Open Prams on Buses
From 2 April 2017 onwards, open prams will be allowed on buses. Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have about the new rule.
PUBLISHED March 21, 2017
In the past, LTA and the bus operators had viewed it unsafe to allow open strollers on buses. Why is there a change in policy?
According to feedback from parents and caregivers, having to fold strollers to board buses is a significant obstacle for them to use public buses. The Public Transport Council has also recommended that we address this pain point. LTA and the public bus operators remain concerned about the safety of children in open strollers, but on balance, have decided to remove the current prohibition in response to feedback from parents and caregivers. The move is also part of the Government’s overall efforts to create a public transport network that is more accessible, convenient and user-friendly for all, including families with young children.
Why are open strollers allowed on non-wheelchair-accessible buses (non- WABs) as well? Is there enough space?
Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to bring open strollers on WABs, as they are designed for easier boarding and have more space available. Non-WABs do not have any designated wheelchair space to stow the strollers, which may cause obstruction and inconvenience to other passengers. However, we would like to give parents and caregivers flexibility to board a non-WAB if the available space permits and the stroller can fit through the door and aisle. Parents and caregivers may be asked by the bus captain to fold the stroller if there is insufficient space, or if the stroller is causing obstruction.
Can the parents/caregivers request to use the ramp if they have difficulties in bringing the open stroller onto the bus? Why?
The ramp is catered specifically for passengers in wheelchairs. However, the bus captain has the discretion to deploy the ramp if he/she finds it unsafe for the parents/caregivers to carry the open stroller onto the bus without using the ramp.
If the parents/caregivers have difficulties in bringing the open stroller onto the bus, can they approach the bus captain for assistance?
Does this mean more work for the bus captain? Parents/caregivers can approach the bus captain if they require assistance. Parents/caregivers are responsible for the child’s safety throughout the journey, including boarding and alighting from the bus safely with the strollers. We do not expect there to be undue impact on the work load of the bus captain. However, as the journey may be slightly delayed due to the boarding and alighting, we seek the understanding of the other commuters to help create a more inclusive public transport system to cater to the needs of various commuter groups.
If there is already an open stroller on the bus, will another open stroller be allowed?
Depending on their sizes, it is possible to have more than one open stroller at the designated wheelchair space of a Wheelchair Accessible Bus (WAB). Should there be insufficient space, the bus captain can request the subsequent parents/caregivers to fold their strollers.
Is it compulsory for the parents/caregivers to use the prototype restraint system, if the bus is equipped with it?
For the safety of the child and other commuters, the parents/caregivers are encouraged to use the restraint system, if it is available, to secure the open stroller. Nevertheless, parents/caregivers are still responsible for the safety of the child when on board the bus and they should hold onto the open stroller throughout the journey.
How many open strollers can the restraint system on a bus secure at the same time? How does the restraint system work?
It depends on the space available on bus for the open strollers and their sizes. More details on the restraint system will be announced at a later date.
How will the effectiveness of the restraint system be monitored?
There will be trials to test the system. More details on the restraint system will be announced at a later date.
Who is liable for injuries, if any, to the child in open stroller?
Similar to other bus passengers, if there are any injuries to the child in open stroller, investigation will be conducted to determine the liability. Having said that, parents/caregivers are still responsible for the child’s safety throughout the journey, including boarding and alighting from the bus safely with the strollers. When on board the bus, they are encouraged to use the restraint system to secure the open stroller and hold onto it throughout the journey.
With parents/caregivers boarding/exiting buses with open strollers, buses may not be able to leave the bus stop so promptly. The open strollers may also cause more crowdedness, and inconvenience to other passengers. Are there any measures to manage these?
To minimise inconvenience to other passengers, open strollers should be placed in a way that minimises obstruction to other commuters, for example, at the designated wheelchair space where available. If the bus is already crowded, the bus captain may request for the parents/caregivers boarding the bus to fold their strollers. However, the journey may be slightly delayed due to the boarding and alighting and we seek the understanding of the other commuters to help create a more inclusive public transport system to cater to the needs of various commuter groups.