We received this helpful message from a local reader, rookie mom Andrea, who’s had varying degrees of luck and rudeness from different bus drivers. She dares to ask the question: Can I leave my child in the baby stroller while on the bus?
Here’s hoping that her research can help at least one other mom struggling to get on the AC Transit buses. The official policy is: The driver should provide you the lift if you ask for it. The driver by policy is not allowed to otherwise assist with the boarding or deboarding of strollers.
She shares with us her letter and some helpful links.
I would like to know what your official policy on riding the bus with a stroller is. It is easy to board the new buses with a stroller because they are quite low, but it is very difficult to board the old ones (there are three narrow and steep steps) without using the ramp.
I have had very different experiences about how child-friendly bus drivers are. Some have been very kind, while others have been extremely rude. Today, I encountered another very rude one. I kindly asked the driver for the ramp when boarding the bus at Telegraph Ave & Durant Ave in Berkeley with my one-year-old in his stroller. There were only three other passengers on the bus and it wasn’t rush time, I avoid riding the bus with the stroller during rush time. The driver responded as though I had insulted her and asked me: “You can”t pull THAT up?” I answered that indeed I could not lift the stroller up the narrow and steep stairs. My son weighs 25 pounds, the stroller weighs another 10 pounds, and as I mentioned, the staircase is too narrow to lift the stroller up on my own. Fortunately, one of the three passengers on the bus assisted me in lifting the stroller into the bus. I would like to know what your official policy on strollers and ramp use is. I assume that drivers always use the ramp for disabled passengers. As I already said, I have experienced myself and witnessed several incidents in which the driver simply refused to use the ramp for a mother with a small child in a stroller. I have been very surprised by this. I would very much expect public transit to be child-friendly. Could you please tell me what the official AC Transit policy on using the ramp for parents with strollers is, particularly for the old buses?
AC TRANSIT’s RESPONSE:
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. The driver should provide you the lift if you ask for it. The driver by policy is not allowed to otherwise assist with the boarding or deboarding of strollers.