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To think getting the bus with young children is unnecessarily difficult

(67 Posts)
JuniperGinYay Fri 15-Mar-19 09:42:54

... to the point of encouraging car use.

I have a number of local journeys that are easier by bus, cheaper too. But the process of getting on is sooooo hard!

I have three, a little one in a buggy, a 7 yr old with a balance problem and a 9 yr old and I can’t work it out! I have the worlds lightest umbrella fold and no bags on it. I even give the bag to the oldest to help me be free of bags. This morning really was crap, we’re late as the driver refused to let me on as there were already two buggies, despite mine being folded. The bus was about 1/4 full and I could easily sling the buggy on the rack, stand it in the corner of just have it between my knees.

Even when I do get on they do the instant pull away, I end up trying to support two children with a folded buggy whilst they weave off at speed. Someone always falls over or bumps a head.

It’s easier unfolded to hold the kids too, but then I’m at more risk of them refusing to let you on. Despite being able to drop the umbrella fold in around 2-3 seconds they refuse to let you board and fold as ‘it takes too long’. I have been on one occasion actually sworn at.

They are so frequently really rude and aggressive about all of this, I’ve never had an issue on a bus without kids but if you take three kids on a bus you are universally disliked (even though others board slightly slower for various reasons). The kids are well trained to dive for seats and handrails but the speed they move off they simply can’t make it sometimes.

Getting off I’ve had a few ‘accidental’ door closes on us with the little ones getting freaked out, as we can’t stand until they stop as the kids fall over (yes, we sit by the door).

Does anyone else get this in city buses? I get people want to get a move on but if all the people like me weren’t in cars the bus would probably still move faster as the roads would be clearer. The buses are not full when I use them either.

It doesn’t help lots of the drivers hit the brakes constantly and are pretty jerky. Some are decent, but there’s enough of a culture to make it really hard to get the bus.

I’m ranting I know, but I’m sitting in the second bus wet from an extra 20 min in the rain with a grumpy toddler.

Dreamingofkfc Fri 15-Mar-19 09:52:54

How old is the one in the buggy? I get buses with my 3, 5 and under and sometimes can't get on because of other buggies but most of the time it's ok. I find the drivers here don't tend to zoom off though, which helps!

DearTeddyRobinson Fri 15-Mar-19 09:55:21

Bloody hell I would complain to the bus company! That's shocking treatment. I take the bus a lot with the kids, it is tough but the drivers will at least wait till you're settled before pulling off and I'm in London!

DearTeddyRobinson Fri 15-Mar-19 09:56:15

Also sorry I meant to add, it's the typical MN response but if you can get a decent sling for the baby it frees up a lot of room, plus your hands for grabbing falling siblings

Bumblebeans Fri 15-Mar-19 09:57:43

I fucking hate getting the bus with my 3 year old. Some of the driver's near us brake suddenly, turn quickly and are rude. I've complained by email and phone before and got no where. Its so frustrating!

Stinkytoe Fri 15-Mar-19 09:57:49

Since I’ve had more than one child I’ve not even attempted the bus, I walk the 3 miles into town as it’s considerably less work!

ZippyBungleandGeorge Fri 15-Mar-19 10:00:19

I only have one DC and that's bad enough for transport let alone with three, it must be very difficult. I generally drive at it's much easier but do sometimes use the train/bus I tend to use an ergobaby carrier and a backpack for his stuff, nappies etc when I'm not driving or walking. Makes me feel like a pack horse but no way I want to navigate the tube with a pram!

flitwit99 Fri 15-Mar-19 10:01:53

My 6 yr old fell against the wall at the bottom of the bus stairs yesterday when the bus braked quickly as we were walking down to get off at the next stop. His nose was bleeding.
Made me wonder how often people get hurt when buses pull away before people are sitting down or trying to get downstairs to get off with a couple of kids or a heavy bag of shopping.
YANBU op, buses could make it easier. They could wait till people were sitting down. Or let people stay sitting till the bus is stopped then they get up. And travelling with pushchairs and wheelchairs are a whole other level of difficult. Having travelled with both I do think wheelchairs are treated with slightly more patience than people with pushchairs, but not much.

echt Fri 15-Mar-19 10:02:51

When I saw women getting on the 'bus with buggies and kids, I decided to learn to drive. I didn't even want children at the time, but never wanted to be in that position. And that was in the early 90s.

