Seattle’s Making It Easier for Families With Kids to Ride the Bus

Traveling on transit with a toddler is challenging enough. But transit agency policies can make the situation a lot worse.

Bus riding with baby just got a lot easier in Seattle. Photo: Seattle Transit Blog
Bus riding with baby just got a lot easier in Seattle. Photo: Seattle Transit Blog

Until very recently, Seattle had the kind of rules that made “any long outing with a small child involving buses… suck,” according to Seattle Transit Blog‘s Matthew Johnson, a new father. King County Metro required parents transporting a kids in strollers to unload the stroller, fold it up, and hold the child in their laps.

But taking transit with the kids just got a lot easier for folks like Johnson. Late last month, Metro introduced a new policy, Johnson explains on Seattle Transit Blog:

• 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.

This is similar to progressive stroller policies adopted by Chicago’s CTA and L.A. Metro, and is a good common sense solution. Thank you Metro!

Michael List, Metro transit operations manager, said of the reform, “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.”

Elsewhere on the Network today: Streets.mn compares Minneapolis’s transit fare evasion rates with those of other big metros. Stop and Move reports that Fresno might be getting its first protected bike lane. And Richard Layman at Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space ponders the Chicago mayoral election and whether cities can simultaneously invest in their downtowns and their neighborhoods.

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