No Kicks on Route 66


This morning while riding the MBTA 66 bus, a stylish woman boarded the bus in Coolidge Corner pushing an extremely large stroller, kind of a hybrid between a Victorian-era pram and a monster truck.  She didn’t get far though as passengers standing in the aisle would not budge even though there was plenty room for them for them to stand further back in the bus.  They seemed to be acting as if they wanted her to somehow get around them and go to the back of the bus herself.  So she and her stroller were stuck at the front of the bus next to the driver for a few stops and people getting on and off just squeezed by her (even though it may have been easier for a lot off the passengers getting off to use the rear door).

I wavered between who I found more annoying:  the woman who brought a ginormous stroller on public transportation or the passengers who steadfastly refused to let her in thus creating a dangerous bottleneck.  Luckily, after a few stops things cleared up and the woman with the stroller moved over to the handicap seats, flipped them up and stood with the stroller out of the way.  This was a good thing because as we passed through Allston we picked up more and more passengers until people were squished in like sardines.  Altogether and ugly and unpleasant ride.

I came to the following conclusions on how various individuals could improve the bus-riding experience for everyone:

  • Parents: Babies are small, so they don’t need SUV-sized strollers.  A small stroller or sling is more appropriate if you plan to use public transportation.
  • Passengers: Move to the rear of the bus and exit the rear door whenever possible.  It really does make things more comfortable and efficient for everyone.  Really! Oh, and if you’re one of those people who sits on the aisle with an empty space by the window, knock it off already, that’s totally selfish!
  • The MBTA: In my experience, more often than not the 66 bus gets packed with passengers, forcing people to stand in the stairwells and otherwise having no room to breathe. This should be a clue that perhaps buses should run more frequently and/or double-length buses (like the ones used on route 39) should be used on this route.  In my dreams, I’d actually like to see this bus replaced by a trolley or rapid transit, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
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9 responses to this post.

  1. Maybe she has a gigantosaurus baby.

    Reply

  2. I like to call them ‘urban assault strollers’

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tim G. on 11 January 2008 at 12:19 am

    Liam,
    are you for real…..”Parents: Babies are small, so they don’t need SUV-sized strollers. A small stroller or sling is more appropriate if you plan to use public transportation”

    Obviously you don’t have a child. Kids, any size, have loads of stuff if you are running about the city. Medical kit if they need it, food, water, diaper,wipes, plastics bags to dispose of the diaper, toys, bibs if you stop to eat. Do you really think all that fits in a sling?? In your profile, you say you want kids someday, they are great and you will learn ALL this and more quickly!!

    Reply

  4. Tim, ever heard of a bag? That plus a small stroller is far more suitable for public transportation than a giant stroller.

    Reply

  5. I also highly recommend the DadGear diaper vest for toting baby stuff around town.

    Now I have to go update my About page. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply

  6. In NYC, they used to ban strollers on subways during rush hours. Well, people with strollers were instructed to fold them closed and hold a child, so room could be made for all passengers.

    We should have something like that in Boston. Sure, I don’t have a kid, but I find it EXTREMELY RUDE that parents think just because they have a kid, they are entitled to annoy the rest of us.

    I don’t care if you have five kids that are screaming their heads off… If you inappropriately block my ability to maneuver, I will show you no sympathy.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Tim G. on 11 January 2008 at 1:49 pm

    “I don’t care if you have five kids that are screaming their heads off… If you inappropriately block my ability to maneuver, I will show you no sympathy.”
    simply an idiot.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Kathleen on 11 January 2008 at 10:49 pm

    As the mom of an almost-three-year-old, I have experienced quite the range of ways to take public transportation with a baby. The sling totally rocks for infants, in my opinion. All the gear can go in a backpack and it makes it a cinch to take the stairs in and out of the station or bus. I have also had my 2-year-old crawl under a seat and cry bloody murder for 15 full minutes because I wouldn’t let him EAT MY CHAPSTICK! (Yes, I believe that does indeed qualify me as the meanest mom in the world.) So props go out to those who don’t mind the 5 screaming kids. And I totally acknowledge my middle class privilege in being able to buy a MacLaren umbrella stroller — again, with a backpack for the gear — I can carry the child in one arm and do a one-handed manuever to fold and carry the stroller onto the train. It takes some minor effort in developing the skill, but it’s well worth it in my estimation, both in terms of increasing my transportation options, and also in terms of teaching my child that public transportation is a really attractive option.

    I remember going to a breastfeeding support group with my partner when our baby was tiny. All the other moms waited for the elevator — one medium-sized elevator, 30 or 40 moms and babies in strollers. My partner and I looked each other, shrugged, and took the stairs with the baby in the sling.

    Reply

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