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Watch our new video on how to manage your baby stroller on the bus

Knowing how to load your stroller on and off the bus properly can change your commute from a frustrating experience to a pleasant one. Provided there is room available on the bus for you and your baby stroller, this new video provides a step-by-step process of how best to travel on the bus using a three or four-wheel stroller.

One factor of the process that is important to highlight is the importance of communicating with the bus operator. After I pull or press for the buzzer, I often say (not yell) in a loud voice, “Stroller coming off.” This lets the bus operator know I’m getting off at the next stop so that the bus operator can provide any necessary assistance alighting the bus. Often that assistance is getting other riders to make room along the aisle and to the front doors for my stroller. Some may see this as an unnecessary addition, but I find if I’m on a busy bus, having someone like the bus operator helping me alight quicker can make for a smoother journey for myself, my child and others riders.

Let me know what you think of the video and whether you have any additional tips for getting you and your little one on and off the bus safely and quickly.


32 Comments

  • By Jacky, April 26, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    Great video! It would also be helpful to show how to properly release the yellow handle on the seat for a stroller. I have observed riders having difficulty and not being able to do it. Sometimes a bottleneck of people is created boarding the bus due to a stroller blocking the passage way while a rider struggles to pull the yellow handle.

  • By Paul C, April 26, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

    I enjoyed the video as well. Sometimes half the battle is just knowing what to do and expect before you start. It kind of relates to the first time you put a bike on a bike rack. At first it can be confusing and can be intimidating because you feel like a dufus standing there trying to figure it out. But once you’ve done it then the second time is much easier as you know what to do.

    I did find it funny how the video was of a bus that had hardly any passangers. Would have been interesting to see what one of the E-W routes in Vancouver like 41,49 or 99. Would have been like.

  • By Steven, April 26, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    Very cuddly video, well done.

  • By ???, April 26, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Yes a great video. Especially the point whether seniors or strollers have priority. Too often I’ve seen seniors asked to move for a SUV stroller coming on board. Or often parents are too lazy to fold up a stroller.

  • By Vawg, April 29, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    Will this be played on tv? I think there needs to be a visible education campaign about this, priority seating and other etiquette rules like moving to the back. I’ve met many mothers who have had negative experiences with their strollers. A negative experience could discourage her or the father’s desire to continue taking transit.

  • By ???, April 29, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

    If it is played on TV…. it needs to be in other languages. Having the driver push a button like “this is a fair paid zone” or “please move to the back of the bus” is useless for non-speaking riders that are causing the problem. In a coming years, English will become a minority language.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 1, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    Jacky: That’s a good point. Those release handles can be a little stiff. I’ll mention this point to the people here who produce the videos.

    Vawg and ???: There is no plans to put this on TV at the moment. TransLink being under tight budgetary constraints doesn’t have the budget to put this on TV. As for other languages, it’s something that TransLink is looking into. There are financial and timing challenges in offering other languages at this point. As Metro Vancouver continues to become more multicultural, offering services in other languages apart from English is something that will be be more important. At present, our ticket machines, some signage and some public education is offered in other languages besides English.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 2, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    Regarding other languages, maybe this is a good opportunity for volunteers. I know that the unions might frown on it, but I’m sure that unions have been supportive of various good will initiatives that save money.

    Robert, do you have a way of proposing opportunities to get all parties on board?

    The first translations don’t have to be perfect right off the bat. They just need to be good enough until funding and requirements arise.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 3, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    Eugene: You raise an interesting idea. I’ve been looking into volunteering/donation and transit as it related to fares for people in need – http://www.donatearide.ab.ca/ , but I haven’t thought what that same approach would mean for translation. It’s an interesting idea for sure and one I think is worth exploring… I’ll keep thinking about it if you do…

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 3, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

    As I read your response, I thought of a TED Talk about Google creating a translation service, where people actually translate and learn a new language. It won’t work exactly the way that we need to translate the video, but the principles might be applicable.

    I’ll try to get more information.

    Another idea is for people to give language lessons to learners on the topics of Translink’s videos. Somehow, the learners can play the video on mute, and then record the script in the relevant language. Translink would then get the recording, and then create an official video. In the same way that memes are generated by the masses, I think that a lot of these things can be, too.

    As I was typing that, I came up with another idea. Imagine a web site, where people can gather together to create translations of transit information.

    It would be nice to have “The next station is ___.”, in every language. We could post the English version to show people what it sounds like, and then clearly explain what we are trying to achieve with the announcement. I would be very interested in seeing the community ban together.

    Then we would create an app to announce the upcoming station/stop in the language of the user’s preference. The rider could run the app, and the app would announce it in the rider’s ear phones.

    The great thing is that it takes a lot of responsibility off of the company’s hands, and still allows the company to contribute the translations, if it can’t wait for the volunteers.
    I’m just brainstorming here.

    Also, it allows for volunteers who can’t wait for the company. If I have a visiting relative, who prefers to site see alone, then I could spend a few hours preparing, and then uploading to the site.

    Then we could place banner ads and get rich!!!1!!!

