New York

MTA tests allocated stroller space on city buses

THE CITY has learned that the MTA has set up stroller-only sections on some bus routes for test drives.

As part of the tests along seven routes, MTA sources say transit agencies are removing one or two seats from older buses and installing side-by-side flip-up seats for parents with strollers and caregivers. I have confirmed that they are planning to designate a new bus section. .

“This is a good, good, good, good idea,” said nurse Katherine Joseph as she stepped off the M31 bus with a child in an outstretched stroller on York Avenue and East 74th Street. “It’s expired.”

The rollout of the pilot program — MTA officials will reveal details at a board meeting Monday — follows a parent campaign earlier this year. urged transportation Reconsider the ban on open strollers on city buses.

“You have to fold the stroller. That’s the problem. This really discourages mothers from taking the bus,” said Danielle Avissar, a mother of 20 months in Manhattan. She said, “It’s a lot to process and it’s not really fair because you don’t feel welcome on the bus.”

Avissar was one of several parents at the agency’s board meeting earlier this year who pressured MTA officials to reserve space on city buses.

“Some people don’t ride the bus completely,” says Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, mother of three and founder of UP-STAND, which advocates for pregnant women and parents to use public transport. said Mr. “It’s like that when you have a stroller.”

However, the campaign provoked some bus passengers with disabilities, including a man who said at a board meeting, “Fold your stroller and deal with it!”

In response, transport authorities summarized in March: Advisory group Two of the parents, including Avissar and Yearwood, are bus drivers and have been advocating for people with disabilities following concerns that bus spaces marked “wheelchair accessible” would be diverted for strollers. was an advocate of

More than 140 buses in the pilot program will have stroller decals near the doors as well as above designated vehicle zones, according to MTA sources. Transportation includes nearly 5,800 buses.

rolling road rage

Advocates for people with disabilities have pointed out that stroller pushers can occupy reserved areas, but transport officials have said the new plan will not take space away from wheelchair users. increase.

“There are people who literally want to wrestle with me over the space people like me need,” said Manhattan wheelchair user Dustin Jones, who is part of the advisory group. So I’m glad we didn’t lose anything [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessible seats. “

According to sources, the bus routes on which the new layout will be tested are:

  • B1 (Bay Ridge – Manhattan Beach)
  • Bx23 (Pelham Bay – Corp City)
  • M31 (Yorkville – Clinton)
  • Q12 (small neck – flushing)
  • Q50 (Co-Op City/Pelham Bay – Flushing)
  • S53 (Port Richmond – Bay Ridge)
  • S93 (Staten Island College – Bay Ridge)

“Each region reacts differently to this,” says Avissar. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

But officials from the transport union Local 100, which represents bus operators, said the latest layout could lead to disputes over stroller seats, forcing drivers to keep the peace, so baby push said he did not participate in

“These conditions can deteriorate very quickly,” Donald Yates, TWU’s Manhattan and Bronx representative, told THE CITY. “Bus drivers have already endured too many attacks. so there is no need to pour gasoline on the fire.”

according to MTA statisticsbus operators have been assaulted 36 times this year and received more than 1,000 cases of harassment from passengers.

Union leaders also said they were concerned about the possibility of strollers tipping over while the bus was moving.

“We have serious safety concerns,” Yates said.

A woman with a stroller waits for the M72 bus on 72nd Street in Manhattan.

An MTA spokeswoman said six bus operators were part of the group that developed the pilot program.

“We are confident that it will make it easier for parents and caregivers with strollers to board the bus without compromising safety,” spokesperson Eugene Resnick told THE CITY. “Pilot experience is reviewed regularly to determine if modifications are helpful.”

Metro Los Angeles Strollers are allowed on buses and trains that have stickers indicating designated stroller spaces.of Chicago Transit Authority On buses, children are allowed in open strollers as long as there is enough space for other passengers.Strollers are allowed in Washington DC circulator However, strollers must not exceed 48 inches in length or 24 inches in width.

“Try out”

the study As strollers grow in size, the problem of accommodating them grows, he notes, leading some transit agencies to remove rows of seats from buses to make room.

Waiting for the M31 on York Avenue and East 71st Street, 82-year-old Barbara Graham said she sometimes boarded the M31 with her new parents.

“I tell these mothers, ‘Sorry, I’m a mother and a grandmother, but I have to fold the stroller,'” she told THE CITY. Sometimes.”

Advocates for strollers and disabled passengers acknowledged that the debate over space on buses is a sensitive issue.

“I hope we don’t have too many problems,” Jessica Murray, chair of the MTA’s Advisory Board on Public Transportation Accessibility, told THE CITY. “You can’t know for sure until you try it, so I’m glad the MTA is willing to try it instead of just saying no.” MTA tests allocated stroller space on city buses

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