MBTA Considering Ban Of Open Baby Strollers On Trolleys, Buses

BOSTON (CBS) – The ‘T’ is thinking about rolling out a new policy for baby strollers on its buses and subways.

Commuters may soon have to fold up their baby carriage before boarding.

The potential policy follows complaints of strollers making aisles virtually impassable, especially during rush hour.

Some parents argue that folding up a stroller before boarding is a real headache, especially while juggling small kids and packages.

MBTA officials want to know how folks feel about the proposal, and are welcoming opinions on its website.

  • Catherine

    Small “old school” style strollers are fine, but the enormous SUV strollers are not only obnoxious, they do create a safety hazard. They take up incredible amounts of space making aisles and entryways impassable, and too many people are also often bumped or have their feet rolled over because these huge strollers don’t allow for people to see where they’re going. The should absolutely be banned on buses, which already have very limited space, and perhaps banned/folded during rush hour commutes.

    • Ann

      The issue should not be either/or. Working parents with children in tow make up a great portion of T-riders. Some day any of you may be among them, and definitely someone you know is. The solution? Create sanctioned spaces, perhaps allow back-to-back double strollers but not the double wide strollers. If the handicapped portion of any bus or train is not in use, allow parents to hook up their stroller there. All this requires a mind-change which can be spearheaded by the MBTA. Train drivers to accommodate caregivers and their children. Have them show caregivers where they can safely be while setting an example for the T-riders themselves in graciousness. Have able-bodied people who are sitting in handicapped spaces move to allow access. Create signage showing that wheelchairs come first in that space, strollers second. Able bodied individuals can move for the elderly. Once we commuters realize what is expected of us, mainly that we all deserve access to public transit to get where it is we need to go, perhaps the MBTA will become more efficient, safe, and accommodating to the public who use it everyday.

    • Isabel

      This should definitely happen. I live in an area where many parents bring young children on public transportation and do not close up the their strollers. It does make it very hard to move on a bus and train, especially during rush hour and makes me feel unsafe if anything ever happened, especially on the bus where there are only two exits.

      • Saoirse

        People who oppose open strollers have clearly never had to transport a young child on the T. Let’s think this policy to ban strollers all the way through. First of all, enforcing this ban on strollers will have result in even LESS SPACE on the T. IF YOU FOLD STROLLERS, that means Mom or Dad is left standing and holding child in arms. I say STANDING W/BABY IN ARMS because it is a RARE EVENT that anyone offers up a seat. Now imagine a mom or dad with more than one child. “What’s the SOLUTION: Here T conductor, would you mind not texting for a few stops so you can hold my 18-month old?” Has anyone at the T ever taken a physics lesson? One sudden stop or jolt and the baby goes flying. Do I hear imminent law suit pending? Get a grip on reality and stop griping! It’s PUBLIC transportation for a reason. You want space? Take a taxi!

    • Kelley King

      You are absolutely right Catherine. I was on a bus one day when 3 of the SUV ones came on. They couldn’t get down the aisle so all clustered near the driver. Had there been an accident where evacuation was necessary, we would have all been in trouble.

      This is ridiculous and is a long time coming!

  • Carolyn

    I ride the Red Line every day and they should be eliminated from there during rush hour. Everyone is standing and people try to push these strollers on th train because they have to take that train and people get their legs rammend and feet run over. There just isn’t enough room. It has happened to me a number of times as I am trying to get home during rush hour.

  • Paul

    I have never been on a city bus…but couldnt they handle the strollers in the same way that they handle wheel chairs? A designated area?

    • LR Rhodes

      There just is not enough room! And if there is someone with a stroller taking up the space designated for a wheelchair, what is someone IN a wheelchair supposed to do when they need to take the bus?!

    • Amy Markov

      Thank you! That’s the same thing I said on the MBTA website. It’s only common sense to treat the strollers as we would wheelchairs. Sometimes the only way to ensure your child (especially a toddler) is safe on a crowded T is to have them in a stroller. Carrying them while trying to hold on yourself could be extremely dangerous.


    With all mbta stop under repair I don,t think banning stroller help parent children are better of in stroller, what wrong with you ,put more train with more of your staff guide people around.IT not like the old days your staff stand looking like they have no clue your train go so slow stop ,go .go stop .I hope you have the green line ready for the lechmere line this week travel to cambridge and back, i start a new job and can be LATE.

  • Maureen

    As a mother who in the pass has ridden the T with a stroller.. This law is obnoxious. They have made these new buses with small isles and expect everyone to fit. The older buses never had problems like these.

