SEPTA is changing its stroller policy after complaints and a petition came to the transportation authority’s attention.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is hoping to start off the New Year with a new way of riding by allowing strollers on buses, during off-peak hours. This open-stroller policy will (potentially) start January, but SEPTA has not confirmed an official date just yet.
The new policy does still requires strollers to be folded during peak hours — which last roughly from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays — even if the bus is packed during those off-peak-hours, the fate of the stroller is up to the bus driver.
This policy shift came after a mother of a 1-year-old, Lacy Kohlmoos, 34, began a petition to allow strollers on Philadelphia buses, at least during off-peak hours.
“I have tried to carry my stroller, my squirming baby, and the diaper bag onto a bus before. It was not pretty,” Kohlmoos wrote. “By the time I managed to get everything on board and pay the fare, everyone around me was shooting me impatient looks, my son was crying, and I felt like bursting into tears myself.”
The petition gained over 9,000 signatures from all over the world. Petitioners signed from Philadelphia, California, Netherlands, Germany and South Africa.
Current SEPTA Passenger Etiquette Guidelines on the website still state that passengers should "fold strollers and carts before the vehicle arrives." An exception is made for wheelchair strollers.