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Brookline Patch Column: Charlie and Children on the MBTA

What's it like trying to get a stroller onto and off of the Green Line trolley in Brookline? Do the other rush hour passengers complain, or do they endure it stoically? How friendly are T drivers when they see newborns?

These questions and many more are answered in Nomi and my current The Brookline Parent column up at Brookline Patch:

Charlie and Children on the MBTA.

Go click on the link, to see an adorable picture of our kids riding the T.


One thing about hauling kids around in a stroller is it makes you so much more aware of how inaccessible many places are to folks in wheelchairs.

I took the sprogs by T into the New England Aquarium for their first birthday, and several of the T stations we had to pass through the elevators were broken and I was lucky that my elder kid and I could pick the stroller up and get it up the stairs/escalators, although there was also a station where the escalator was too narrow for a twin stroller. People didn't complain, but neither did they give us space to get up into and out of the cars, or room once we were aboard. We had to pass on several trains because even as we were trying to get the stroller up the stairs people would push past us and take up the last available space, and nearly missed our stop in one place because no one would get out of the way to let us out until I got really pushy about it.

It was, all in all, a horrible experience and did not leave me feeling especially kindly towards my fellow man, and seems rather the opposite of your experience.
DangerBoy hasn't been on the T very often, but we've been on buses a lot, with and without a stroller. I didn't even realize until a driver suggested it last month that we could put the wheelchair securement seats up to get his stroller out of the aisle; we'd just been trying to scrunch out of the way as much as possible. Oops.

I haven't yet had anyone give us grief on a bus, although on occasion we've been the third or fourth stroller and did get some dirty^Wincredulous looks then. Nearly every time we've been on a bus with steps, I've had at least one person jump to help us on and off. It might just be Arlington, but people on the bus seem pretty nice.
For some odd reason, I just looked up "Charlie Card" the other day off a reference to it on some other Wiki page. Is there any other place but Boston that would name their electronic fare collection system after a character in a song who got stuck on the T and couldn't get out? (And if his wife could come down and bring him a sandwich every day, why did she never bring an extra nickel?)
Ah yes, I remember well having to schlep strollers onto the Green Line (our pediatrician is on the D line though). That was before they introduced the low-floor cars, so we always had to schlep up the stairs of the older cars. I thought I remembered there being a spot without chairs, where a wheelchair (or stroller) could go, but perhaps they filled that in after they introduced the new cars. Of course, with a single stroller there was usually more flexibility than what you guys experience.

Nowadays, with my kids long out of strollers, I always go for the older cars. I really hate riding sideways. Being sideways on the Red Line isn't so bad, but since the green line makes so many more stops and has much more sudden acceleration, I find it really uncomfortable to be in those sideways seats.
That's funny, we took H. to his 12-month appt. on Jan. 18! Nasty, nasty weather.

December 2016

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