.

          • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

            Certainly not Toronto subway station fare collectors, that’s for sure.

  21. Jules Noctambule says:

    If the stroller is a suitable size and not one of those one-child SUV types that can take up an entire grocery aisle by themselves, I think it could reasonably be allowed. Also, if it has a kitty riding in it.

  22. Skipweasel says:

    I can’t believe you Americans are discussing this as if there were really much choice!

    People have to get around – and when you get off the bus most people with babies use some kind of pushchair. As it happened, I didn’t, I used a sling, but not everyone can manage that. I’ve not been to the US for decades, but all over Europe, people just get on with it. Yes, there are times when the bus is too full to safely take a pushchair, and yes, there are times when it’s inconvenient to other passengers, but frankly, so what? Someone wants to get from A>B with a baby and they want to use the bus – so let them use the bus and quit whining.

    The point I do take is the one about how big kit has got over the years – most people round here use an “umbrella-fold” type pushchair if they’re using the bus – easy to fold and stow, and adequate for smooth-floored shopping areas.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Well this is AMERICA tea drinker, and if you don’t make 60K a year and are able to buckle your kid into a rear facing car seat in an SUV then you may as well throw yourself and your kid under the bus instead of on it, because that is where we as a society think you belong.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I doubt this is an issue for parents who have umbrella strollers.

      It wouldn’t even occur to me to take anything besides one on a bus.

    • CubeRat says:

      You know, Skipweasel, I believe most of the negitive comments here come from those who do not rely on transit. Some appear to use it instead of their car for work, but obviously they expect it to be like a private taxi that caters to them.

      I’ve never had a car, and I’ve lived and worked in Portland OR, Seattle, LA, Philly, HK. In each of these places, we do exactly what you say, we just go on with our lives. It could be that a lot of people don’t say anything but are annoyed with strollers, but honestly, I think they just want to vent. There are a lot of things that I hate about mass transit, but parents and stollers are not even a blip on my radar.

    • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

      It’s great that you’ve added such a unique and not-at-all-pointless-and-overly-bitchy point of view to the situation. It’s also great that you live in a country where “pushchairs” are small and public transport is ubiquitous.

      Oh, wait. No. You’re an idiot. You’re from a country where everything is crowded and space is seemingly at a minimum. America is not the same. Is this really that surprising? Europeans LOVE to comment on how fat Americans are and how much space we need, even though Britons are catching up quite nicely in the race to be the fattest.

      So, bottom line is that no, this shouldn’t be surprising. So, instead of commenting on how this very American situation would *never* happen where you’re from, why don’t you add some insight to the topic instead of answering a question that nobody asked you?

  23. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    In my city, it’s really not strollers that are the issue, it’s enormous jogging strollers that can’t be folded up and block the aisle.

  24. pot_roast says:

    Strollers from the early 80′s seem to be ok. These huge massive Jeep strollers with 8 wheels and enough cargo space to carry two days worth of belongings on them? That’s another story.

    At my old airline job, strollers were some of the most bulky, cumbersome things to load onto the aircraft.

  25. firedancerbk says:

    I see this all the time on buses. You have arrogant parents that think they can just roll their double wide bugaboo stroller on the M104 bus and have the nerve to get mad at the driver when he tells them to fold the stroller up. Some drivers don’t even wait for them to fold it up, they just pull away leaving them on the curb. It may sound cruel but I love it. It teaches them that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your spawn. What makes people think that they shouldn’t be prepared BEFORE the bus gets there (ie: have the stroller folded and baby in your arms with metro card ready to be inserted)?

  26. skapig says:

    Buses and trains/subways tend to have a rule requiring strollers to be folded up. As with any rule, there are people who ignore it. The consequence of not folding up the stroller is that blocks the aisle, sometimes completely, so that people have a really hard time navigating. It slows down every stop and of course is a safety hazard.

    Additionally, consider that people have some insanely big strollers. Open, they have a really difficult time even maneuvering in many environments. Closed, they can still be cumbersome to deal with. Public transportation isn’t designed to accommodate large carry-ons.

  27. SamiJ says:

    So if my baby was in a wheelchair, that would be okay. But if he’s in a stroller, that’s not?

    • balderdashed says:

      The answer is probably yes — assuming we’re talking about a disability, for which a reasonable accommodation may be required under state and federal law. Just as a service dog is allowed in a grocery store or restaurant, even if other patrons don’t like it, but a pet is not. (Apparently, there are some wheelchairs made especially for babies.)

  28. iblamehistory says:

    I don’t quite see the necessity of strollers. My baby is due in August and the stroller my husband and I are getting is a simple umbrella model that won’t be very usable until the toddler years. Because we’re going to actually carry our baby. Arms, wraps, and/or soft structured carriers (such as the Ergo).

    Too many times I’ve seen parents lugging a kid in one arm and pushing a pickup truck sized stroller with the other. Babies like to be close to mom and dad. As a parent to be (who has wanted to be a parent for a while) I certainly get annoyed with this crap. Hold your children. Of course it’s not possible in every scenario, that’s obvious, but strollers the size of a tourbus aren’t necessary.

