Travelling alone on NYC buses with twin infants

Nathifa - posted on 06/01/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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NYC MTA buses have a no open stroller rule, but that is a bit impractical for a parent travelling with infant twins or other multiples. (There was another thread that addressed strollers on buses from 2 years ago and comments are now closed -- apparently even if an issue still exists the thread is too old to pick up ... so I am starting my own)

Are there others on here that are willing to have this legislatively addressed that the policies for strollers on buses is impractical for parents of multiples? It is not that we are trying to circumvent rules but asking that rules be practical and fair.

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Veronica - posted on 10/29/2013

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I totally understand and am shocked people are saying you should find a way around it. I recently got the police involved in NyC over this incident. How in the world are you suppose to close the stroller carry your baby,take out your metro card etc? All we asked was if we could close the stroller inside the bus and he was rude. The cop told him either he let us on the bus or he shut it down. He ended up shutting off the bus and making all the passengers get off. I reported him. All of the passengers were on our side. If you don't live in Ny you have no idea. I felt discriminated against. How about people who don't have money to buy the harnesses many of you talk about or have back problems?? Or twins?? Should they stay indoors and never go outside?? This is the problem with the world today. Few have compassion or empathy. Let strollers on buses! Let them use the wheelchair ramp!! As long as they are locked and placed properly there shouldn't be an issue. I'm actually apalled that they would make mothers go through this

Krista - posted on 06/02/2011

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I think that it is a fine idea for parents with multiples to be eligible for access-a-ride. I can see both sides of this issue: yes, strollers blocking the aisle can be a safety hazard. But, by the same token, what are parents of multiples supposed to do?

And Sherri, your blithe suggestion to buy a car was rather impractical. Monthly parking in NYC would probably cost more than this woman's rent.

Nathifa, I would assume that you have parents' groups in NYC, such as POMBA (parents of multiple births association), or any other group like that? You will likely get much more traction asking for change if you group up with a larger organization in order to do so.

In the meantime, for an immediate answer to your problem, you may want to consider a double carrier. A Moby wrap can be tied in a way to accommodate twins, and there are other carriers as well, such as the Maximom.

Hope this helps!

Benchinique - posted on 06/04/2011

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u can get a double harness/ snugli so that u can have both both babies attached to you hands free they do make them just research them online. or u can buy a front baby harness and one that goes on ure back and they can be attached to you like that or just try not to go anywhere byure self until ur kids are walking :(

Nathifa - posted on 06/02/2011

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Oh Krista E. yes I am targetting the (MOTC) Mom of Twins Clubs and local politicians to try to address the issue. I have already dispatched a letter as suggested by the MTA themselves to the Office of Civil Rights Discrimination and my City Council member.

Nathifa - posted on 06/01/2011

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They are not just banning double strollers, but any stroller. So it would not be possible to wear one and keep the other in the stroller. If it is allowed that you can use the wheel chair ramp area if no wheel chair is unboard that is still safer than balancing 2 children on your hip or shoulder.

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Robin - posted on 06/03/2011

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Great information Ms. Moscoe. I hope our public transportation system improves by the time my son wants to travel the world alone. I have always thought many things are weird in the this country. For example, no luggage on busses which stop at SFO.

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oh and I hope wheelchairs don't become a safety hazard for anyone on public transit what with taking up so much space and not allowing people to get off in emergencies. that would just be awful to have it legislated that people in wheelchairs have to get out of the chair and collapse it in order to board.

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wow. buy a car. that is a great idea for a new yorker. and the environment.

as for safety, I know I wouldn't wear one of my twins on my back and one on my front. talk about not safe for me or them!

luckily, I don't have to. I can take my side-by-side stroller on subways in Toronto if I have to. I can also take them on city busses and streetcars in the one-on-top of other type stroller. and I ahve the added bonus of the unheard of...NOT having to take them out. imagine that! a densely populated city accomodates people with strollers. even during rush hour! the rule? no more than four strollers on a bus at a time during rush hour. AND I believe there is not a single transit system in all of canada that makes a parent remove their child from the stroller and collapse it.

go and get that legislation changed! I offer supportive thoughts from toronto!

Robin - posted on 06/03/2011

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Sorry for the redundancy, I answered before reading other posts. As my son grew older and I figured out what I needed most, my purse changed from a clutch to a large purse which holds many items so maybe you can eliminate some of the other things you have to carry daily which may lighten your load. If you take them to day care maybe you can stock up supplies there for their days. I also have an Ergo Carrier which can be worn on the front or the back. Your twins are old enough to use it and it can be worn on the front, side or back. While travelling in France once I witnessed woman wearing several children. She rigged them all on her during her departure from the train. It was amazing. In particular I remember she had a wide tough but canvas looking wrap which made it around the baby on her back and velcro'd together. The thing was about 20+ inches wide long enough to wrap around her body and the childs and the velcro portion was also wide so as not to come apart. I'd say the velcro part was about 10 inches into the girth. Maybe you could fabricate something like this? Sounds like hiring a travelling escort would be cheaper than any other option involving a vehicle, taxi or chauffeur not to mention then you have to deal with installing and uninstalling car seats. Seems like a complete pain the but-agreed. However, I don't know if you'll get anywhere in regards to civil rights as they are not preventing you from using MTA just making sure all riders are safe.
So I assume this is the scenario, twins in twin stroller which does collapse. You need to put the infants somewhere so you can collapse the stroller, stow it and then hold your infants. Hmm. I think you stroll to bus stop, attach infants to you using an infant carrying device which leaves your hands free. Then board the bus with collapsed stroller in tow and navigate to stow stroller and navigate to a seat. I think I'd work on a strategy soon because they are going to be in the stage where they are bigger and can't walk. Wish you luck. Sorry no solutions from me!