This is not in the spirit of advice, but a hearty acknowledgement of how hard it must be now. It is utterly cack, OP. Best of luck.

jaseyraex Fri 15-Mar-19 10:03:55

I think this is a problem with the bus service where you live rather than a problem with being difficult because of young kids.
I get the bus with mine, 6 month old in buggy and 4 year old with ASD and dyspraxia, and sometimes 8 years old DSS. 4 year old falls over a lot but runs on bus ahead of me to sit down so no issue when the bus starts up. I think I've had to fold my buggy five or six times in the 4 years I've been using them. (Glasgow city centre, so not particularly quiet routes). Drivers always wait if I need to fold it to get on, or fold when a wheelchair comes on. Some zoom off immediately but most wait until everyone is seated or holding on to something.
I'd complain to the bus company every time something shit happens. To not let you on with a folded buggy when there was space is ridiculous.

blackteasplease Fri 15-Mar-19 10:04:26

I agree OP. This sounds particularly bad but not unheard of where I am.

I don't have a buggy any more but even wig my 5 yo the speeding off straight away before you can sit and giving insufficient time to get off the bus once it's stopped is a problem. TBH the insufficient time to get off is a problem when I'm on my own too!

blackteasplease Fri 15-Mar-19 10:05:43

I do remember when dd was a baby (10 years ago now!) Choosing to drive to all hospitals as the bus journey was so difficult.

AuntVanya Fri 15-Mar-19 10:09:00

YANBU. It is stressful getting the bus with small children. Manageable with one child, I'd say, but very difficult with 3 plus pushchair.
I don't know whether it is unnecessarily difficult though. Suppose drivers are trying to balance everyone's needs and stick to the timetable.
I'm surprised that it's cheaper for you to go by bus. It's certainly not for me. We just get cabs now but my DCs are beyond the age of car seats.
Just take the car until your children are older and can help you and themselves more, and you don't need a pushchair. I would not feel bad about using a car in those circumstances. I imagine it's the higher numbers of able-bodied, single occupant cars which clog up our roads and our airways.

MaverickSnoopy Fri 15-Mar-19 10:09:12

I can relate very well.

I have a 7yo with dyspraxia who simply cannot balance and who cannot see people and space around her (so we get told off a lot by people when out who think she is rude - she tries sooooo hard). I also have a 2 year old and a 5mo.

I use a double buggy (turns into a single) but would never attempt it on our busses as it just wouldn't fit. I also have a single umbrella buggy and before our youngest was born would use that, ready folded, and take supplies in a back pack. Nice and easy. Now I have baby in buggy and toddler walks. I could put baby in buggy and have toddler walking, except if I need to fold the buggy then I can't manage it with the toddler or if baby is asleep. I have sciatica and really cannot manage 2 small children, a folded buggy and bag, let alone the big one who needs help too. Same reason I cannot use a sling. If I cannot get my buggy on unfolded then I cannot travel. However I look like everyone else, as does DD and my MN standards especially, I should be folding my buggy and be efficient. I don't drive (can't afford more than one car) and so reliant on public transport. Home is 1.5 miles (one way) from shops so the walk usually does my sciatica in I'm stuck in bed for a couple of days and DH needs to take time off work. We spend most of our time at home and it has really lowered our quality of life and my happiness. If busses were easier (for all the reasons you mention) we would have our freedom and independence back.

JuniperGinYay Fri 15-Mar-19 10:15:38

I drive and own a car, I’ve just made a conscious decision to not contribute to awful pollution in our area that constantly in the news and causing breathing difficulties for kids. Im also trying to get fitter and active for us all, it’s a fair walk after the bus (hence needing the buggy for the just three yr old, and being too big for a sling).

It’s just annoying that in trying to be decent I’m disliked so much! It’s the only reason I’m starting to creep up in using my ancient diesel in the city again, I have no other reason or need to add to the pollution or traffic that’s an issue

JuniperGinYay Fri 15-Mar-19 10:17:42

I can go miles in bus lanes here for £1.50, by the time I’ve eaten fuel in traffic James in an old diesel and paid for parking the bus is easily cheaper.

