NEW YORK — The MTA plans to convene a panel to study the agency's folded stroller policy on city buses after parents repeatedly called for a revision.
New York City Transit (NYCT) interim President Craig Cipriano made the announcement during a NYCT/bus committee meeting Monday, saying the panel will look into how the MTA might permit open strollers on buses.
"We heard our customers' feedback, both the need for enhanced access on buses from caregivers with strollers and from disability advocates who are concerned with the potential conflicts and impact to their access," he said.
"To address this, we are going to convene an advisory group composed of bus operators, disability advocates and caregivers who use strollers."
Cipriano, who previously served as vice president of New York City Transit's Department of Buses, noted that the panel will report their findings directly to him.
Current MTA rules mandate that parents fold strollers before boarding buses and keep strollers closed for the duration of the ride.
Parents had testified last month at an MTA transit committee meeting in hopes of changing the policy, with some - including Upper East Side mother Danielle Avisar - saying the current policy left children vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident.
"You fly, there's no control at all. And anyone who's near a pole strikes a pole. Anyone who's in the front just pushes through to the front," Avisar told NY1 earlier this month. "So what's going to happen, God forbid, if there is an accident to an infant?"
At the time of the last meeting, Cipriano said the MTA was hoping to address parents' safety concerns, but noted open strolled posed their own issues.
"It's a catch-22. I think if you allow a stroller on board, you have no way to secure it. And if a bus stops short, you have a safety issue," he said.