Robin - posted on 06/03/2011

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I would guess, it is related to the safety and ability to use public space for all passengers. It is very easy to trip on strollers and they impeded access for other passengers to access seating. I own a Moby wrap and see there are ways to where two infants. I am the mother of one and imagine public transportation with multiples must be challenging.

Nathifa - posted on 06/02/2011

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Sherri I am not trying to change the rules just because it doesn't work for me, but as i said unless you are familiar with the NYC mass transit situation it is almost like comparing apples and oranges to other states or even other NY towns or suburbs. I did say that I find it discrimination because there is not a reasonable alternative. Unless you have a chauffeur as the next responder mentioned, driving everywhere is impractical in NYC especially if you need to commute in and out of Manhattan and other densely populated areas. Parking garages are exorbitent, parking meters have a 2 hour limit at the max, and even in many of these there are frequently no spaces. A cross borough cab ride is easily $30 plus one way and the congestion is often impossible. Even high profile top Executives may take bus and subway becuase of NYC make up - a much rarer occurrence in other states.

I am not opposed to alternative, in fact I mentioned in the first post I made on the manner perhaps restrictions during rush hours, or qualification for Access-A-ride which is a service for persons unable to use the regular transport but general due to some disability.

The lack of reasonable alternatives is where I say it approaches discrimination, and the fact that the MTA authority just turns the other way rather than be willing to work to a safe feasible solution. There isn't one, not becuase the need for it isn't there, but because people who raise the issue are often cried down even my persons who may understand the difficulty of the maneuvering in such a situation - but because they have a wider range of options "cannot be bothered". If fellow multiple parents dismiss it, it is harder to get the authorities to pay attention, and then you get faulty statistics being quoted such as "most parents of multiples don't take public transport"etc. This is quoted becuase they give up on the energy to fight for what should be a reasonable civil right in cities where they pay taxes.

Carriers can often have as much or even more problems than strollers for the some of the same reasons argued to keep the strollers off the buses. They are crowded, the ride is extremely jerky, and it is often impossible to get either a seat or a holding space.

Krista E, the Moby wrap solution is actually no longer supported as safe based on info from the corporation itself. The twin fold has been removed from current manuals, and even when it was left it in was only applicable to babies under 10 lbs.

I doubt even if I get attention paid to this issue that it would be in time to benefit my twins who are already 7 months old, but I think it is one that should be addressed to benefits others as a policy. I do own a car, just as do quite a number of persons in NYC but realistically most use them only for a partial commute driving to a parking garage close to a bus or subway stop and weekend trips. That is a NYC reality, that is not normally found in many other cities.

Sherri - posted on 06/02/2011

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I am from NH not NY. It in no way IMHO is discrimination there are ways to work around it if you are willing too figure out a solution but it doesn't sound like you are willing to figure out a different solution. Your answer is just to change the rules because it doesn't work for you. You could always put a baby in a back carrier and carry the other one and just use an umbrella stroller. There are solutions is all I am saying and yes I get that it isn't convenient. Really I understand and don't envy having to take public transportation with twin babies. However, for the safety of the other passengers it has to be this way. So all I can say is you may have to be a little more flexible on your stance and work around the rules by being creative.

Nathifa - posted on 06/02/2011

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Hello Sherri

From search for what happens in other states and other countries I do see examples where it is not encouraged but allowed in those instances. Are you in the NYC area? If not it is sometimes harder to compare NYC's transit make up to other areas where there are actually spaces to park, bus routes are well defined and separate and highways abound. If that is the rule understood, what is the alternative available? Should moms/dads alone with muiltiples then qualify for access-a-ride or some other service? There are many places in NYC that are best accessed, and recommended to be accessed by public transport - is that significant percentage of the population then required to pay prohibitive costs in lieu of a $2.25 ride? If so how is it not a discrimination if there is no alternative?

Sherri - posted on 06/01/2011

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I am aware that it is any stroller. That is what I said I don't know of any state anywhere that allows open strollers on a bus. I am sorry that you don't agree but I have to say I agree with the rule.

Sherri - posted on 06/01/2011

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It is also extremely impractical to try and get a dbl stroller on a bus open in the first place. No I would not try to have this legislatively addressed because it is a safety issue for others on that bus. They aren't trying to make your life harder, they are trying to follow guidelines so everyone on that bus is safe and an open stroller on a bus is not safe. No one would be able to get out of seats move, get out in an emergency etc. By the way I don't know of any bus anywhere in any state that allows open strollers.

I would simply recommend a carrier that you wear so one can go in that and you can carry the other child and stroller in ur other two hands. Inconvenient most definitely. However, honestly if you don't like the policy you are always welcome to purchase a car and u won't have to be inconvenienced or follow the rules.

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