My middle one also has asd, with the balance problem but with headphones she’s okish in quiet times.

JuniperGinYay Fri 15-Mar-19 10:20:18

I put in an email complain on a train when the doors closed on the buggy and my eldest and his friend were left on the platform! I was not even rushing for it, the only ones boarding. I got a basically ‘this couldn’t have happened’kind of response, which viewing CCTV considering I’d given them the time would have been easy to check. I think it was possibly a door fault as they opened and closed

Backwoodsgirl Fri 15-Mar-19 10:26:57

Buses are always more expensive and more hassle. Add kiss to the mix it's a definite no go.

I haven't used public transport since 2005, mainly because there is none where I live

999caffeineplease Fri 15-Mar-19 10:33:30

The drivers near me all wait until people have sat down, yours sound horrible.

Could you encourage the two older ones to find a seat/somewhere to hold on to while you’re paying, so there’s just the buggy+3 year old to deal with? Doesn’t solve the problem but makes things a little easier

Newadventure Fri 15-Mar-19 10:36:56

Oh god yes.. I moved to a rural area when dd was a baby, 1 bus an hour that was often late. Nearest town 30 mins away, no shops near by so the weekly shop needing to be brought back on the bus.. god it was grim. This went on until she was 3.5 when I finally learnt to drive and got a car.
It was odd because getting the bus had become part of our day out.
Walk to the bus stop, 20 mins
Wait for the bus. (Anything from 10-45 mins depending in how late it was)
Bus took 30 mins to get somewhere (sometimes longer)
Have day out.
Back to the bus stop to wait for the next bus.
Another 30 mins on the bus
20 mins walk back home from the bus stop. (And that was just day to day stuff)

That was my life for 3 years. It was hard but I'd gotten used to it. When I got the car the weekly shop that would take up to 4 hours was condensed into 1.5 (max). Trip to the baths where we could be out for 5 hours for a 45 min swim was cut down to two hours etc. It felt like I had too much time on my hands, at first.

Now I've figured out ways to fill our time and we can go much further afield, life is so much easier and less stressful.

The buses were expensive too, id spend £28 a week on one travel pass and that was just for 1 bus service, then when i was going to work it was an extra £7 so I was spending £35 a week on public transport.
I dont even get through £15 in petrol these days on average. I love my car smile

Newadventure Fri 15-Mar-19 10:39:57

Oh! Not to mention no longer having to deal with tantrums on the buses and the nasty looks and tuttings from other passengers, that really used to get me down.

NuffSaidSam Fri 15-Mar-19 10:49:50

It sounds like a nightmare!! I think it's definitely something specific to different bus companies though and not all buses. You should take it up with the local bus service!

I'm in London and the buses are generally ok for buggies/kids. The only issue is that despite there nearly always being at least one buggy on the bus there isn't a designated buggy area. Buggies have to use the wheelchair area which then causes all the arguments/rudeness/difficulty that you read about on here.

babysharkah Fri 15-Mar-19 11:51:24

Mine are older now, but twins, so I had a double buggy. There's a load of bus routes here that you can't even fit a double buggy on. My buggy had the same footpront as a wheelchair so not exIt is impossible to fold a buggy, and hold two babies at the same time. We walked everywhere (I have a car but parking is a nightmare here) as DH used the car for work then. It was fine when the weather was ok but bloody miserable in the rain and cold.

On the plus side, I was thin!

GroundhogWeek Fri 15-Mar-19 12:15:26

The buses round here are great, get them daily with a baby (2 months) and a 4 year old. I have the baby in the sling as there are often wheelchairs on our route so avoid the not being allowed on/having to get off thing. The bus drivers and fellow passengers in our route are helpful, wait for us to sit down etc. May just be different experiences with different companies.

Seniorcitizen1 Fri 15-Mar-19 12:47:02

My mam used to take the three of us - all under school age - on a bus into the local town to do shopping 3-4 times a week. Somehow she managed - its not that difficult

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