MTA to expand bus stroller pilot to over 1,000 buses over 57 routes by fall 2023

A woman stands outside of an MTA bus with a stroller.
Photo courtesy of the MTA

New York City parents will soon be able to smoothly roll their strollers on buses across 57 routes throughout the city as part of a pilot program that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expanding.

The MTA announced Thursday it will begin the second phase of its Open Stroller Pilot, which will retrofit over 1,000 buses with a designated space for strollers, so that parents don’t have to fold them before boarding — as mandated under the current MTA stroller policy across most of the city.

The expansion comes after the agency launched the program in September on only a handful of bus routes. By next fall, the second phase of the program will retrofit all Local and Select buses operating out of six depots that serve around 250,000 daily weekly riders and include some of the busiest routes in the system, according to the MTA. 

“The Open Stroller Program has demonstrated that we can make buses more accessible to all customers while providing faster, cleaner, and safer service,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “As we expand, more and more bus customers will benefit from enhanced accessibility, especially for parents and caregivers.”

A complete list of stroller-ready routes will include:

  • The B1, B3, B6/6 LTD, B36, B64, B74 in Brooklyn
  • The Bx6, Bx6 SBS, Bx8, Bx11, Bx17, Bx19, Bx21, Bx23, Bx27, Bx31, Bx32, Bx33, Bx35, Bx36/36LTD, Bx46 in the Bronx.
  • The M15, M31, M101, M102, M103, M125 in Manhattan.
  • The Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q20A, Q20B, Q26, Q28, Q31, Q32, Q44 SBS, Q48, Q50LTD, Q76 in Queens.
  • The S40, S42, S46, S48, S51, S52, S53, S66, S76, S81 LTD, S86 LTD, S90 LTD, S93 LTD, S96 LTD, S98 LTD in Staten Island.
Photo courtesy of the MTA

The MTA received largely positive feedback from more than 200 online customer comments on its stroller policy since the pilot started. Four out of five customers supported expanding the pilot to more buses, the agency said. 

The idea behind the pilot is to create a seamless boarding experience for parents in a way that speeds up the process for other riders as well. Bus operators haven’t reported any safety incidents or conflicts from on any of the routes where the pilot has been implemented so far.

“As a mother of three young children who has had to frequently navigate public transportation with a stroller, I am thrilled to hear about the expansion of the Open Stroller Pilot Program,” said Assemblymember Grace Lee. 

Participating buses will be identifiable from the outside by a stroller decal that customers can spot before boarding. The stroller space inside the bus is also designated with a decal and is separate from existing priority seating for bus riders with disabilities. 

“This program, which will create designated open stroller spaces without compromising wheelchair access, is an innovative way to make public transit more family-friendly,” said U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “I look forward to seeing parents in my district take advantage of this pilot program on the Crosstown M31 bus and hope to see designated stroller spaces on additional routes in the future.”