New stroller-friendly policy means more babes on buses

For city parents, public transportation is our lifeline. Accessing public transportation, however, can be a challenge when your little ones are in strollers, as any mom who has struggled up bus steps carrying a baby and lugging a folded-up stroller can attest. San Francisco parents are catching a break, as the city's transit association implements a new stroller-friendly policy.

As SFGate reports, the city began its new, family-friendly ride policy starting on March 1. The new policy allows collapsible strollers on buses and trains. Crucial point: little tykes are now allowed to stay in their stroller during the ride, so long as it’s not blocking the movement of other passengers. Under the old rules, it was up to individual drivers to decide whether or not to allow strollers onto any given bus or train, and strollers always had to be folded.

A new stroller-friendly policy may make public transportation more convenient for San Francisco families.

The new policy allows parents the use of lifts and ramps to help with the boarding process, meaning you don't have to wake up a napping baby to take the bus, which is a huge win for parents. Strollers still aren’t allowed on the city’s fabled cable cars however.

Parents have been lobbying for a rule change for years. “When my twins were young (15 years ago), I was shocked at how antagonistic MUNI drivers were when I tried to take my kids in a double stroller (which was no wider than a wheelchair) on the underground. I was even more depressed after visiting a number of other countries that were quite welcoming of strollers on public transit,” San Francisco mom Virginia Balogh-Rosenthal told SFGate.

Some parents have applauded the move, like james_here, who commented in an earlier article on the issue, “Hallelujah! ... From the perspective of a parent, this odd MUNI policy has made life with young children here that much more challenging.”

However, not everyone is thrilled. San Francisco reader cmackenna1 wrote, “Just had a woman partially blocking the exit on a T train last night at rush hour! I literally had to climb over this monstrosity of a stroller. They aren't small anymore! This will only delay MUNI further.”

Do you take public transportation with young kids? If so, is it a family-friendly experience?

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who loves her car.