With how crowded NYC’s public transport can get, traveling solo can be a headache in of itself, let alone when you have a stroller with you as well. But the MTA is setting out to make this task a little less daunting.
The MTA announced last week, Thursday, March 23, that they’re getting ready to begin the second phase of the Open Stroller Pilot.
Buses involved in the program will have one designated area near the rear door for a single open stroller, entirely separate from the designated wheelchair securement area and existing priority seating for riders with disabilities.
By the end of this year these designated stroller spaces will be on aboard more than 1,000 buses along 57 total routes across all five boroughs, including:
- Brooklyn: B1, B3, B6/6 LTD, B36, B64, B74
- The Bronx: Bx6, Bx6 SBS, Bx8, Bx11, Bx17, Bx19, Bx21, Bx23, Bx27, Bx31, Bx32, Bx33, Bx35, Bx36/36LTD, Bx46
- Manhattan: M15, M31, M101, M102, M103, M125
- Queens: Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q20A, Q20B, Q26, Q28, Q31, Q32, Q44 SBS, Q48, Q50 LTD, Q76
- Staten Island: S40, S42, S46, S48, S51, S52, S53, S66, S76, S81 LTD, S86 LTD, S90 LTD, S93 LTD, S96 LTD, S98 LTD
These specific routes are some of the busiest routes in the system.
Currently, strollers must be folded before boarding most NYC buses, making travel a difficult task if those with strollers find themselves boarding a crowded bus.
To make it easy to tell whether or not a certain bus has the designated stroller spaces, buses participating in the program will have a sticker with a stroller symbol on the outside near the front door, so you’ll know whether or not it has it before boarding. Inside the bus the stroller area will be marked with a similar decal.
“This expansion is a win for bus customers. The Open Stroller Program has demonstrated that we can make buses more accessible to all customers while providing faster, cleaner, and safer service,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “As we expand, more and more bus customers will benefit from enhanced accessibility, especially for parents and caregivers. I commend the months of hard work from the team at NYCT and the MTA’s Accessibility team to make this expansion possible.”
Customers and operators of buses on the pilot routes that have already tested out these designated stroller spaces have reported faster and easier boarding, more comfortable rides, and more positive interactions with fellow riders on the pilot routes.
Over 4,000 stroller journeys were tallied since the beginning of the pilot, and no safety incidents or conflicts were reported.
The MTA will continue to evaluate the program through feedback from customers, bus operators, and community advocates, to help them determine if the pilot runs smoothly.
You can submit any feedback you wish to share regarding the program here.