  29. balderdashed says:

    I agree that public transit ought to put families first — but the knee-jerk arguments of supervisors David Chiu and Sean Elsbernd do exactly the opposite. Pediatricians generally agree that kids should be transitioned out of strollers once they are able to walk — to not do so might be convenient for a parent, but is likely to contribute to childhood obesity and other health and developmental problems. Children are typically walking between 9 and 15 months — a two-year-old doesn’t belong in a stroller unless there are some extraordinary circumstances. Thus, Chiu and Elsbernd aren’t really talking about what’s good for families, but about what might be convenient for the parents of a small number of families, who happen to have kids under age two. How many families is that? I don’t know, and I doubt these “families first” advocates do. But according to the latest Census data, more than two-thirds of U.S households have no children under at 18 at all — and there are a lot of “families” in those households. Apparently, the supervisors’ notion of what constitues a “family” is rather narrow, which is surprising in a city like San Francisco. If we really want to put families first, lets put all families first — and realize that allowing strollers on public transportation may benefit a small number of families, while making public transportation inconvenient and perhaps inaccessible to other families.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I see people with their kids walking at a glacial pace in the middle of the street (so everyone has to go around them or just get stuck) all the time. I don’t fault the parents or the kids for walking, because I think people need to do more of it, but I don’t think it’s necessary or considerate to walk in the middle of the sidewalk and slow foot traffic because Junior should be walking instead of sitting in the stroller, being pushed at a good speed.

  30. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Public transportation is for the public.

  31. MECmouse says:

    Put them on the bike holder on the front of the bus!

  32. Ayla says:

    I agree that those HUGE strollers with the attachment for the car seat and all the other gear so that people don’t have to bothered with actually touching their child are very problematic in general, but instead of outlawing them we should be promoting baby carriers, slings and packs along with small, fold up strollers.

  33. sugarplum says:

    If the baby looks like that fuzzy-butt in the photo? Let ‘em on!

  34. lilspooky says:

    NO NO NO NO! I am a SF local, this is a bad idea! There is little to no space on most buses as it is. We don’t need mothers that feel entitled to more space to clutter up the aisles with baby gear. I hate strollers on the sidewalks, adding them to Muni will just make more problems to an already cramped bus conditions.

  35. dush says:

    As long as people don’t bring their cats on the bus.

  36. xredgambit says:

    I don’t always ride public transportation, but when I do I ride Rickshaw.

    Stay put my friend.

  37. shufflemoomin says:

    Simple. Charge them a person fare for the stroller. You want to take something on the bus that takes up the same space as a person? Pay for it. Don’t want to? Don’t. Simple solution without getting too ‘PC’ about it.

  38. HogwartsProfessor says:

    That kitteh is adorable!

  39. arkangel says:

    What irks me is when the parent is using the stroller as a shopping cart, and the kids are walking.

  40. cathh says:

    I have 2 strollers. One regular (not suv) sized stroller for walking around the neighborhood and a second cheap, tiny umbrella stroller for taking public transportation (folded)– bus or subway. I remember being annoyed by inconsiderate parents and their giant strollers on public transportation before I had a kid– so why in the world would I, now that I have a kid, want to be that person??

  41. dilbert69 says:

    I can’t believe this was ever the policy. It’s appalling, and I’m glad to see that it might change. BTW, I am a childless adult and occasional MUNI rider.

  42. Emily says:

    I love this war on children by people who all used to be children.

    Disclosure: I am not a parent. But I still think it’s hypocritical. A certain subset of Americans needs a reminder that society consists not only of healthy adults in their prime, but also the elderly, the infirm, the young, the disabled. It’s not a big deal; you accept it, you respect each other, you help out and accommodate differences. It seems to me that in many other countries there remains a better understanding of this.

  43. Promethean Sky says:

    The Metro Detroit bus system (which is separate from the actual Detroit bus system) may suck, but I’ve never seen drivers take issue with this sort of thing. No fooling, last week some guy was carrying a stack of lumber on the bus. The driver just told him to make sure no one would trip on it. On several occasions I’ve carried stacks of storage boxes.

  44. Zydia says:

    This isn’t about families, it’s about bringing huge gear onto a bus and the driver should be allowed to turn away items that would cause disruption/blockage. If they’re abusing that freedom to banninate all strollers across the board, then that forces everyone to add another rule to the list of things to keep track of – in this case, maybe “baggage should be no larger than…blah,etc”.

  45. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    I think the problem is twofold; 1) strollers have become larger than my subcompact car, and 2) the notion of “common courtesy” is rapidly disappearing. When I was a nanny in Washington D.C., the family had two strollers; a large (but not by today’s standards) one I used for walking-only trips, like to the playground or the store; and a more compact, easily-foldable one I used when taking the Metro and bus. I could often use the train without having to fold it up, but when we took the bus I would fold up the stroller and carry both it and the child during the ride. Bus aisles are not wide; there’s not enough room for both a stroller and for someone to pass by, and it was usually impossible to get more than a few feet into the bus. The extra spacee up front where some people try to park their strollers are for WHEELCHAIRS. I know that schlepping a baby around town is hard, but it is NOT a disability, so buy a stroller that can’t double as a tank, fold it, and carry the baby. With a little planning and a healthy dose of common courtesy, it’s possible to use public transportation with babies.

    Oh, I live in Boston now, and people frequently block bus aisles with giant strollers; I can absolutely see a situation where an exit path would be obstructed during an evacuation.