    I don’t think there should be a ban, but there should be a limit. On the buses you have the seats that go up for wheelchairs and strollers. I’ve been on buses were the drivers have put a limit on the strollers.. I think that’s fair.

    Another thing, people have to put up there strollers must be granted a seat. You try holding a child in your hand on a full bus or train.. No one gives you a seat, you have a baby in one hand and bags in the other.

    Some of these bus drivers drive the bus like it’s their personal car… passengers are thrown from end to end.. what happens when one of those drivers step on the brakes or gas so hard that the “Mother with the child in hand” goes flying to the back of the bus..

    With this ban.. I just hope they’re ready for all the law suits that will come rolling in.

    • LR Rhodes

      When someone trips over your stroller and hurts themselves, YOU get ready for a lawsuit. Consider the pain your child will suffer when someone DOES trip over them because you couldn’t figure out how to be a bit more sensible about traveling with your child. I’ll bet you’ll be crying lawsuit then, too, right?

    • giselle

      once again it is the minority that want the rest of the world to make exceptions for THEM. the bus and MBTA are asking you to fold up your carriage – something a considerate person should be doing to begin with! Its a safety hazard for everyone INCLUDING YOUR CHILD BLOCKING THE AISLE – I would think as a parent you would be all for it??!!

  • Cayla

    This is insane would you tell someone in a wheel chair they cant ride because they take up too much space? What abut the safety of our children? Do they actually expect people to take their small children out and place them on the platform while we fumble with a stroller to close it and risk our child running away or falling onto the tracks? The T is public transportation everyone should be welcome. I agree maybe at rush hour times but it isn’t always possible. I have 3 small children and at times it hard to travel with only 2 walking free but lets make it more difficult and make me hold one plus the stroller while trying to keep my other 2 safe. If this happens then be prepared to have people complaining about crying babies because their parents had to wake them just to fold a stroller and ride on the T.

  • Maureen

    And another thing.. for those whose justification for the ban is safety hazards.. God forbid something happens, that’s why you have those oversized exit windows. Strollers do not pose a hazard.

  • Betty

    Good for the T!!! It’s about time this nuisance and hazard was removed.

  • emom

    Well there has been many accidents over the years with those umbrella strollers, the wheels get caught between the train and the platform, they get caught on the tracks thats a nightmare., they hardly lock the wheels on the trains and busses and they start to roll everywhere, You would thing the looks from others would make them think about that.,NO they get ticked off,,, While on the trains and busses and instead of placing the stroller sideways they point them out to face the passengers on the other side,, REALY thats not so safe,,, Allthough I understand that its difficult for a parent to fold them up juggle a child and bags of what ever,,, At least take in consideration the OTHER PASSENGERS…. after all you all SHARE the rides,,,, if not to ban them YES by all means make a section of the bus and train designated JUST for strollers and carriages and wheelchairs,,, OH and if they do make an area for them ,, Might I also suggest,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, USE IT AND PLEASE DONT SCREAM DISCRIMINATION… GEE,, thats crazy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • HooDatIS?

    people need to deal with the strollers and the bags
    dont ban them
    dumb dumb dumb

    • LR Rhodes

      Spoken like someone who has not had to maneuver around those hazards on a regular basis. There are alternatives to the massive strollers and parents need to take advantage of them. The buses are crowded enough as it is. Get a diaper bag, get an umbrella strollers, carry your child, and plan your trips so that you will not have to worry about whether or not someone will give you a seat or not. It is ridiculous and unsafe for the rest of the riders because they have to struggle to get on and off buses and trolleys because of these strollers.

      • Sarah

        Clearly YOU do NOT have children. I realize that in an ideal world strollers wouldn’t be on public transportation, but in an ideal world I would have a child that takes perfect naps when I want, eats everything I feed them, never spits up or poops on their clothing, and would come out of the womb walking and would NEVER wander away. Since this doesn’t happen, I do the best I can. I am not trying to make your commute harder, more stressful, or less safe. That is not my intention. My intention is getting the places that I need to while keeping myself and my child as safe as possible. I can only carry so much and a stroller is necessary at times. It’s not a personal vendetta against all people trying to get places, it is realistic in my life.

  • joan Hogan

    The MBTA should be Concerned about Crowded aisles, especially during Rush
    Hour, The problem Arises when a a person with a Baby Carriage or stroller,
    would need to fold it up, before getting on a bus or trolley. If The Person with the baby can’t get a seat, then a child could get injured. I have seen people refuse to be courteous and give a seat to someone carrying a baby or small child.