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 3, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

    I looked at the donation web site, and I think that the concept is beautiful. Yes, people can abuse it, but it puts some form of accountability in there that limits the loss. Also, if I were to get something from them, then I would not feel as if I were cheating the government system.

    I was reminded of the food bank, which might allow people to volunteer, which would be great for people who don’t want to freeload. There is also the time bank, where it is all volunteer work. In the same manner as the time bank, people could “pay back” by volunteering to mow lawns and things. It wouldn’t be slave labour, because nobody is forcing anybody to do anything, and the donation is guaranteed, while the volunteer work would not be.

    We could also connect it to already established carpool programs, so that financial donors and transit don’t have to bear the whole burden.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 3, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

    I found the TED Talk. The video is 12:41 long

    Luis von Ahn TED Talk

    The relevant portion is at the last few minutes.

    Duolingo discussion

    Duolingo is not ready for the masses yet, but there’s the link.

  • By Julie Lieu, May 4, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    Public transit is my only means of transportation. I often see drivers pick up passenger with large stroller when the designated courtesy section of the bus is already occupied by seniors, people with disability/mobility issues (walker,cane) resulting in their having to give up their seats for the stroller. Please educate all your drivers regarding ‘who’ has priority seating in the designated area. Thank you.

  • By Kim, May 9, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    Good video! I’m a transit rider and I’m going to have a baby in September and I’ve been dreading learning how to take a stroller on the bus. The size requirements were helpful me as I look for a transit-friendly stroller. As for the other languages discussion, I teach ESL to new immigrants. This is the kind of video that I would show to my class (if it were to have enough parents of young children to be applicable). I may include it in a lesson during my upcoming transportation unit. I agree that transit rules and announcements should be accessible in other languages.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 17, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    @ Robert

    I just saw something on Jarrett Walker’s blog.

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/HumanTransit/~3/-JpQ8Z4ioHY/ever-wanted-to-be-that-sexy-voice-on-the-train.html

    It’s a contest. Maybe Translink could run some kind of contest, where people call in and translate the various audio messages. The best translations get a book of FareSavers. I like this better than the draw that is typically held in the Buzzer. Maybe they have to find a hidden message in The Buzzer first, and then translate.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 17, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Eugene: I just watch the video at the end of he Luis von Ahn talk. Duolingo looks amazing! Let’s hope it gets released soon and there’s pick up. Regarding translations of TransLink materials into different language, I think you have some fantastic ideas. I’ll be sharing them with a few different departments to see if they have any feedback. I also like your idea via Human Transit and the Washington Post. I think contests are more enjoyable if people need to be creative to win them. Jhen and I were actually just talking about different ideas for Contest Corner in the Buzzer.

    Thanks for sharing this info Eugene!

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 18, 2012 @ 8:00 am

    Great, Robert! Thanks.

    I hope that those TED Talks aren’t too distracting. I find that I can’t stop watching them, and every now and then, we find a true priceless bit of information.

    Yesterday, I was talking with my long lost friend from little league baseball and school. He commented on how he hates computers. He probably hasn’t used them since high school, which would have been ’92, at the latest. I wish that I told him about the collaborative successes of the internet.

    A lot of these tiny improvements that make a big difference seem to only be successful because of the internet.

    As time goes on, I am becoming more and more firmly convinced that an internet connection should be mandatory for all homes, except people who are under unique circumstances or who deliberately want to be disconnected from the various grids.

  • By Lydia Del Bianco, May 30, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    I am a mom who travels exclusively on transit as I do not have a vehicle. While I appreciate the instruction on the video, I find it unrealistic to expect mothers of small children to fold strollers on the bus. I wish there had been a real child in that stroller in the video to show how awkward it is. Most strollers require two hands to fold, and the basket underneath needs to be empty. Please tell me how I am supposed to pick up my son, empty the contents form teh stroller, fold it, tuck it out of the way and be seated safely in the few minutes allotted at a stop? Does that make me “too lazy”? I find that task entirely unsafe.

    Also, I have experienced drivers pulling away so quickly I have not had the chance to put the brakes on, and have had plenty of able-bodied younger folks sitting in the front who refuse to move.

  • By Marianne, June 12, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Is there a video for taking wheelchairs on to transit? Thanks

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, June 12, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    Marianne: unfortunately, we don’t have one! Sorry about that. But generally the operators are quite helpful with helping you get on board. As well, if you are new to a wheelchair and want some time to practice boarding a bus, our training department down at Vancouver Transit Centre has always been happy to help with that. You can find out more in this blog post: http://buzzer.translink.ca/index.php/2010/06/a-hands-on-look-at-accessibility-on-buses/

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, June 14, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    Robert, I finally got a chance to try Duolingo. We get a chance to speak it, listen to it, read it, and write it.

    I found out that we can upload text to be translated. For French, people can only translate from French, but I’m sure that Duolingo will allow it to go the other way.

    The text below is from their web site.

