Parents and caregivers may now bring their open strollers on board public buses from 2 April 2017.
Yes, this finally gives some leeway for those taking public transportation with their young babies.
However, we observed that the Minister had announced this with some reservations:
“Parents will have to be fully attentive and take responsibility for the safety of their children, and hold on tight to the open strollers at all times,”
In other words, it is now legal, to have your child in the stroller while on board the bus. But is it safer?
The new rules now makes it slightly better – flag bus, carry stroller with baby on it up the bus (by the front door preferrably), and park your stroller at the spot where the wheelchairs would go.
But, will this work when the bus is full? Will people give way to open strollers and help them board?
Is this news is just another lip service for an inclusive society?
Are the lives of parents who commute with their young children from childcare centres and secondary caregivers’ homes better, because they can now board the bus with ease?
In a letter to the Straits Times in August 2016, a contributor suggested that parents use baby carriers instead of strollers on buses, as he felt the strollers would cause more congestion on the already crowded buses.
Where is the space for the strollers when people hardly have space to stand?
And if the stroller is there, where would the wheelchair go if one boarded at the same time?
Would there be squabbles if the limited space on the bus are not able to cater to the demands?
In an article in theAsianParent on this issue, the article noted that Australia has a stroller and wheelchair friendly bus system, but it also acknowledged that the buses Down Under are nowhere near as crowded as ours.
Perhaps recommendations and measures to relieve the sardine-style bus experience in Singapore should have preceded this.
Parents with strollers, expect more dirty looks.
Meanwhile, if you still have to board the buses with your open strollers. Do consider these safety tips.
- Park the stroller at the space allocated for the wheelchair, backed against a panel
- Apply the brakes of both wheels of the stroller when the stroller is parked
- Do not hang excessive baggage on the stroller as it will reduce the stability of the stroller
- Keep your hands on the stroller on all times
- Do not attempt to extract from or put your child in the stroller while the bus is moving