  • JJ

    A HUGE mistake if they decide to give it a “green light”. Parents with children will rate the MBTA the worst transport system, Best wishes MBTA!. It is bad enough, people don’t give up their seats for blind, elderly, pregnant or disable people. And do they think riders will give up their seats for children? Maybe they should ride the train during rush hour and see who actually taking up room. It is the people with BIG bags, which are the majority! Maybe MBTA should make a law, tell rider, that their bag cannot be any bigger in certain dimension, then more people can fit on bus and train during rush hour. What about people with big luggage, they are blocking the aisle, what are the MBTA going to do with that problem?. GIVE ME A BREAK!
    MBTA, if you know how to do business correctly, you should keep ALL your customer happy!

  • Rocque

    .”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”…While the T is considering banning open strollers on the buses and subways, They should keep those same strollers off of crowded escalators as well..Nothing like being cursed out by parent with a stroller riding an overcrowded escalator especially when there is an elevator just a few feet away for their convenience… I just don’t get it…But thanks to the “T” for addressing this issue

  • Lisa

    I find it amazing that the answer to overcrowded buses and trains is NOT to add more buses and trains but rather to throw people out.

    • LR Rhodes

      No one is throwing anyone out. Expecting people to be reasonable about how they travel with their children on public transportation is not too much to ask. It is not safe for the child to be tripped over and it is certainly not safe for the passengers to try to get around the strollers.

  • Cambridge Mom

    Just another indication of how mismanaged and out of touch the MBTA really is. As a mother of three children 2 and under, riding the T would not be possible without a stroller. And clearly I could not safely hold the three infants while also closing a heavy stroller.

    • shotime

      Transportation for three! I’m sure it is heavy stroller and rather large, too. No wonder people are complaining!!!

  • LR Rhodes

    A person in a wheelchair is not the same thing as a lazy parent who will not tend to their children in a reasonable way on public transportation. The strollers that are placed on the buses and trolleys these days are not meant for public transportation, period. They are meant for sidewalks. If a parent needs to ride the bus with their child, get an umbrella stroller, a diaper bag, and HOLD THE CHILD ON THEIR LAPS. Enough already.

    • sarah

      God forbid someone has twins…ever seen a double umbrella stroller? Or a mother/father trying to hold TWO babies, while folding up a stroller and then carrying the children, the stroller, and their diaper bag onto the train???

  • Rocque

    I remember years ago, I’m talking 70s & early 80s when parents weren’t allowed to ride the buses unless strollers were folded and secured properly.The T is merely suggesting that parents be mindful in using their best judgement when it comes to safe guarding their children. Its not bad parenting at all, Its good to know the T is looking to improve the safety of its younger riders.
    The many times I’ve witnessed parents on the buses that allowed sometimes three or four strollers on them listening to parents make verbal threats on how this one or that one had better get out of their way to allow their stroller to pass, especially those that draw negative attention to themselves, rambling and speaking extremely loud on a cellphone the entire ride talking to others about what they are going to do if someone bumps or hit their baby’s expensive stroller and how they’re not going to move out of anybody’s way..lol
    If a parent doesn’t think enough of their children to keep them safe by breaking down these strollers before getting on the bus than they really have no one to blame but themselves if ( God forbid ) an accident occurs with the strollers.
    It all boils down to taking just a little time to excersice good judgement. whoops forgot to mention I too am a parent and clearly understand both sides of this story.

  • Ron

    This is long overdue. I was recently on the Green line w/ a woman pushing a stroller that was almost as long as the trolleys are wide. The only way she could get on was to stand inches from the doorway and her stroller was inches from the opposite door. Not only did this create problems and hazards with passengers getting on and off, but imagine how many paying customers lost their spot on their train. When you pay 1 fare, but get to take up the space of 5-6 people that’s not right. Either ban them during rush hour like they do w/ bikes (which are less of a hassle than the over-sized strollers), or make people pay more for the space they’re using.

