Will T fold on stroller policy?

Julie Rowe exits the E Line branch of the Green Line with her children Georgianna, left, 2 and a half years, and Beatrix, 9 months.

To fold or not to fold? That is the question the T is asking.

Even after hearing from some passionate parents at its board meeting last week, transportation officials are still debating whether to enact a folded stroller policy that various other transit systems have adopted.

Currently the T has no policy on whether strollers must be folded. A survey asking people about the issues remains on its website and can be accessed here. A decision will not be made until after the survey ends next week, a T spokesman said.

The issue has caused parents to rise up.

“I don’t know why it would be easier,” said Julie Rowe, a Boston mother of a 2-and-a-half-year-old and 9-month-old. Rowe takes the T about once a week from downtown stops and sometimes uses her double stroller.

“I just think it is safer to have them strapped securely in place,” she said.

However, others argue that the strollers — sometimes in double or triple form — take up spaces for multiple riders.

“When many people have to get around a stroller or a big bag, it’s difficult,” said occasional T rider Roland James of Sharon.

Dirty looks, helping hands

The stroller issue ignited a passionate discussion among riders over the issue of bringing large items such as luggage or strollers on board crowded T vehicles.

Metro recently took a Green Line ride with Rowe, a mother of two.

From the start it was clear that Rowe and other parents who use strollers on the T have a complet­ely different experience.

Seeking out elevators and train doors that are wheelchair (and stroller) accessible is a way of life.

There was little room to maneuver her stroller or the people to move around it as many riders were already standing.

The train departed quickly after she boarded and before she was able to set the brake on her double stroller. Rowe, unable to plant her feet, started to sway. The strol­ler started to move, but a man standing nearby grabbed its handle.

It’s not always that friendly, she said, adding that she and her stroller sometimes get eye rolls or “dirty looks.”

Stroller policies

» NYC’s MTA:
Open strollers cannot be pushed through subway car doors and must be
folded when using stairs and escalators. Open strollers are prohibited
on buses.
» Chicago’s CTA: Open strollers are generally
allowed on the L trains and buses. Train operators have discretion to
request they be folded or wait for next train.
» San Francisco’s
Muni
: Open strollers prohibited.
» Philadelphia’s SEPTA:
Open strollers prohibited on buses.


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