Austin! Allow strollers on the bus!

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Capital Metro needs to allow babies to ride in strollers on the bus!

In Austin, babies in strollers are not allowed to ride the bus. Even when buses are almost empty and there is plenty of space on board, Moms, Dads, and other carers traveling with infants are required to take their baby out of the stroller and fold it up before boarding the bus. Moreover, there is nowhere inside the bus to stow your folded stroller; drivers are ordering Mamas to hoist buggies on the bike rack in the front of the bus! This policy makes it almost impossible to board a Capital Metro bus with a young baby: public transport should be accessible to everyone!

Have you ever tried to catch a capital metro bus with a small baby (one who isn't old enough to walk)? If so, you will know that it is a very difficult juggling act to take a baby out of a stroller and while holding it in one arm, use the other arm and maybe a foot to fold and carry the stroller and the baby bag (and maybe your grocery shopping?) with the other. (Or, hold the baby, and your bags, while somehow getting the stoller into the bike rack on front of the bus?!)

Capital Metro says that their anti-stroller policy is based on safety. This is a weak argument - where is the evidence to support this policy? If your buses are not equipped for infants to ride in their strollers, than this needs to change! Other US cities now allow strollers on the bus. In the US this includes Dallas, Philly (during offpeak hours), and Washington DC. Strollers are also permitted on the bus in other big cities around the world, including Sydney, Singapore, and Amsterdam. Austin needs to stop discriminating against women with young children and adopt the strollers-on-buses policy that is now best practice around the globe. 

This petition is motivated by selfish reasons, but I know that many parents and carers will benefit from a reversal of this discriminatory policy. I have an 11 month old son. My negative experiences as a Mama with an infant riding capital metro have led me to avoid buses for most of the past year. I often do the hour-long walk from my house to my university on foot. But in summer in Austin, it is too hot to walk long distances with the baby in the middle of the day. Ride-sharing is an expensive plan B. Please support my right and the right of all parents and carers to ride with strollers!

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