  • emom

    Nothing is worse than having a stroller run into your ankles and feet,, I have seen some of those strollers,, It amazes me that the parents beleive they are using them safe… Umbrella strollers where not designed to handle more than a child and maybe a bag under in the basket…. BUT I see them with like 6 bags of groceries hanging off them, with cans and heavy items,,,,, plus a purse and a diaper bag the size of luggage.. On day seeing that, on a train , I watched , and the women sat down and the stroller was facing passengers across from her, Well she took her hands of the handles and just sat there,,, using her feet to hold the stroller, AH first of all there is a brake, next the front wheels twist 360 degrees and your feet are not full proof.. next as she sat there not paying attention the stroller slipped from her fee and the back toppled backwards the handles slipped down past he leggs and the front of the stroller went up.. Not a wonder with all the bags hangking off it.. food went everywhere,, now she has to scramble to gather the food and be sure her child is safe,,, thank god the train was not that full and she got some help… BUT please use some common sense…. do not go shopping like that and think its safe for anyone… its not… secure the stroller to protect yourself your child and others, its plain comon sense……

  • Anonymous

    I used to travel by commuter rail, bus, and subway with two kids under two. But I never brought the double stroller on the T. There isn’t enough room. I would put one kid in a baby sling and the other in a small umbrella stroller or a backpack/stroller combination that Kelty makes. I would take the bare minimum supplies (sometimes we parents carry more than we really need – be honest). Then I would politely ask people, “Can my toddler sit down? He can’t reach to hold on.” Never had a problem. It is actually possible for a parent to get where they are going, and have their kids be safe, and not take up half the T in the process.

    And the second the youngest was old enough to walk for 15-20 minutes at a time? I ditched the strollers all together. They got exercise, I didn’t have to haul anything other than a backpack. Able bodie kids don’t need to be in strollers until they are 5.

  • Redliner

    I would like to see them ban the wearing of backpacks while on the trains. I have been hit by many more backpacks than have been bothered by strollers. Taking children out of their strollers while on a platform is an extreme danger.

    • NoGoodSolution

      Aside from the banning of wearing backpacks, I almost agree with this…I think if everyone would make the effort to put their bags on the floor between their feet, it would not only open up a bit more room but people wouldn’t get bonked on the head…like I almost was this morning…

      • Cynic

        I have sent my share of ignorant backpackers flying when the jab me…..Of course i ALWAYS say “Excuse Me” when I do.

  • NoGoodSolution

    And when a parent has to wake up their sleeping child in order to fold up the stroller…and that child starts screaming in frustration because maybe he or she really needed some nap time…people will rant and rave about the noise factor.

  • Amy Markov

    I trust that all of you in support of this ban will be giving up your seats to the poor parents left carrying a toddler while they also desperately hold on themselves? Maybe if you tuned into your surroundings and turned down your ipod or stopped texting, you could take a second to get your feet out of the aisle before they are run over by the poor parent who is juggling 2 small children during rush hour.
    Bottom line–if everyone were a little more considerate, a little more sympathetic and, on the part of some parents, a little more sensible (your double Bob does not belong on the T, people.), stupid laws like this would not be necessary.

  • Alexis Courtney

    This is absolutely absurd and almost actually IMPOSSIBLE for us Mothers AND fathers to fathom. You will have a lot of angry city parents with this idea.

    Strollers were made to make our lives a tad easier and most of us can’t “just” simply fold up a stroller in order to board the T and appease the passengers.

    Sounds nice and easy to all you childless MBTA workers and commuters, but in fact, you are asking us to:
    1. Unload everything in the under carry (baby food, diapers, bags, etc.)
    2. Take our baby out.
    3. Fold the stroller
    4. Walk up the trains’ stairs with a baby, a stroller AND all the contents that are from the under carry?

    An octopus doesn’t have enough arms to do that, I don’t know how you can expect a human being to do that. This is extremely inconvenient and almost as ridiculous as asking a handicap person to just fold up their wheel chair and walk on up!

    I do not feel for the commuters or anybody agreeing to this ridiculous idea. Oh, your poor little feet are being run over by a stroller? The “SUV Sized Strollers are obnoxious”? Well, I don’t think the MBTA is prepared for a giant law suit when a sudden jolt sends a baby flying because of this brilliant idea.

    As a city resident and mother I deliver to you, MBTA, a big NO WAY on behalf of all city parents.

    -Alexis Courtney, North End Resident.

    • Kelly

      I love how people keep saying how dangerous strollers are. I have been hit more with peoples backpacks than a stroller! Public Transportation people! Take your inconsiderate butts in a cab.

  • Amy M.

    Also….everyone who is in support of this ban…..you do understand that the strollers would simply be folded in the aisle of the T now, right? Which makes them difficult for people to see (in order to avoid tripping on them) and almost impossible to move in a crowded situation.

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