If you haven’t heard the great news yet, the government this week announced that families with children will be allowed to board all public buses with open strollers from 2 April. This move addresses many Singaporean parents gripe with current the system of needing to fold up their strollers before boarding public buses.
Many applaud the move as a giant step towards Singapore becoming more child- and family-friendly. Plus, it also encourages citizens to use public transportation more often, which is friendlier on the pockets and the environment.
Jessica Gullichsen, 37, who has a baby and a toddler, says the new legislation will definitely encourage her to use buses more often, even though she owns a car.
“As a mum of two, it’s nearly impossible for me to juggle kids, a diaper bag, tapping my card and carrying a closed stroller when boarding the bus. I have stayed away from buses because of this,” she explains. “Having an open stroller will greatly ease my load and I will consider taking buses again.”
"As a mum of two, it’s nearly impossible for me to juggle kids, a diaper bag, tapping my card and carrying a closed stroller when boarding the bus…having an open stroller will greatly ease my load and I will consider taking buses again.”
If you’re doing a happy dance while dragging your unused stroller out of the store room to give it a good wash ahead of the change, hold on a moment.
Do you even know how to ride on a bus with an open stroller, so that you and the kiddos are courteous to everyone else while staying safe? If you haven’t given it a second thought, here’s your chance to brush up on your travel etiquette…
While all public buses welcome open strollers, you are encouraged to bring them onto wheelchair accessible buses as these are designed for easier boarding and offer more space. How do you spot one? Look for the wheelchair decal on the front windscreen. If you’re boarding a bus that’s not wheelchair accessible, you’re encouraged to fold the stroller.
Your open stroller should not exceed 120cm (length) by 70 cm (width). If it cannot go through the doorway of the bus when it’s open, you’ll need to fold it up before boarding and alighting.
If you’re worried about not being able to catch a wheelchair-accessible bus, fret not. Some 92 per cent of public buses are now wheelchair- and stroller-friendly. This number will increase to 98 per cent by the end of next year, with all buses by 2020. By the way, you can also expect 24 more pedestrian overhead bridges to be installed with lifts by the end of 2018. This is in addition to the already existing to 23 overhead bridges that have lifts.
Read on for seven more ways make commuting with a stroller more pleasant.
When waiting for a bus at interchanges, do so at priority queues and zones. At regular bus stops, wait next to the queue. As a general rule, wheelchair-bound passengers get to board first, followed by people with open strollers and last, the other passengers.
Make it a point to board by the front door where possible, but if the stroller doesn’t fit, board by the rear door. Alert the bus captain before you do so and tap your fare card or pay by cash at the front of the bus. If you need the ramp to be deployed for your stroller, approach the bus driver.
Park your open stroller in the designated wheelchair space and move to the front to tap your card or make payment. Make sure to apply the stroller brakes, so your buggy doesn’t roll around when the bus is moving. Do not park strollers along the aisle or at entry and exit points. Nor should you bring open strollers to the upper deck of a double-decker bus.
Be alert and take responsibility for your child’s safety when on the bus. Hold on tight to the open stroller during the ride.
If the stroller is unable to fit through the bus doors, you will have to fold it when you board and alight. You may also need to fold the stroller if the bus is already packed before you board it. Or you could wait for the next bus.
If the bus gets crowded you’re already on board, you’ll will not need to fold your stroller.
At any given time only one wheelchair or open baby pram is allowed on a bus. Passengers in wheelchairs will get priority to use the space so, you may be asked to fold your stroller if a wheelchair-bound person boards the bus.
Be alert and take responsibility for your child’s safety when on the bus. Hold on tight to the open stroller during the ride. If the safety restraint is available, use it to secure the stroller. Remember to alight at the rear door, so you don’t collide head on with front-door traffic and hold up the crowd!
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