Boarding Muni with One Arm and Two Babies
Photo by Lulu Vision
Editor’s Note: What happens when you need to get on Muni and you have one arm, two toddlers, and a double stroller? Read on.
Folding and carrying a double stroller and a pair of toddlers up a flight of stairs is an extremely challenging feat for any able-bodied adult, let alone a one-armed girl. It should be noted that this was the train’s first stop during a non-peak time so passenger space at the front of the train was certainly not an issue.
Eventually some passers-by were able to lend assistance. When the train reached her stop at Taraval & Sunset she asked to leave the train via the handicapped ramp and was again refused. If it had not been for the help of other passengers she would not have been able to disembark at all.
I’ve encountered the “no strollers on the train” attitude before, and I usually begrudgingly accept it even though I don’t understand how a stroller is fundamentally different in principle than a wheelchair. (It’s worth noting I have also encountered many drivers who have been courteous and accommodating for parents with babies). But I can’t understand how anyone could be callous enough to enforce that rule against an actual disabled person trying to handle two babies at once. I believe the driver’s conduct violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Real classy, Muni.
Current SFMTA policy leaves it up to the driver to allow or disallow strollers on Muni. According to SFMTA’s official website, “If a baby stroller is allowed on board, the child must be removed from the stroller and the stroller must be folded up while it is on the vehicle…wheelchair lifts are not intended for use by non-disabled passengers, including passengers with baby strollers or large packages.”
Last month, we posted about a proposal to ease up this policy, thereby allowing unfolded strollers on buses. But this incident seems to be, simply, about common sense and when to approach issues on a case-by-case basis. What do you think of the driver’s reaction?