    1. You upload a document that you own the rights to.
    2. Language learners interact with it on Duolingo and translate it to the required language. It’s fast and accurate.
    3. Uploading a document and retrieving its translation is 100% free, though in the future we may charge for speed and accuracy.

  • By Dean, June 15, 2012 @ 2:57 am

    I find that so easy for and stress-free for for everyone. I think Toronto’s TTC should do that.

  • By Patricia, June 17, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    I watched this as I am a senior with mobility issues and wondered what the stroller policy was. Sometimes I and similiar others have been forced to move for a stroller and I’m glad to see this isn’t official policy. I’m happy to move for a wheelchair but not a stroller. When I travelled with young children we had to fold up the stroller and carry the child, packages, whatever. We managed and we’re all still here.

  • By Sunshine Hanan, July 2, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    I had to laugh a little bit about ‘simply wait for the next bus’. This is fine for routes that run regularly, but what about those that run every 30 or 60 minutes? Also, when I have tried to park my stroller the way she did in the video, I have been told I can’t (even when it wasn’t blocking anyone). I have also heard drivers say ‘I can only take two strollers’, when in reality, depending on the style of stroller, there is room for 3 or 4 on many of the buses. Overall, in the 3 years I have used transit with a stroller, it has been getting better, but it’s still often a challenge, so if I am going 5 km or less each way, I usually walk instead. Also, boarding the skytrains with a stroller (and I imagine a wheelchair) can be ridiculously hard. I remember boarding at Broadway, watched a train go, moved into place to enter at wheelchair doors, but no, this was a train with the cars in a different order, so the wheelchair doors were somewhere else. There is a lot less respect on the trains as well for the wheelchair spots.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 24, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Sunshine: Thanks for your comment! If you can, I’d love for you to leave a detailed note in our customer feedback form with the routes you take and when you’ve experienced this. That will log your concern in our formal feedback system where it will be sent to the right transit supervisors for their review.

  • By Karen, July 28, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    This video is comical. While I appreciate the instruction regarding logistics, I would love to see the video filmed at 8:30am on the westbound 99 B-Line, getting on around Arbutus, or alternatively, the eastbound 99 B-line at 5pm getting on around MacDonald. There is barely room to move, let alone hold a 25lb baby and try to fold a stroller as the driver barrels along. I am happy to stand the entire ride, especially when there are seniors or individuals with mobility challenges or wheelchairs. That said, if the priority spots are taken and no one will get up (able bodied included)what would you recommend then? Also, the driver in the video is a lot “sunnier” than some of the drivers me and my son meet on our bus commute. Last week we all had to listen to a driver yell at a grandma with her grandchild in the stroller for being in the aisle in the same set of circumstances I outlined above, except she was a senior and also needed seating. The driver was out of line and the grandma was near tears. Perhaps you should post a video for the drivers to develop some cooperative communication skills. Not all drivers of course, many are lovely, but there are real grumps some days.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, July 30, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Hi Karen: this is a great point and I’m glad you have raised it with us. With the advent of a new fleet of buses with low-floor ramps and an enlarged seating area for wheelchairs and more, the competition for space at the front of the bus is a new challenge for our staff. If you do have time, it would be excellent for you to submit your complaint about the driver into our customer feedback form. There you can identify the time and route so we can have it sent to the right transit supervisor for review. And I’ll also send this comment over to our training department to ensure they are aware of the growing issue. Thanks again!

  • By Nikki, September 11, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    I think you need to raise awareness about passengers with “invisible” mobility issues. The fine motor skills in the left side of my body are partially paralyzed and it is very very difficult for me to stand on a bus/sky train without being thrown around like a rag doll and having my arm rip out of the socket (as the muscles are incredibly weak), especially when I need to use my right hand to hold my bags, etc. because I would just drop them if I didn’t not. Even though I have these issues, I do not physically look any different, which causes passengers and drivers alike to give me dirty looks and to ask me to move when individuals with strollers come on. As this video suggests, seniors and people with “mobility issues” have priority seating at the front, NOT people with strollers. As a person with mobility issues, therefore, I have priority, even though I may not necessarily look as though I do. To me, this is an awareness issue. People need to realize that not all mobility issues are readily perceived or obvious.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 9, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    Thanks Nikki! A great point. You do have priority owing to disabilities – visible or not. We’ll emphasize that message in the future!

  • By Shawna, January 30, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    I know it said in the video that even Community Shuttles are accessible to strollers however I would have liked to have seen a video on that because it really doesn’t look like there is room and I have never seen one on there. I have been wondering how I am going to get mine on there when I need to. Any advice? video? Does anyone use a community shuttle on a regular basis with a stroller? I have a Guzzie and Guss 102 so it’s pretty light and relatively small.Thanks!

  • By Sunshine, January 30, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

    Shawna, you would take it on via the wheelchair access at the rear doors. I have been on twice with the stroller that way, and then once we just wedged the stroller in front of the seats (drivers will sometimes help and if not other passengers are often willing). I hope that helps. Of course, there is only one ‘spot’ for wheelchairs/strollers so if it is taken, you may be waiting awhile for the next one if the driver won’t let you wedge it in.

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