In the comments of my post last week it came out that Metro had actually adopted a new stroller policy about a week earlier, it just hadn’t made it’s way down to all employees or their website. Later that day we obtained the new operator bulletin confirming the change and outlining the policy. This weekend a spokesperson from the agency got back to us with some good background info.
Here’s the new policy:
• Once on board the coach, a child may remain seated in the stroller as long as the child is strapped in the stroller and the stroller is secured in the securement area. If the securement area is not available, the child must be removed from the stroller and held in the lap of the adult customer or in a seat alongside the adult customer. Customers with disabilities using mobility devices have priority in the securement area. (This rule does not apply to ADA Accessible strollers.)
• Folding strollers must be folded and placed under or between seats, unless the stroller is too full to do so or if the stroller is occupied and secured per above.
• Non-folding strollers:
- Must not block the aisle or doorways.
- Must be under the control of the owner at all times.
- May be parked with the brake set in the priority seating area if space is available. Note that customers with disabilities and seniors have priority use of this area.
Below the fold, background info from Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer:
“We’re trying to balance customer convenience and safety, and we saw this as a way to help families with children travel more easily with strollers but keep them as safe as possible on moving buses. This is good news, and we hope parents with small children benefit.” – Michael List, Metro Transit Operations Manager.
We recently reviewed and updated our rules and procedures regarding baby strollers after hearing concerns and requests from parents, especially a woman who explained her difficulties managing two infants and a toddler on the bus. Parents increasingly were asking drivers to allow them to leave their child in their stroller, some citing that other transit agencies in the country allow it.
Our goal all along has been safety of the children and passengers, and concern that a quick stop can mean injuries for people or children if a stroller weren’t secured. We also try to ensure adequate and safe circulation on crowded buses. Having strollers with children in the aisle can create both a safety hazard and make getting into and off the bus harder.
To see what we could do, our operations manager Michael List met with safety staff and accessible services staff to discuss what compromise might be possible.
After discussing and reviewing options, they concluded that children can stay in strollers provided they are strapped into the stroller and the stroller in turn is strapped in the securement area using safety straps. If a person using a mobility device needs the space for priority seating, a driver can ask that the stroller to be moved.
In summary, we allow children to remain in strollers as long as they are strapped in and the stroller is secured to the bus; and priority seating is still available for customers with disabilities.
We’ve issued this as a bulletin to operators and will update it in the operator’s printed rules and procedures book later this year.